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COMMENTS | Blog Digest February 06, 2006

Drucker's good questions

Author: Janet Swaysland []

This post from Lois' Foghound partner Janet Swaysland:

Peter Drucker sure had a way with questions. During an online tribute to Drucker, 600 of us Drucker-philes — including speakers Tom Peters, Marshall Goldsmith, Frances Hesslebein, and David Maister — were reminded of the simple brilliance of questions like What needs to be done? Why are we here? How can we do things better? And of course Druckers Five Most Important Questions:

  1. What is the mission?
  2. Who is the customer?
  3. What does the customer value?
  4. What are our results?
  5. What is our plan?

The leader of the past knew how to tell. The leader of the future will know how to ask, Drucker said.

(Marketers, take special note. We can do better than asking, Whats the ROI on that program? )

The very best advice is often common sense. But sometimes we need a push, a reminder. Those who ask the best questions — and who listen most intently — win.

The best questions take us off the beaten trail, they are bank shots to uncovering unexpected beliefs, desires and ideas. They are bold, heartfelt questions. Thats Step 1.

Step 2 is being brave enough to not dumb down or bury the bold, heartfelt answers

PS — Another favorite Drucker quote: I dont predict. I just look out the window and see whats visible but not yet seen. Asking the right questions can be a real eye opener.

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All you have to do is go back, what, 26 centuries? And figure out that Socrates is considered the father of maieutics in philosophy. Simply put, giving birth to an idea by not teaching, but asking questions. Good for Drucker to equate "the leader of the future" with the guy who will know how to ask. Back to school, history 101.
2006-02-10 19:24:41

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