founder of naked leader

The power of a simple question

Naked Leader Week – 203 (w/c Monday 23 April 2007)

The power of a simple question

I had been working for their IT department for just over three months. We had some problems – some very big problems. A few I had inherited, and to be honest a few others I and my new team had created ourselves.

In any big company it is easy to hide, and just as easy to be found out.

We knew we had to make some big decisions; we just hadn’t quite worked out what.

And then I got the call – the head of the company – the CEO himself, wanted to see me tomorrow, “for a chat.”

My excuses, plans and paranoia went into overdrive. It’s amazing what the mind can do in twenty four hours. By the time I went to the top floor I had everything prepared. All would be well. I had every action prepared, every stone turned and an answer to every question.

His office was bigger than the downstairs of my house – possibly bigger than my entire house. He stood to greet me and we sat together on blue “comfy” chairs – the sort you have to really concentrate on sitting back for danger of sliding off.

I thought that might not be a good idea – he asks why things are going so spectacularly wrong and I respond by sliding off the seat, smashing the glass table (with vase of flowers) and onto the floor.

So I concentrated on sitting up straight, and on having all of my excuses ready.

He looked at me and in a warm, friendly tone, he said:

“So, David – How’s it going?”

Those few words came across the table, into my ears and ran through my brain. What? I had prepared for everything – for anything.

Except that.

I remember a long pause – a pause he let hand there.

And so I told him.

I told him how it’s going

I told him the truth as I saw it, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

And he listened, and he thanked me for my honesty, and he asked questions.

One hour later I felt relieved, I felt purged, and I felt supported.

And I learned the power of the simplest question

So, today, go to someone who you think would like to talk, and ask them, “how’s it going?”

With love to you all




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