By Dr. Shital Badshah (Shital@GrowthCatalystIndia.com) | Inspired by a book on Jack Welch

Any leader to be successful, he or she should ask following 78 questions to himself or herself; and try to find answer for each of them with respect to context he or she is in.

QUESTIONS LEADERS NEED TO ASK THEMSELVES

1. What does leadership mean?
2. How do you feel about being a leader?
3. What do you want to be remembered for?
4. Are you happy?
5. What are you afraid of?
6. Are you sure you want to ask questions?

QUESTIONS LEADERS NEED TO ASK CUSTOMERS

7. Why do you do business with us?
8. Why do you do business with our competition?
9. How and when have we made it hard for you to do business with us?
10. What will you need from us in the future?
11. If you were me, what’s one thing you’d change about my organization?
12. How can we effectively tell you that we’re grateful for your business?

QUESTIONS LEADERS NEED TO ASK EMPLOYEES ABOUT THE BUSINESS

13. How do we make money?
14. How does your work contribute to our success?
15. How could we save money?
16. How could you make your job more effective?
17. What’s the most important thing you know about our customers?
18. What’s something we could offer to our customers?
19. Who do you see as our competition, and what do you know about them?

DEEPER QUESTIONS LEADERS NEED TO ASK EMPLOYEES

20. What gets in the way of your doing your job?
21. What does our leadership team do that gets in the way of your doing your job?
22. What’s a recent management decision you didn’t understand?
23. How could we communicate management decisions more effectively?
24. If you could change one thing about our organization’s collective behavior, what would it be?
25. What’s a potential benefit we could offer that would be helpful to you?
26. What is it like to work on a team in our organization?
27. How do you feel at the start of your workweek?
28. How do you feel at the end of your workweek?
29. What volunteer work do you do?
30. What makes you proud of working as a part of our organization?
31. What’s something you’ve learned in the past week?
32. What brings you joy in your work?
33. What do you do just for the fun of it?
34. What gives your life meaning?

QUESTIONS TO ASK IN SPECIAL SITUATIONS

QUESTIONS FOR NEW EMPLOYEES

35. Why did you decide to join our firm…really?
36. If you had to describe our organization in one word, what would that word be?
37. What’s a great question I could ask someone who’s new to our organization?
38. What questions can I answer for you?

QUESTIONS FOR COACHING AND MENTORING SESSIONS

39. What are the strengths you bring to the workplace?
40. What skills do you need to learn?
41. What skills do you need to practice?
42. Who in our organization do you need to know?
43. What work would you like to be doing in five years?

QUESTIONS FOR NEWLY PROMOTED LEADERS

44. Why do you think we made you a leader?
45. What did the best leader you ever had do?
46. What do you need to learn to be a great leader?
47. How can we support you as you grow into this leadership position?

QUESTIONS DURING A CRISIS

48. Are you all right?
49. What do you need to know?
50. What do you need?

QUESTIONS LEADERS NEED TO ANSWER

51. What do you see happening in our organization over the next twelve months?
52. What is the future of our industry?
53. What gets you excited about the future?
54. How do you learn about our customers?
55. How do you know what I do in my job?
56. How can I advance in our organization?
57. How do you make decisions?
58. How do you take time to think?
59. What makes you angry in the workplace?
60. How do you measure success?
61. What are you learning?
62. How do you stay positive?
63. How do you re-ignite your enthusiasm for your job?
64. What do you love about your job?
65. What do you do just for fun?
66. What gives your life meaning?

ANSWERS FOR SPECIAL SITUATIONS

DURING A BUSINESS CRISIS

67. What’s happening?
68. What’s going to happen next?
69. What’s going to happen to me?
70. Am I going to have a job next month?
71. What’s the long-term impact of this crisis?

DURING A MERGER OR ACQUISITION

72–73. What’s going to change? What’s going to happen to my job?
74. Who will be my leader?
75. Will our values last?

DURING THE PERSONAL CRISIS OF AN EMPLOYEE

76–78. What will the organization do to support me? What are my benefits? What will this mean for my career?