Asking Brilliant Questions

This week we return to Rick Brenner's Chaco Canyon newsletter for the column "Asking Brilliant Questions".  Throughout the leaders program we encourage participants to ask questions:  You do that as you are being present, you do it in meetings to draw out information from your colleagues, you do that as you coach.  In this column, Rick suggests seven types of questions you may find helpful as you work to move projects forward. 


Have a great week.  .  .  .  .     jim


Today, I'm sending along references to two pieces from Rick Brenner's Chaco Canyon Consulting email newsletter on empathy.

The Merriam-Webster OnLine dictionary tells us that empathy is "the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner."  

Leading From Below

In the March 3, 2007 issue of The Wall Street Journal's Journal Report there was an interesting piece by James Kelly and Scott Nadler titled "Leading From Below."  They note that CEOs -- and I would add leaders in general -- cannot change organizations on their own.  They suggest that the secret is to foster a leadership mentality throughout the ranks.  The authors have several suggestions:

• Make a decision to be a leader, don't wait to be told.

True Leaders Must "Walk the Floor"

Several weeks ago I was pointed to UBS's Knowledge Center and a short piece True Leaders Must "Walk the Floor."  This piece reinforces the importance of communicating with staff.  It notes that many leaders have found that interacting with their staff by walking around can build relationships, help staff understand their leader's goals, and provide them with insight and helpful information.  You'll find the piece at,

Seven Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Top IT Talent

Today's reading, Seven Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Top IT Talent, which comes from the January 4, 2007 issue of CIO, is just as applicable to other fields as it is to IT.  

Business 2.0 reports what seems to be an amazing data point:  For every two baby boomers who retire in the next decade, there will be only one college grad to take their place.  Thus, it is very likely that having strong skills in attracting, hiring, and retaining staff will become even more important than it is today.