14 years ago I was meeting with our company president trying to explain why we were not making a bigger imprint in the marketplace. During the conversation I began to outline the reasons why.
He said, “Brian why don’t you go to the board.” I went to the whiteboard in his office and grabbed a marker. Little did I know I was entering a teachable moment.
He proceeded, “Brian, draw two columns. On the first column, write down every issue you’re dealing with in helping churches.” I began to write down a number of secondary items like difficulty getting by gatekeepers.
He looked at this list and said, “OK Brian, now write down the issues churches are dealing with.” I then wrote down a number of items like vision clarification and construction, timing, seasonality, leadership unification and alignment, project clarity, trust issues, and leveraging momentum among others.
He leaned back in his chair, paused and then firmly said, “Brian, notice the two lists. How many items in the two columns are the same?” Knowing I was in trouble, I sheepishly said, “None.” To which he responded, “Brian, the reason you’re not making a bigger impact with churches is your issues are not the issues churches are dealing with. They are not the same. You are not focused on the right issues. You are answering questions no one is asking.”
I remember thinking, “Jesus, if You want to come back, NOW would be a good time.”
- Pastors, are your sermons answering the questions those in your congregation are asking?
- Business leaders, are you answering the questions your customers are asking?
- Nonprofit leaders, is your organization answering the questions and addressing the issues the hurting in your community are asking and dealing with?
- Coaches, are you aware of the needs of those on your team and helping them get better?
One of the worst things leaders can do is answer questions no one is asking. Don’t answer the question no one is asking.
Leaders who do:
- Are not properly evaluating reality.
- Are not listening to those they are called to serve.
- Are not prepared.
- Are not providing solutions.
- Are frustrating their teams.
- Are potentially losing top performers.
- Are missing opportunities and losing revenue.
- Are not building a culture of success.
- Are wasting time.
- Are potentially short-term leaders.
Don’t be a leader who answers questions no one is asking.