My father, an avid outdoorsman, farmer and traveler encouraged his children to learn with a simple declaration: “The first three questions are free”. That was not the moment he wanted to hear, “when are we going on vacation?” However, what it did instill in me, was affirmation for curiosity and a readiness to question, to learn, to explore the context of our work and life together.
As I matured in life, I realized that the questions that we ask are pathways to reflection that has the power to direct and change our lives. As a leadership consultant and coach I ask questions to learn about how my clients observe the world, and I ask what matters to them. I ask what barriers they see to accomplishing their desired future.
At the Institute for Generative Leadership I learned from Bob Dunham to ask the question: What is a human being? What do you care about? Are you taking care of what you care about?
Each week as I review those questions I look ahead to the key conversations that I’ll enter into for the coming days.
One of the questions that I ask now is will be the legacy of my life? How much more of my creative energy, time and love will I give to that? Who am I being in the world and how does that matter to me and others?
Yesterday we attended the Oregon Symphony in Portland OR where they performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36. Beethoven’s hearing was failing, he was going deaf, yet he continued to compose because in his words, “It seemed to me impossible to leave the world until I had produced all that I felt was within me.”
As leader’s with the power to make a great impact, let’s reflect on that! Choosing responsibility for the gift of life and all that it offers us to give in the world.