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Five Questions for Leaders Who Would Rather Be Effective Than Right

These simple questions that I came across recently sparked a great discussion amongst the Xenonex team. Many of us are currently delivering leadership programmes in organisations across the UK, meeting lots of new people and having some great conversations about good (effective?) leadership and management.


When asked to share the biggest leadership lesson they’ve learned in their careers so far the people participating in an opening session of a leadership programme gave a lot of interesting answers. One participant shared one that really stuck with me because I think it’s so true. The lesson was it’s not enough to have the right idea, you have to influence other people to believe that it’s the right idea.


The essence of the lesson that leader shared is captured in a behaviour whereby the leader Chooses effectiveness as a more important outcome than “being right.” Here are some questions you can ask that will help you and everyone you work with be more effective:

  • What does success look like to you?
  • What’s important to you?
  • What else?
  • What do you need from me?
  • What do you think we should do?

(This is an edited version of an article by executive coach Scott Eblin)

What would you say is your biggest leadership lesson learned to date?  Do you agree that being effective is the more important outcome here? Let us know what you think.


Xenonex delivers innovative and bespoke client-centered solutions in Leadership Development and training across the UK. We work to maximise and transform the way people work. To find out more contact Jo Watson, Business Development Manager on 01423 876371 or email jo.watson@xenonex.co.uk


Suzanna Prout