The one question that will get you out of any rut!

Do you have a zest for life and (want) to get the most out of it? It rarely involves doing more than others are willing to do; It involves a focus similar to that of a laser.

Great leaders understand the importance of ‘What’s important now?’

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes! Tess, an 8-year-old girl, overheard her parents talking one night about needing a miracle to save her little brother, Andrew. He was very sick and needed an operation to save his life.

They sold their house so they could pay the doctor’s bills. The surgery that would save his brother’s life was expensive; and the family had no funds. She heard his dad say to his mom, “Only a miracle will save him now!”

Tess had an idea! She went to her bedroom and opened her piggy bank. After counting the money several times, she put it back in her piggy bank and quietly slipped out the back door of the house. She had $1.11. She walked the 6 blocks to the local Pharmacy and waited patiently for the Pharmacist to stop talking to another man so she could help her.

After waiting a long time, she turned her feet to make a grinding noise, cleared her throat, and the pharmacist ignored her. Finally, he took a quarter from her jar and banged it against the glass counter. That caught her attention.

The pharmacist asked in an annoyed voice, “And what do you want? I’m talking to my brother in Chicago, whom I haven’t seen for a long time.”

Tess replied, “I want to talk about my brother. He is very, very sick and I want to buy a Miracle.”

“His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing on his head! My dad says, ‘Only a miracle can save him now! How much does a miracle cost?’

The pharmacist replied in a kinder voice, “We don’t sell Miracles here, girl, I’m sorry I can’t help you!”

Tess, “Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it’s not enough, I’ll get the rest. Just tell me how much a miracle costs!”

The Pharmacist’s brother leaned over and asked, “What kind of miracle does your brother need?”

“I dont know.” she replied as her eyes filled with tears. “He’s very sick and dad says he needs an operation. My dad can’t afford it, so I want to use my money.”

The Pharmacist’s brother asks, “How much do you have?”

“$1.11. That’s all the money I have, but I can get some more if I have to!”

“Well, what a coincidence!” the Pharmacist’s brother smiled in response. “$1.11, the exact price of a miracle for little brother. Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the kind of miracle he needs!” (“The pharmacist’s brother was a surgeon from Chicago who specialized in neurosurgery.”)

“The operation was completed free of charge.”

It wasn’t long before Andrew was fine and he was home again.

Tessa’s mom said, “That surgery was a real miracle! I wonder how much it would have cost.”

Tess smiled to herself. She knew exactly how much the miracle cost, $1.11.

Leaders are willing to ask great questions to solve important problems. Even the youngest leaders know when to ask questions!

So they listen.

In 2008, Domino’s Pizza had the courage to face their problem. “His pizza was terrible.”

Ryan Berman, creative director of the Idea brand, quotes Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s US, as saying, “We didn’t rank highly in product scores. But believe it or not, people thought our product tasted better when it was in someone else’s box. All Americans wanted was for someone to stand up and tell them the truth, listen to their problem, and do the right thing.”

They realized that “the problem was not only the taste of their pizza, but also the brand.”

They took ownership of their terrible product, admitted its flaws, and asked the public to give them another chance. Their bold “Oh yeah, we did” campaign wowed audiences because it showed them that they really listened to their customers and would fix any problem.”

The company has enjoyed one of the best stock returns of any company in its category, soaring from $9 to over $387.46 (12/14/2020).

What is your one question that will get you out of your rut?

What does leadership ability mean and how can it help you?

Jeff Boss said in an article for Forbes that there are “three leadership skills to focus on: courage, clarity, and curiosity. Leadership is about the skill being the kind of person who can and is willing to learn, be brave, address difficulties and question the status quo. Who you are refers to your character: humility, integrity, openness to new ideas, service to others.”

Without clarity “there is no courage.” By being clear “about what’s important to you…there’s no hesitation, no second-guessing, no wondering if you’re making the right decision, no ambiguity about what’s expected of you.” With clarity, you can “do your job because you’re clear on what success looks like.” Clearly, you, your team members, and your company create “completion and alignment.” When you have “clarity” in your values, your work and in life you are balanced. He says, “When you’re clean, you’re bulletproof.”

Mr. Boss’s final point: “However, you only get clarity through curiosity. Good leaders know when to speak up and give instructions, but they also know when to listen, learn and lead with curiosity. When you lead with curiosity you not only forge better clarity, but you also gain insight into how others are thinking, which informs your next move (or question) as a leader.” Ask simple questions like “What do you think?”, “How could we…?”, “What do you think is the best way to achieve…?” they are powerful tools that you can use at any time. learn and lead simultaneously.” ( Boss: How to Develop Your Leadership Skills, Sept. 8, 2017)

Here are 3 ways you can focus on what’s important right now.
1) Clear your mind by writing questions and problems down on paper so they stop taking up space in your head. Be brave in asking bold questions and listen to the answers to shape your clarity.
2) Be open-minded about the solution and the messenger of the solution. Be curious and have a teachable spirit.
3) Take action.

Remember what Albert Einstein said: “The important thing is to never stop questioning. I don’t have any special talents. I’m just passionately curious.”

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