Raymond L. Wheeler, DMin

Musings about leadership

Need a Big Idea? Ask Questions.


ideaBig ideas and significant breakthroughs come by asking questions.

According to Rich Warren courage determines the quality of your life and work.  It takes courage to question what you are doing and it is by asking questions new insights reveal themselves.  What kinds of questions does it take courage to ask?  He suggested eight.

Use these insights to systematically ask yourself and your team the kinds of questions that will transform the way you work.

  1. Termination. What do you need to stop?  You will never have the margins and the energy to innovate if you don’t first stop doing what is no longer effective.
  2. Collaboration. How do we do it faster, cheaper, or larger with a team?  How can we coordinate the resources in front of us to get things done?
  3. Combination. What can we mix to make something new – what can we combine to create a synthesis?
  4. Elimination. What part can we take out to make it simpler?  What barrier can we remove to give greater access?
  5. Reincarnation. What has died that we can bring back in a new form?
  6. Rejuvenation.  How can we change the purpose or motivation for what we are doing to recharge our energy and engagement?
  7. Illumination. How can we look at this in a new light?  What can we see by simply altering our perspective?
  8. Fascination. How can we make it more interesting or more attractive?

These are more challenging than they sound. Spend some time asking these questions about what you do – you just may discover a deeper insight into the purpose you really want to pursue.  Don’t stop however until you have asked all the questions.  Testing your insight with the full scope of these questions will help you avoid the pitfall of short-sighted enthusiasm and engage long-term transformation.


Author: Ray Wheeler, DMin

Ray Wheeler - executive coach, confidant, mentor, leader, and friend. Ray is the author of, Change the Paradigm: How to Lead Like Jesus in Today's world. He is also an adjunct lecturer at LIFE Pacific College, Bethesda University California and Azusa Pacific University in cross-cultural leadership, leadership development, leadership ethics, administration, church growth, and mission in today's world. Certified leadership coach, certified Birkman Consultant, and certified in the iOpener Assessment (happiness at work).

4 thoughts on “Need a Big Idea? Ask Questions.

  1. Excellent post Ray. Can you also ask those about a leaders life for a particular life stage?

    • Steve, sure the questions can get a leader thinking however when working with boundary times you may find questions that get at what the leader believes in the moment to be most effective. Boundary times reshape how we evaluate events and situations – that is part of maturing as a leader i.e., gaining perspective.

  2. I would love to talk sometime about boundary times. I think I am at one!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s