Seth Godin’s latest blog brings up a great point that not all graphics or statistical numbers have meaning if they are used by themselves. His point was that it’s amazing how much marketing can and does shape our lives. He is correct in this point, but it is also our job as leaders to not only point out the flaws, but to teach how to recognize them. In order to become a good leader you need to be able analyze the full situation at hand and present it in a fully understandable manner leaving little to no doubt that what you are proposing or explaining is correct. In essence you’re trying to sell your project or process to the audience at hand without leaving any doubt or questions. You need to raise the questions that should be asked by others and then be able to explain how your solution fits the needs. You also need to be able to head off questions so that you can convince others that you have done your best think of everything that may come up in a certain situation.
Part of my job as a leader has been to get my team to think about what questions need to be asked in certain situations and not just take what is being conveyed to them directly. Take for example a question or a request comes in to order a scanner to scan documents. The questions that were not included in the request and I hope that my team asks are as follows. Why types of documents are scanning? Where are these scanned documents going to be stored? How will you need to be able access these documents after they are stored? Who will need access to these documents after they are scanned? The list goes on but you should get the idea that it is my responsibility to get my team to think about each aspect of a request and ask questions to fill in the gaps. Each of my team members needs to be able to not just accept what has been asked of them, but be able to ask the appropriate questions to get the picture.
An effectively leader needs to be able to get there co-workers, team members, and others in the organization to think through each of their tasks at hand. Don’t feel like you need to accept what is given to you without analyzing it and have the ability to predict the questions that may come up.