Mastering Inquiry is the most important step anyone can take in their life.
If you want a breakthough; If you want to change your life; If you want to change your business, Don’t look to conclusions or old answers.
Learn to ask very good questions.
Life is Entrepreneurship™, where everyone is an entrepreneur, building the business of their life. There is no line between business and life.
The process of entrepreneurship is becoming more and more complex and challenging with the explosion of information access and the globalization of commerce. Regrettably we are not born with instruction manuals, and hence, we must master our life entrepreneurial skills along the way.
Unfortunately, we live in an ever increasing environment of Rationalized Capitalism, an environment where the elements of free-market profit objectives and consumerism lead to an ever deepening web of planned purpose, planned outcomes, control mechanisms and competing thought leadership, both macroscopically and microscopically, where we are both paid to and marketed to conclude and to judge, and rarely to inquire.
Ask your self, how many times each day are you influenced to judge and conclude vs. how many times are you influenced to ponder or to be curious. How much of you paycheck or net worth is tied to conclusions and outcomes?
“Why, why, why……..” This can be the sound of wonder in a child, or it can be heard as a shrill annoyance. Which were you taught? “There isn’t time to learn on the job.” The ageless paradox of “you need the job in order to get the experience, but you need the experience to get the job.” “I’m sorry Mr. Smith. You ask too many questions. You’re fired.” “What will happen to our economy when home values drop?” If enough people had asked questions rather than conclude nothing would happen, where would we be? Questions or conclusions define us. They determine who you are and how successful you will be.
The assumptions (conclusions) you make in your life and business define the perspective, perception and core decisions you make that will affect all aspects of your life.
It makes no difference who you are, you must now plan your life, career and business decisions in order to compete with millions of other entrepreneurs who are reaching out to compete globally over the Internet.
Inquiry, the most powerful value and skill a person or organization can master in order to compete and to survive, is lost in a sea of assumptions and conclusions on the way to goals and objectives. It is also lost in the unceasing social pressure to judge and be judged. Furthermore, most people don’t know what they don’t know. hence, they don’t know which inquiry path to take or which questions to ask. Besides, there are so many……
Mastering Inquiry is not easy. It is much easier to go shopping or to watch the news. Questions lead to more questions and and often generate the emotional and intellectual discomfort of the very powerful feelings surrounding uncertainty, complexity and uncomfortable truths.
And yet, inquiry is the source of all solutions, all innovation, all collaboration and all opportunity. Those who master it, become better leaders, managers, entrepreneurs, parents and friends.
If the founder of Nike™ hadn’t wondered how to make a better running shoe and cooked up a new sole with his waffle iron, where would the world of running shoe be now. If Lee Iaccoca hadn’t innovated the mini-van, Chrysler would have gone bankrupt years ago.
- One good question can be the doorway to discover the unseen risk that could destroy your organization, or the solution that can reshape it.
- One good question can transform a relationship,
- One good question can motivate an entire team. One good question can save a marriage or mend a lifelong feud.
- One good question can uncover the truth.
The real question is, do you want to know?
We practice and teach Inquiry Mastery™, the process of learning how to discipline oneself to ask questions, diligently and with radical intent, the intent to be changed by the outcomes, personally, professionally and organizationally.
Successful entrepreneurs learn how to ask good questions.