Business & Finance
Commentary
8/13/2004
05:25 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
Commentary
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Editor's Note: Ask The Better Questions

A few months ago, I asked readers what they--or their companies--are doing to build winning teams or to inject more creativity into their organizations. It prompted a lot of feedback, including thoughtful comments on how great leaders build great teams, as well as complaints from people who believed their companies were doing little or nothing to inspire such a culture.

If you ask Jim Collins, author of the acclaimed book Good To Great (HarperBusiness, 2001), a big difference between good leaders and great leaders is that "great leaders don't give better answers; they ask better questions. And they ask them repeatedly. ... A great company never owes its success to one 'a-ha' moment. Rather, a series of incremental, good decisions give outstanding results." (For more, see The Narrow Path To Leadership.)

Asking better questions is one of the challenges we'll be posing to attendees at our upcoming Fall Conference. Linux or Windows? Good question, but what's the better question? Outsource or in-house? Good question, but what's the better question?

John Waraniak of Tata Consultancy Services told me he learned firsthand in motor racing that "winning teams recognize that people, process, and results are inextricably linked. You cannot be serious about one without focusing on the other two. And technology is integral to all three." Winning teams, he believes, have a mentality that "second place is the first loser." He adds, "In today's hypercompetitive, global business environment, the race to win goes on with or without you."

What place do you want to be in? Let me know at the address below.

Stephanie Stahl, Editor-in-chief (sstahl@cmp.com)


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Stephanie Stahl's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Stephanie Stahl, please visit her page on the Listening Post.

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