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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Leadership and Governance for Sustainability > Change Management at Governance Level

Leadership Asks Tough Questions at the Right Time

Asking tough questions and getting good answers at the right time is leadership that manages risk well.

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Ask the tough questions that need to be asked.

Leadership of other people is hard. Leadership of yourself is even harder. Every leader has a unique approach to relating, evaluating and making decisions. But the person in a leadership position who does not make those decisions based on quality observations and information walks a tight rope.

Which questions are the ones to ask? When do you need facts...and when do you need gut reactions based on experience? And character? Experienced leaders know you need both, and know that what's most important is to trust yourself when you "feel" that something is wrong. That it's time to dig out the hidden truth.

Here are some questions to consider asking during those uncomfortable moments:

  • What is our strategy going to be if ....?
  • What will the impact be on our sales if supplies increase to ...?
  • What if war breaks out next week?
  • What is our three and five-year strategies? How do we know our strategies are correct? Where is the data?
  • Do we have the right business models to sustain costs? How do we know? Where is the data?
  • How can we collaborate and partner with other companies?
  • Why do companies not share their resources? Can we? How?
  • Do we fully understand which of our customers’ are being hit the hardest by the economy? How can we help them?

Leadership is about having the insight, confidence and experience that makes it feasible to ask the tough questions that others gloss over.

These questions are based on a list of questions that logistics leaders are encouraged to ask by Brittain Ladd, Director of Logistics and Project Management for a private equity firm with global holdings. Brittain has worked in logistics since 1991 and holds advanced degrees in logistics and is also a certified Master Black Belt in Six Sigma. The Logistics questions are located at

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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