Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive officer, Meg Whitman, seldom tells people what to do. She just keeps quizzing them until the path ahead is obvious. People who know her well say that persistent queries have been a personal hallmark since her days as a Bain consultant two decades ago.
This Forbes article about Meg Whitman’s penchant for using the Socratic method highlights what I think is one of the hallmarks of a good CEO: The ability to ask the right questions.
One of the enduring truths about running a business is that the situation is never static, and no matter how experienced you are, it is difficult. I have had both home runs and strike outs along the way.
Over the years I have developed some definite opinions on how to think about the job of CEO. Though I still often feel like I don’t know the right answer in a given situation, I do think I have learned to ask the right questions. And I believe that asking the right questions is the key to improving not only your personal skills but also moving your business forward.
Ask Great Questions: Leadership Skills of Socrates (Forbes.com)