“We run the company by questions, not by answers.”
(Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO)
“The best innovators are able to live with not having the answer right away because they’re focused on just trying to get to the next question.”
(Warren Berger, journalist and author)
The most successful people in the business world have long realized that asking good questions is at the core of good leadership. To see the art of asking good questions at work, several management consultants and leadership coaches point to Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher and main character in many of Plato’s dialogues. Some have even proposed that the Socratic Method, the art of asking good question, is “one of [our] best leadership tools.” I argue that these management consultants and leadership coaches point to a question that is worth exploring in more detail:
How does asking questions make us good leaders, and what else can we learn from Socrates about good leadership?
This project puts Socrates in conversation with a diverse group of thinkers—modern-day business leaders, authors, educators, and even art historians. Collaboratively, we will tackle the questions of what makes a good leader and how to become one.
My poster presentation at the Central APA 2020 offers a good overview of the project.
"Disrupt, unclutter, innovate. Why Google and Apple hire Socratic Leaders." I talk about one of Socrates' leadership lessons--having a beginner's mind--in more detail during the Teaching Hub at the Eastern APA 2021. You can find my abstract and handout here.