May I Ask You Something?

When questions are more important than answers

What’s the old saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”?

Do you feel, as CEO or GM or VP of Programming or PD, that you should have all the answers?

If so, you’re probably terrified of questions, of questioning.

And you probably surround yourself with people who won’t make you uncomfortable.

Hey, jobs are scarce in our industry, and its clear to all who’ve survived the consolidated firing squads the types of behavior that are rewarded, and those that are eliminated.

Perhaps this is one reason our business isn’t wildly innovative. It’s hard to get something new approved in a climate of fear

The smartest people you’ll work with don’t pretend to have all the answers.

The smartest people you’ll work with find a way to frame questions in new ways, to make you think, to encourage debate and discussion so we all see issues in a totally new light.

Because, if you’re secure enough to admit you don’t know everything, you’re probably wise enough to realize the truth is, you don’t have a clue where the next brilliant idea is going to come from within your organization.

Your job as a leader is to encourage every member of your station to believe that the next great idea is their responsibility, not answering the phone, or landing that order, or scheduling that hour of music.

That’s part of their job, sure, but if your station is going to be legendary, to be really innovative, every member of your team has to be empowered to be creative.

And that starts with you and the way you deal with questions.

Don’t you think?