The BIG Leadership Question

‘How can I help move the situation in a positive direction?’

The above question consists of eleven simple words, but when put together and applied in daily life they become of immense significance to self and to many others.

The quest for essence

Good leadership is about the quest for essences, as opposed to wastage of time, talent, relationships and resources. The above simple question portrays the essence of good leadership – the quest to serve others in their quest for positive momentum in life.

Simplicity is not always simple to do

We should not be deceived by the simplicity of the Big Question. It takes great character to be able to apply it consistently in our daily life. Only those leaders who are truly leadership fit in terms of their training and passion for leadership excellence will be able to respond to the question in a consistent and confident manner.

Character and strategy

Neil Froneman, CEO of Sibanye Gold mentioned on the Leadership Platform Show that good leadership is about balancing character and strategy. If we look at the Big Question then we come to the conclusion that it encourages clarity of direction (strategy) and sound character (the passion to help others in a positive direction).

Universal applicability

Asking the Big Question has universal applicability. No matter what situation or conversation we are exposed to, asking the question tends to focus our hearts, minds and energies on that which matters most. It encourages us to do the following:

  1. Resist our negative tendencies to anger, impatience, envy and arrogance
  2. Evaluate and act in a positive manner
  3. Listen!
  4. Be passionate in doing the right thing
  5. Speak sharply in terms of principles and not to cause offence.
  6. Respect the dignity and potential of others
  7. Smile!
  8. Build unity and common cause
  9. Enjoy the pleasure of doing the right thing

Dynamics of movement

The Big question includes the words ‘help to move the situation in a positive direction.’ In the study of movement dynamics we find the underpinning universal Law of Movement that states: “All movement is governed by the integration of motivation, direction and structure.”  The Big Question helps us to fulfil all three requirements of the law. It encourages the best motivation, the best in direction (helping in a positive direction) and mobilising the supporting structure that is needed.

How about trying out the Big Question today?




Adriaan, as an accomplished author and leadership advisor, has been interviewing and working with top leaders for more than 15 years. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Leadership Platform. (Twitter: @AdriaanG_LP)

Call: +27 (0)12 653 3022

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Leadership Platform is a specialist leadership development consultancy, focusing on creating measurable impact to the bottom line through the enhancement of leadership understanding and engagement.


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