The Fourth Question

To enter the fundamental state of leadership, the fourth question is this: Am I externally open? This question is complemented by related questions.

  • Am I exercising the faith to move forward into uncertainty?
  • Am I mindfully attending to what is happening in the present moment?
  • Am I experimenting, improvising and co-creating?
  • Am I seeking real feedback, listening and adapting in real time?
  • Am I learning?
  • Am I empowered and empowering?

Once I identify a result I want to create, once I choose to live by my most central values, once I focus on the good of the community, I am prepared to create excellence. To create excellence is to deviate from the norm. We become excellent because we are doing things normal people don’t want to do.

We do not reach peak levels by repeating exactly the same processes that have worked in the past. Reaching a level of excellence requires real-time learning. It requires being externally open. It involves analyzing each individual situation and determining what is right.

Most of us seek quantum leaps in our performance levels while staying in our zone of comfort. The fourth question calls our attention to the fact that to be in the elevated life state is to be a creative and adaptive system that is in dynamic connection with a constantly changing universe.

In the elevated life state we attract energy and expand in awareness, learning at an exponential rate. At such times we know what result we want to create and we are moving towards it, even if we do not know how to get there. In this state of increased integrity, courage, and energy, we are leading in the most powerful way possible. We have a purpose or message, and we are living symbols of the purpose. In the words of Gandhi, we need to be the change we want to see in the world. The fourth question is designed to call our attention to the need to be in such a state of purposive change.

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