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When you’re the boss, questions are better than orders, by Brian Grazer

Stashed in: LinkedIn, Leadership!, Management, Leadership

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What makes him say that?

I flew to Ireland, and I went to Tom on the set. “Look, you’re not the producer of this movie,” I said. “But we all want to make it, we all have this vision of a movie we’re doing as artists, a story we care about. It’s going to be expensive, but we can’t spend as much money as it looks like we’re going to. We need to hold the line.”

I said to Tom, “Can you be the team leader here with the cast and crew? Can you be the guy that sets an example?”

He looked at me. “I’m one hundred percent that guy!” he said. “When I have to go to the bathroom, I’m going to run to the trailer and run back to the set. I’m going to set the pace for excellence, and respect, and tightening up.”

And that’s exactly what he did. He led. He was motivated. He motivated other people. We did make a really good movie, and we kept the budget under control.

I didn’t walk in and tell Tom what to do. I didn’t order everybody to work harder, to make do with less. I explained where we were. And I went to the key player, the person other people would respect, and I asked that a question: “Can you be the leader here?”

That’s something that asking questions does that is so vital:

It helps create a team, especially under trying circumstances. Curiosity — asking questions — helps create trust.

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