Welcome To Fourth Question Leadership

I am the Founding Principal of Mackay Christian College which began in 1984. The College it now has an enrolment of nearly 900 students in Kindergarten to Year 12.

My leadership focus has been on creating the environment in which a true learning community can flourish. For me a true learning community is one in which all of the stakeholdersĀ have agency and are empowered towards reaching their full potential. As I have engaged in my own learning journey, I have found evidence that it is when a leader cares for the members of the team, that agency is realised and this empowerment has the best chance of occurring.

I seek to create community and capacity through bringing leadership and challenge through an example of being a life-long learner myself.

Along the way I have been called upon to provide consultation for a wide range of schools, churches and other organizations in governance, leadership, leadership development, curriculum development, and values alignment.

I have spoken at numerous conferences on a variety of leadership issues, and co-authored two values based coaching manuals. I have also served on numerous education committees at both state and local levels and I am currently an adjunct lecturer at a College of Higher Education.

My conviction is that when leaders build organizations which interrogate motivation at every level of decision making and, when necessary, bring adjustments to organizational culture so that it is focused on caring for others, people and organizations flourish. This is Fourth Question Leadership.

The Four Questions of Leadership

Examples of First Questions for leaders:
What need are we seeking to fulfill?
What markets are we engaged in?
What are we aiming to produce?
What is our direction?
What are we doing?
What results are we looking to achieve?
What profit or surplus must we make?
Examples of Second Questions for leaders:
What are our key strategic initiatives?
What specific actions need to happen?
Who is responsible for each deliverable?
When should each action be completed?
Examples of Third Questions for leaders:
What are the performance indicators for each agreed action?
How are we being accountable to each other for our part in each of the agreed actions?
How can your team leader see the actions happening?
Are our actions making a difference? If so, why? If not, why not?
Are the people responsible for the actions capable and competent to take them? If not, what am I going to do to train, support, or move them?

At an even deeper level third questions seek to ask the questions of:
How do we know that what we are doing is moving us where we want to go?
If our actions are not working in the way we want them to what should we change?
Is where we thought we wanted to go still the right direction?
Are we moving towards achieving our corporate vision?

Examples of Fourth Questions for leaders:
What is my motivation?
Why am I doing what I am doing?
Are my actions helping others, or hurting them in any way?
Am I helping those in my team to be their best?
Do I know the personal and professional ambitions of the members of my team?
What did I do, or not do, that let that person think that behaviour or decision was ok? (the most important question to ask when something does not go to plan).
Click on the link to read the Chinese Folk Tale which lends its name to Fourth Question Leadership.
The Chinese Folk Tale