12 Christmas Questions, Part 2

December 4th, 2012  | 

Published in Holiday, Strategic Planning

Year-End Reflection

As we navigate the year-end parties, shopping, travel and all the other hustle and bustle of the December holidays, we’ll eventually get around to remembering the reason for the season.

When you find a peaceful moment to yourself, take time to reflect on the past year and begin thinking about the one ahead.

Last December, I published a list of six questions I pose to the successful leaders I work with as well as six Christmas questions for fun.

The response was so tremendous, I’m repeating the idea with a new set of 12 questions. Consider this version a holiday sequel.

Questions are a leader’s best friend. And great questions are powerful.

In my most recent book – That’s A Great Question – I have compiled into 18 categories more than 500 of the most provocative questions I’ve asked or heard asked in my lifetime as a consultant, CEO and coach.

A well-timed or well thought-out question provides an opportunity to ponder issues that may have been taken for granted, never considered or purposefully ignored. A great question presents us with a gift to think differently about those issues. And then it prompts us to dig deeper to expose – within ourselves and within others – what’s most meaningful.

In the spirit of the season, here are six serious questions for year-end reflection and six Christmas questions for fun.

Reflections & Outlook

Every December, I distribute to the leaders I work with a version of a document first developed by fellow Vistage Chair John Younker more than 10 years ago. I revise the document every year to help leaders reflect on the past year and think about what they want to accomplish in the year ahead.

You can download for free until December 31, 2012, the entire four-page document.

Here are six new questions to consider:

  1. For what am I searching that will give my life meaning and purpose?
  2. What am I willing to commit to doing to attain this incredible goal? What am I not willing to do?
  3. Why are we in business?
  4. What kind of company are we trying to be?
  5. What ideas are we fighting for?
  6. If our company did not exist, what would the world be missing?

Christmas Fun

For work-related Christmas fun, here are six new questions that should make you smile – and think. For the answers, go to www.bustin.com/subscriber-login. After logging in, click Fun Christmas Questions, Part 2.

  1. Q: In 1966, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” first aired on TV, featuring Boris Karloff narrating the Dr. Seuss story published in 1957. (Earlier this year, “Grinch” was named a “Top 100 Picture Book” of all time by the School Library Journal.) The Grinch is a loner with a heart “two sizes too small.” From his perch atop Mount Crumpit, he hears the Whos in Whoville preparing for Christmas and gets an idea to steal Christmas. He returns to his workshop to execute his plan. What is the first thing the Grinch makes in his workshop?
  2. Q: Before there was the Grinch there was Ebenezer Scrooge. Written by Charles Dickens and published in December 1843, A Christmas Carol tells the story of Scrooge, a miserly businessman who believes Christmas is a “poor excuse for picking a [business] man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December.” Scrooge is transformed from a bitter miser to a joyful man after visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. What is the vision of the future that changes Scrooge’s outlook on life?
  3. Q: Two years after the first “Die Hard,” policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) is back in action on Christmas Eve. In this new adventure, McClane waits in an airport for his wife to arrive from the West Coast when terrorists take over the air traffic control system. McClane must stop the terrorists before his wife’s plane and several other incoming flights run out of fuel. In what city does this “Die Hard” Christmas story take place?
  4. Q: In the 2003 British romantic comedy “Love Actually,” the film begins five weeks before Christmas and plays out in a weekly countdown until the holiday. There are several inter-related vignettes. In one of these vignettes, writer Jamie (Colin Firth) is jilted by his wife and leaves London for his cottage in France where he meets Portuguese housekeeper Aurélia (Lúcia Moniz), who speaks only her native tongue. What is the work-related accident that occurs, and what happens to the person who commits the mistake?
  5. Q: In the 1947 film “Miracle on 34th Street,” lawyer Fred Gailey (John Payne) leaves his position at a prestigious law firm to start his own practice. What causes him to step out on his own?
  6. Q: In the 1946 film “It’s A Wonderful Life,” George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) vows to travel the world, but those plans are quickly dashed when George is persuaded to take over the Building and Loan after his father dies. George and Mary (Donna Reed) are soon married but before they can depart on their honeymoon, another crisis strikes the Building and Loan, testing George’s leadership. What is the crisis and how does George avert it?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises leaders of some of the world’s most admired companies, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 200 strategic planning sessions, and he’s delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. His fifth leadership book—How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices—examines 52 of history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies and debuted in April as the #1 new historical reference book on Amazon.

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