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Are You in the Question Business or the Answer Business?


Hi there, it’s Peter Winick. I’m the founder and CEO at Thought Leadership Leverage. Here’s the thought that I’d like to share with you today, and that’s this: Are you in the question business or are you in the answer business? What do I mean by this? There are situations and scenarios that we play in as experts, as thought leaders, where we’re in the question business. This would typically fall under the general umbrella of coaching, where you’re working with a client, you’re collaborating with that client, getting them to see things in a little bit of a different way, getting them to draw their own conclusions. So, the best way to do that is not to tell them what to do but to question them, ask insightful questions, get them to expand their thinking so that they can get there on their own, and that’s great.

There are other times, and most times as thought leaders when we’re brought in as experts, and we’re really in the answer business. What do I mean by that? Clients are paying us the big bucks, hopefully, the big bucks, to deal with a set of problems, circumstances, data at a specific point in time relevant to them, and apply our expertise, our models, our methods, and frameworks to get them to a better place, to get them an answer to a problem that they couldn’t come to on their own. So, what I would ask you to think about is: Are you positioning yourself properly when you want to be in the question business, and are you likewise positioning yourself appropriately when you are in the answer business? Two very, very different expectations around outcomes and, therefore, the positioning and the pricing and all those other things change whether you’re, you know, in the question business or the answer business. Love to hear your thoughts.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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