“Leadership is not as much about knowing the right answers as it is about asking the right questions,” is Bob Tiede’s motto. But that wasn’t always the case, according to Bob; he was a “benevolent dictator,” a “serial teller” in his professional life for decades. But that all changed in 2006, when he stumbled upon a book that exhorted readers to “lead with questions” instead of “telling with kindness.” He started a blog on the topic, and after 15 posts, ran out of material. He searched for similar-minded bloggers, and to his delight, the first five he contacted all agreed to let him share their content on his own site. He soon discovered that “a leader who leads with questions will often be ten times more effective than a leader who only leads by telling!”

Meet Bob

Bob Tiede has been on the staff of Cru for 48 years. He currently serves on the U.S. Leadership Development Team and is passionate about seeing leaders grow and multiply their effectiveness. He is committed to helping leaders shift their paradigm from the pressure of having to have all the right answers to simply having a few of the right questions. In 2006, while browsing in a bookstore, he came across Leading With Questions by Michael Marquardt. He only had to peruse a few pages before declaring, “This is a keeper.” He then launched Leading With Questionsa blog with a companion ebook, Great Leaders Ask Questions—with the goal of changing forever how he and others look at leadership. Bob and his wife, Sherry, live in Plano, TX, and are blessed with 4 incredible children and 6 remarkable grandchildren.

Timestamped Overview

During this interview Bob and I discuss the following topics:

  • 04:26 – Bob Tiede’s Leadership Journey: Bob Tiede shares insights from his extensive leadership journey and his influential encounter with the book “Leading With Questions” by Dr. Michael Marquardt, which sparked his passion for leading with questions.

  • 08:12 – The Power of Questions in Leadership: The discussion delves into the compelling impact of questions in leadership, emphasizing the shift from being a teller to an asker and the potential for generating diverse and innovative ideas within teams. 

  • 12:45 – Effective Leadership through Questioning: Bob Tiede sheds light on the effectiveness of leading with questions, pinpointing how it encourages team members to take ownership and accountability for their ideas, driving increased engagement and motivation.

  • 16:30 – Inspiring and Uplifting Through Questions: The conversation centers around the art of framing questions in a positive manner to uplift team morale, especially during challenging times, and the continuous quest for deeper understanding.

  • 21:10 – Impactful Leadership Through Personal Stories: Bob Tiede shares an impactful anecdote about Navy Captain Michael De Ebershoff’s transformative leadership approach, emphasizing the power of seeking input and inspiring lasting change within his team.

  • 26:18 – Borrowing from Experience: Scott McCarthy shares his personal experience of implementing question-driven leadership and the profound impact it had on his team, reinforcing the significance of embracing this approach.

  • 30:55 – The Blueprint for Great Leadership: The discussion culminates as Bob Tiede defines the characteristics of great leaders who actively seek input through questions, symbolizing an unyielding commitment to continuous learning and growth.

Guest Resources

If you are interested in learning more about Bob’s resources be sure to check out the following links:

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The following is an AI generated transcript which should be used for reference purposes only. It has not been verified or edited to reflect what was actually said in the podcast episode. 


Scott McCarthy [00:00:01]:

Episode 219 of the Peak Performance Leadership Podcast. We’re going to be speaking to expert Bob Tiede, and he’s gonna tell you how you can lead with questions and not in the answers. That’s right, folks. It’s all about asking the right questions today. Are you ready for this? Alright. Let’s do it. Welcome 1. Welcome all to the Peak Performance Leadership podcast, a weekly podcast series dedicated to helping you hit peak performance across the 3 domains of leadership.


Scott McCarthy [00:00:41]:

Those being leading yourself, leading your team, and leading your organization. This podcast couples my 20 years of military experience as a senior Canadian army officer with world class guests bringing you the most complete podcast of leadership going. And for more, feel free to check out our website at movingforwardleadership.com. And with that, let’s get to the show. Yes. Welcome and welcome all. It is your chief leadership Scott McCarthy. It’s so great to have you here today and following along this journey of becoming a better leader because you know what? As my intro states, I have over 20 years actually coming up on 21 years, almost to the day, of military leadership experience, but I’m still learning.


Scott McCarthy [00:01:43]:

I, like you, am still learning, and I, like you, still have that passion and drive to learn more, to be better, to be the best leader possible for our people. And that’s why you’re here, and it’s so great to have you here with me today. But before we dive in, you know what also would help you in your journey? That’s a community of leaders because as leader, Colin Powell, once stated, the top is lonely. What Kong means is that as a leader, you’re the one that’s has to deal with the consequences of your decisions. You’re the one that has to make the decision. You’re the one that has to decide between, you know, organizational effectiveness, your personnel, how to balance your money and all kinds of other situations. But I’m telling you, it doesn’t have to be so lonely. There’s a community out there for you and winning for you.


Scott McCarthy [00:02:52]:

And that is the leader growth mastermind where we as leaders get together and discuss the hard topics, such as leading others of different ethnic backgrounds and different cultures, how to lead different generations, how to handle conflicts, how we as leaders can, you know, increase our own productivity, which is what’s coming up next, how to make better decisions, and so on and so forth. I think you get the point. We go through content every week around these 3 domains of leadership. Each month, we focus on specific domain. So the month of June, we’ll be focusing on on leading ourselves. We also meet once a week to discuss these issues face to face via video teleconferencing. This sounds right to you. This sounds like there’s something you’re looking for that you need in your life.


Scott McCarthy [00:03:53]:

We are here for you, and you can check us out at moving forward leadership .comforward/mastermind. Again, lead moving forward leadership.comforward/ mastermind. And that is going to take you to our community landing page, where you can apply to become a member. Again, moving forward leadership .comforward/mastermind. Alright. Let’s talk a bit about Bob an how to lead with questions today. And that is that I’ve said a number of times on the show here. We are no longer in the age where leaders are expected to know everything, to have all the right answers, to be the ones to make the decisions not based off of seeking information, but rather having the information.


Scott McCarthy [00:04:54]:

We are now in that latter part, I e, seeking information, asking the right questions. And let me tell you, I’ve I’m literally just back from my workday and recording this podcast episode for you, and I asked a lot more questions today than I gave answers to. Why, because I’m unlocking the information from my team so that they can inform me that I can go ahead and push that information forward and decisions can be made that way and see that is leadership today. And I’m not saying patting my back, but you’ll hear it from Bob himself. Bob is accomplished leader, expert, author, blogger. He served on leadership team of crew for 50 years. He’s wrote in a number of books. And, basically, he has focused his life on this topic of how we can be better leaders.


Scott McCarthy [00:06:03]:

And one interesting thing that came out of today’s episode is that one of the references Bob pulls out was a guest that I almost had on the show. And I actually correct Bob at one point about a part that he references in that author’s book. I’m gonna leave it there for you. You’ll hear about it near the end of the show. But, yeah, it was pretty interesting, pretty cool to be on the same exact same page as Bob as we go go through that interview. In interview, we talked about how we came up with this idea of learning with questions, why leading questions actually more effective, how to ask effective questions of team members and so much more. You’re gonna enjoy this show. Bob is a wealth of knowledge, and it was great to have him here on the Peak Performance Leadership podcast.


Scott McCarthy [00:07:03]:

Our ladies and gentlemen, that’s enough for me. Why don’t you sit back, relax, enjoy my conversation about how to lead with questions with Bob TD. Bob, sir, welcome to the Peak Performance Leadership podcast. So good to have you here.


Bob Tiede [00:07:33]:

Scott, it’s been my it’s my pleasure.


Scott McCarthy [00:07:35]:

So we’re talking today about how to lead with questions, which is awesome because I talk about it so much, especially with my mastermind students. How us as leaders this day and age, it’s no longer about having the answers. You know, before people look to leaders about having all the answers. Oh, let’s go see the boss. He’s got all the answers or she’s got all the answers. They’ll tell us what to do, etcetera, etcetera. But now through the side of 1st. It’s so you know, you need to be a specialist, but you can’t be a specialist in everything.


Scott McCarthy [00:08:09]:

You have to be a specialist in a very niche area. As us as leaders. You can’t be an expert in in 50,000,000 different facets. You kinda can be an expert in your overall generality, but at the same time, you can’t be an expert in, you know, deep in everything. So that is what I’ve been talking about. We need to lead with questions. So from your standpoint, I’d love to hear how you came about with this because that’s how I’ve come about with this.


Bob Tiede [00:08:38]:

Well, Scott, you’re gonna hear that I’m a I’m a slow, slow learner. For most of my career, looking back, I was a benevolent dictator and and not out of evil intent, but my only paradigm of leadership is that a leader needs to tell staff what to do. A leader needs to give direction. Now I did say benevolent. I I grew up in a home where I was taught to say please and thank you. So, Scott, had you been on my team, I Probably would have never said, hey, Scott, go do this. It’d been more like, hey, Scott. You know, this week, here’s what we’re working on.


Bob Tiede [00:09:08]:

It’d really be great if you could please do this. And when you did it, I said, Scott, thank you at a staff meeting. Scott, you stand up. You all need to hear what Scott did. But but at its core, my only paradigm of leadership was a leader needs to tell. That all changed for me in 2006 When I discovered a book called Leading With Questions by doctor Michael Marquardt, professor George Washington University. And and his book. It was a page turner for me.


Bob Tiede [00:09:40]:

It was filled with stories literally of leaders from around the globe Sharing both their stories and the questions they were using to lead. And as I read that book, I had another question. Why hasn’t anyone ever shared this paradigm with me before. I I embraced it. And, I mean, did I ever? Today. Just recently, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of my blog, Leading With Questions .com. But, Scott, I always like to start with this story. It’s really kind of a confession of being a benevolent dictator because I think when people hear, well, Bob has a blog, leading with questions .com.


Bob Tiede [00:10:21]:

Bob’s written books on leading with questions. I could think, oh, I bet that just comes naturally to Bob. And I shared, no. No. No. What comes naturally to Bob is to be a teller, not an asker, but I moved from telling to asking because I saw how much more effective it would b. And if Bob can move from being a teller to asker, well, so can any one of your listeners.


Scott McCarthy [00:10:48]:

I love that story. Yeah. The some of the dictator. You know, it’s it’s it’s not uncommon. It’s it’s super not uncommon. And here, you’re hearing from the, Bay Day Canadian army officer. So, you know, that is kind of what people stereotype us with this, you know, dictator orders. You will do this, blah blah blah.


Scott McCarthy [00:11:11]:

You shall do this now. You know? You will jump how high, for how long, you know, at the at the pace I tell you without any questions. And, well, I’ll say, actually, I was having a a, you know, conversation with 1 of the guys today, and we’re discussing that. And, you know, there’s time and place for that, but there’s also a time and place to exercise other leadership styles. Right? And and leading with questions is definitely a part of a leadership style. So I guess the the next question. You said that it was more effective. So why is it that it’s more effect of them being that directive leadership stud leader.


Scott McCarthy [00:11:50]:

Because to me Yeah. You know, you say you know, you tell your people what to do, how to do it, you’re gonna get the results you want. Right? Isn’t that how it works? Well,


Bob Tiede [00:12:00]:

we think so when we’re the leader. But, you know, Scott, you, you said something a minute ago, and that is a leader who thinks they need to have all the answers. None of us have all the answers. But if you think you are to have all the answers, wow, that is a heavy burden on the shoulders of any leader to think I need to have all the answers. And and, Scott, I’m guessing you’ve never done this, but I know when I was a benevolent dictator, there were times when I was asked a question and I didn’t know the answer. I made one up because I thought leaders need to have all the answers. And, You know, one of those things I have now is leadership is not as much about having answers as it is about having some of the questions. And so just for example, one of my staff comes to me today and and ask her a question, and I have no clue what the answer is.


Bob Tiede [00:13:00]:

I no longer have to make one up. I can say, Scott, that’s a terrific question. How would you answer it? And and Scott may say, well, Bob, that’s why I came to you. Well, Scott, that is a terrific I don’t know the answer. Who do you think might know or How could we find out the answer to that question? And generally, my staff will say, well, they’ll have an idea on how to answer. Often they have an answer or they’ll have an idea on how we can find the answer. And I’ll say, well, Scott, could you go do that research and come back? Because I wanna know that answer as much as you. So kinda with that approach, Scott, I’m actually now prepared for any question that comes my way.


Bob Tiede [00:13:42]:

I no longer have to have the burden of answering them all.


Scott McCarthy [00:13:51]:

No. I I definitely agree with that. I and it makes a lot of sense to me. So, a bit about my background. At one point, I commanded a logistics squadron of 200 members, and there were 3 distinct what we refer to as troops in there. 1 was a transport troop. 1 was maintenance troop. 1 was a supply troop.


Scott McCarthy [00:14:12]:

And those are fire very diverse troops. Like, in combination of those 3 troops, there are 3 13 different occupations. You know, occupations people spent years upon years of training. And here I was, you know, in charge of those 13 occupations that were grouped into 3 different troops. Now it’s well, for me to have all the answers. I can’t know what they do from a day to day, you know, how to do their jobs, every single one of them. So it’s impossible to have all the answers. So that’s why it really speaks to me about this whole questions and leading with questions.


Scott McCarthy [00:14:47]:

Now one of the things that I often hear is when someone comes to you with a question and you don’t know the answer, use the default response. I don’t know, but I’m gonna get back to you. And to me, that was, for a while. I was like, okay. That’s a good way to do it, but now I don’t agree with it so much. I’d love to hear your standpoint with it. Well,


Bob Tiede [00:15:12]:

I have a friend that gives that a word picture. And that word picture is your staff comes with a monkey. The question is a monkey, and they wanna unload the monkey and put it on your back. So when you say, well, I don’t know the answer, but let me think about it or get Back to you. They walk away. No monkey on their back. The monkey’s on your back. If you’re not careful, you can have a whole room full of monkeys.


Bob Tiede [00:15:39]:

And so one of my friends said, in leadership, you wanna make sure when they bring you a monkey that they take the monkey back with them. In other words, ask them to go do the research to find the answer to the question you don’t have the answer to. And so I agree with you that, and again, there are times I mean, There is no, like, in all cases, do it this way. You know, earlier, like you said, leading with questions. Well, I do it this way. I share a lot of times that most of us well, we actually need both. There are times as a leader we need to tell. In an emergency situation, we want somebody to say, gentlemen, men and women, here’s what you need to do now.


Bob Tiede [00:16:26]:

We need tellers. And, in the same time, we need to lead by telling, we need to lead by asking, and I ask audiences, well, which one is better, telling or asking? And so many times they raise their hand, oh, asking is better. And I say, well, that was a trick question. When you Fly which wing of the airplane is most important, the right wing or the left wing? It’s like, if we need them both, they better be perfect. And I’d say the truth is most of us, if we imagine our right arm to be our telling arm, it’s well developed. We imagine our left arm to be our asking arm. It’s not quite as well developed. And so the goal is to strengthen the asking arm so you could have equal strength.


Bob Tiede [00:17:09]:

Tell when you need to tell. Ask when that would be more effective. And, you know, you asked earlier, why is it more effective? Scott, let me ask you a really silly question, but it’s a setup question for the 2nd question. Let’s say you have a team of 10, you and 9 others. And you have a rowboat, and you wanna get that rowboat across the lake as quick as possible. There are 10 oars in that rowboat. How many of them do you want to have row with you? 10. Dan.


Bob Tiede [00:17:44]:

I told you. Silly question. Oh, nigh. But now imagine That team is seated around your conference table, and you’re trying to figure out the best way to get a new opportunity across the lake. In other words, to get it accomplished. If you’re a leader whose paradigm is my job is to tell them what to do, How many mental ores are in the water at that table?


Scott McCarthy [00:18:15]:



Bob Tiede [00:18:17]:

Yeah. But the leader who leads with questions, who leans forward, says, hey, gang. We have this opportunity. What do you all think we might do? How many mental ores potentially now are in the water?


Scott McCarthy [00:18:35]:

Yeah, 10.


Bob Tiede [00:18:37]:

All of them. And


Scott McCarthy [00:18:39]:

Makes sense.


Bob Tiede [00:18:40]:

It’s not a guarantee, Scott, But could it be that as you, ask and you get responses from that whole team that you might hear an idea you hadn’t thought of? You might hear an idea better than anything you’ve thought of.


Scott McCarthy [00:18:57]:

Oh, let me tell you. If I’m at the head of that table, there’s guaranteed to be something that I haven’t thought of and a lot many many ideas that are better than mine.


Bob Tiede [00:19:07]:

And so let’s just imagine there’s a Joe around your table, and Joe shares a brilliant idea you hadn’t thought of. And you say, Joe, that is incredible. Joe, would you lead our team in executing on that idea? How hard will Joe work?


Scott McCarthy [00:19:27]:

I would suggest because Joe has ownership now, has stake in it. You know? He’s gonna work extremely hard because Yeah. Of those reasons. Right? It’s not something that’s been slammed down his throat, but rather something he has, you know, thought up of himself and wants to kind of prove him prove himself and prove the rest of the team that, yeah, this makes sense. This can work.


Bob Tiede [00:19:50]:

And so with that, Scott, I rest my case. That’s part of why leading with questions is more effective. You get all the mental oars in the water. You may hear ideas better than yours. And now when you ask them to execute on their ideas, They own the idea because it’s theirs. They want it to be successful.


Scott McCarthy [00:20:14]:

I feel like I just went through a coaching session in the past 5 minutes. No, Bob. It it makes a lot of sense. I absolutely agree. I I like how you framed it in the ownership aspect, you know, getting our people, to take ownership of problems, you know, because we need that. Right? We we can’t be the all singing, all dancing leader of everything. And we also need to keep thinking strategically and looking strategically. So that’s a great way.


Scott McCarthy [00:20:46]:

Now, you know, obviously, I asked a lot of questions on the podcast, and, I asked a lot of questions throughout the day. But for the leaders out there listening, what are some key components of effective questions for our support? You know? How can they ask effective questions, and I really would like to hone in on, effective questions that inspire our team members because a lot of the leaders out there right now are having difficulty in that realm because a lot of people’s morale is down. We have the great resignation that’s still ongoing. Still a lot of effects from the COVID nineteen outbreak. You know, they’re talking about now potentially great recession again, so on and so forth. So, and not to mention the ongoing, you know, unfortunately, the ongoing war in Ukraine. So a lot of negative factors out there. So inspiration, you know, motivation, all those type of things.


Scott McCarthy [00:21:43]:

So what are you know, how do 1, do we ask great questions? And 2, specifically, how can we ask great questions, inspire and motivate and uplift our team members?


Bob Tiede [00:21:55]:

Scott, a a thought I wanna share, and it it’s it’s so basic and so simple. And and I think some of the greatest Leading with question type questions are so simple that they are not complicated. There’s a quote from Henry David Thoreau that I absolutely love. He once said that the greatest compliment ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought And then attended to my answer. And so when you think of people reporting to you, instead of thinking, oh, what complicated, I’m gonna have to really think hard to come up with a question. Whatever the issues are on the table, just to say gang or or 1 on 1. Joe, what do you think we might do? Just that communicates to Joe, wow. My leader thinks I’ve got a brain.


Bob Tiede [00:22:46]:

My leader values my input. My leader wants to hear what I think. And, and it’s like I say, it’s so simple. Scott, also, when I’m when I’m speaking, I ask the audience, who here would like to learn to lead with questions in 30 seconds. Well, every hand goes up because I I say the reason I asked this is I often imagine from an audience that they’d like to learn to lead with Questions, but they imagine they’ll have to get a master’s degree in questionology. You know? Nice thought, but not practical. And so 30 seconds. Wow.


Bob Tiede [00:23:24]:

So, Scott, you’re my only audience member right now. And and I’ve asked you to come up on stage with me because I think you have a photographic memory. You only have to hear my 4 favorite questions once, and you’ll have them memorized. So, Scott, are you ready? Here we go. Question number 1. Question number 1, what do you think? And it’d be about something. Number 2, what else? 3. What else? 4.


Bob Tiede [00:23:55]:

What else? Scott, do you have it memorized?


Scott McCarthy [00:24:01]:

No. Sorry. What else? What what were we talking about?


Bob Tiede [00:24:07]:

I think you do.


Scott McCarthy [00:24:09]:

Got it.


Bob Tiede [00:24:09]:

Now some folks say, but, Bob, you can’t ask what else, what else, what else. And I say, well, not in that rapid fashion, but when you ask, hey. What do you think about they’re gonna give you that first answer. And when they pause rather than just moving on, you just say, wow. Scott, that’s good. What else? And Scott will give you more. And when he pauses again, instead of just moving on, I might say, Scott, Wow. I’m I’m now taking notes.


Bob Tiede [00:24:36]:

I got my pen out. Please continue. What else? And I’ve discovered that you actually get to their gold nugget On the 3rd 4th question. And that in the past, even when I asked, what do you think? And they gave me that first answer and I moved on. I was a bit like that proverbial gold miner who mined all his life, quit. Somebody comes along later and discovers he’s within six inches of the gold vein, but he never got there. And so often asking, what do you think? And then moving on, you’re like that gold miner who, didn’t dig deep enough. And again, you asked the question, what questions fire.


Bob Tiede [00:25:18]:

Let me go down another track for just a moment, and that is ask questions that they can respond to positively instead of, hey. How far are you behind you on this project. Tell me about the progress you’ve made on you’re making on this project. It lets him answer in a positive way. You get the you get the answer to find out, but instead of them feeling threatened by the question, you. You get them to give you the positive response. And, you know, instead of, hey. What went wrong? What you what are you learning from this situation? And, again, it it creates that positive enough.


Bob Tiede [00:26:05]:

So, you know, they’d say there is no such thing as a dumb question. I think there are questions that are better than others, Especially when you want that question to motivate someone. Oh, another little thing on positive questions. I never ask a person why did you do that? Because when we ask the why question, it immediately creates a defensiveness. What’s really fascinating to me, and I learned this from another person, is that if we ask what or how, it doesn’t have that same feeling. So I observe you’ve done something, Scott. Instead of saying, Scott, why’d you do it that way? Scott, what led you to, to execute that in the way you did? It just feels different. And so I never ask a person why did you do it.


Bob Tiede [00:26:56]:

I ask them what or how. Now let me also say why can be a great question. I can ask Scott. Scott, why do you think Joe did that? The you can ask that. Or why do you think in that situation such and such happened? You can ask that. Or, Toyota came up with the 5 whys to get to the root of the the problem. 1st, you know, why did that happen? They give you an answer. Okay.


Bob Tiede [00:27:21]:

Why did that happen? Give you an answer. Why did that happen? By the time you’ve answered 5 times, you get to what the real problem was.


Scott McCarthy [00:27:33]:

No. Like, all that, I can’t can’t disagree with a single thing there. I particularly like, framing questions for the positive, you know, response. Right? And it’s really easy to go down that negative route. Buzz leaders who can’t get sucked into that negative route. Why? Because, you know, we just drive our morale down. Right? Our people morale down and then output downwards as well. And it it doesn’t help anyone.


Scott McCarthy [00:28:05]:

So that’s why to me, you know, framing those questions in a positive manner is so crucial. So definitely agree with that. And then the continuous question of, you know, why did that happen or then what, etcetera. You know, really helps dig deeper. In the military, we have a process where we go through our planning, and then we ask the question, so what? It drives us nuts. So what? So what? So what? Love it. Right? You keep you keep asking that until you hit a certain point. Right? Until you get down to the root factor or a root cause or whatever.


Scott McCarthy [00:28:44]:

So that’s the question that we keep asking is, so what? Which is effectively the same thing what you’ve said.


Bob Tiede [00:28:50]:

Scott, you just you just mentioned also morale. And, that reminded me of, true story here. Nate US Navy captain Michael De Ebershoff became commander of 1 of the USS US Navy’s modern warships, the USS Benfold. And when he took Can


Scott McCarthy [00:29:12]:

you pause for a second?


Bob Tiede [00:29:14]:



Scott McCarthy [00:29:16]:

So, I’ve read his books. He was once lined up to come on the show. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it work out. And, actually, his 1st book was given to me as what I thought was a gag gift for my brother because my brother is actually in the army as well as an enlisted, NCO. An officer. So, and it was, you know, a a book from a navy officer. So I thought it was a gag gift for Christmas. But I will say, for the listener out there, that is one of the best leadership books I’ve ever read.


Scott McCarthy [00:29:46]:

So there’s there’s my my, my, you know, my my token or my token or the 4 of, you know, gratitude and, I forget the word I’m looking for here. Anyway, carry on.


Bob Tiede [00:30:01]:

Well, when he took over command, the first thing he did to turn morale around on that ship is he had 315 minute interviews with 300 sailors on his ship, and he asked him 3 questions. And and, Scott, you’ll have these memorized Upon hearing it one time. Remember, some of the best questions are so simple. He asked those sailors, again, 1 on 1 in those interviews, what do you like best about this ship? Second question, what do you like least? 3rd question, what would you change if you could? And the captain listened. You know, by the end of 1st day, he might have only had time for 10 or 15 of these, meetings, but there was already a buzz on the ship. The new captain’s different. He actually cares what we think. And as he went through these interviews, it didn’t take long for him to identify a whole bunch of things that needed to be changed.


Bob Tiede [00:30:56]:

But, Scott, since you read the book, guess who he gave credit to when he started to announce changes?


Scott McCarthy [00:31:05]:

He gave credit


Bob Tiede [00:31:05]:

to the sailors. He he could have easily Taking credit for himself. I mean, you know, so many of these things he could what? We’re gonna fix that. I’m gonna fix that today and taking credit, but he’s such a wise leader. And, I forget the exact specifics, but when he took over, reenlistment rate was very, very low by the time he was done reenlistment rate on that ship, I think was something like 85%. That alone, save the US Navy 1,000,000 and 1,000,000 of dollars.


Scott McCarthy [00:31:43]:

Yeah. I don’t recall those stats. The interviews though, I do recall quite well. He actually did them during a lunch. He would sit with lunch with the sailors, which was also unheard of, and would enter you know, have his chat with 2 to 3 of them during his lunchtime. And, yeah, that that’s how we that’s how we got through it. So it took him, I think,


Bob Tiede [00:32:06]:

3 months. Another so, yeah, you may recall, there’s another thing he did. It didn’t have to deal with questions, but he would write letters to parents of his sailors thanking them for the great job their son was doing or daughter, depending, obviously, on who he was writing about. And he came to this one particular sailor, and he thought, he’s not that good. Should I write a letter or shouldn’t I? Well, he decided I’ll go ahead and write the letter. Well, they’re on a ship, so it takes a little while. But, One day, that sailor appears at his door. Sir, permission to speak.


Bob Tiede [00:32:49]:

Yes. He said you sent a letter to my parents. Yes. I did. He said, sir, my parents called me after they got the letter. And for the first time in my life, my dad told me he was proud of me. Wow. Thank you, sir.


Bob Tiede [00:33:10]:

He said that particular sailor became an incredible sailor and, just another way to affirm. And I thought, wow. So wise. You you write a letter to mom and dad. Who are they gonna call? They’re gonna call the son or daughter. Like I said, got a letter from your captain. Really? What what did he say? And they’re gonna read it to him on the phone. What a great way to give a compliment to someone rather than directly.


Bob Tiede [00:33:39]:

But I just love that story of how that motivated that young sailor to actually become a a, incredible sailor.


Scott McCarthy [00:33:52]:

So I did the same thing from Michael’s inspiration. I I did the exact same thing when I commanded a squadron or 200 members, and I sent out 6 letters, at the end of my, tour duty with them. And, 1 member, basically, same thing. Well, she was not, you know, she was actually a rock star. But, but what she she came to my door in my office, and she informed me that, her parents received a letter, and it was actually framed in their living room now. Wow. And and she was like, they never really understood what I did until now. So for the leaders out there listening, you know, I guess the I guess the, I guess the moral of the story here is the question you ask yourself is, you know, how can you recognize your people.


Scott McCarthy [00:34:45]:

And, you know, could you, you know, go ahead and write a letter and let them know the the, you know, the parents of the of your of your subordinates or or maybe the spouse or maybe even the kids if they have older children of what their, you know, their son, daughter, spouse, father, mother, whoever, you know, what they’re doing, the impact that they’re having what they mean to the team, the organization, so on and so forth. And I guarantee you, that will be way more impactful than, you know, a organization banquet, team, you know, team breakfast, you know, a quick certificate slap on the back and a handshake. So ah, this is, didn’t expect us to go down this route, Bob, but, it definitely it’s definitely been fantastic. Unfortunately, we’re gonna wind down here now. But before we wrap up, do you got a couple last questions for you? The first question is a question asked all the guests here at the Peak Performance Leadership Podcast. And as according to you, Bob TD. What makes a great leader?


Bob Tiede [00:35:57]:

Well, my definition over the year has changed. You know, it used to be that they’d be the one with all the answers, And now I say a great leader is one who has some of the questions, and and a great leader is one who understands that others you know, on their team may have better ideas than they have, and so they lean forward and ask, what do you think in in a firm. And, great leaders are learners because, you know, we ask questions because we don’t know the answer, And no one can know the answer to everything. So when a leader asks questions and and actually makes people reporting to him, his teacher or her teacher, on that topic. They actually endear themselves. They actually it’s like, They actually gain trust. We we think sometimes, well, the only way I can have trust is to know it all. They see right through that.


Bob Tiede [00:37:01]:

But when they see a leader who, says, I don’t know, but we need to find out, it’s like, okay. I can relate to that later because all of us think to ourselves, I don’t know everything either. And, so, Scott, that would be my answer.


Scott McCarthy [00:37:19]:

I enjoy that answer. That’s a that’s a great answer, actually, and thoroughly fitting. And then the final question of the podcast, how can people find you? How can they follow you? Shameless plug. It’s all but you know.


Bob Tiede [00:37:32]:

Well, Scott, everything I do on social media is free. But first, I’d be delighted for listeners to, go to leading with questions .com. Just run those 3 words together, leading with Questions .com. And on the bottom right, if you enter your email, you can subscribe to my blog. It’s 3, but you’ll join leaders from a 190 nations who are committed to growing their leadership effectiveness. And when you subscribe, every Monday Thursday morning well, US time, Monday Thursday morning, into your inbox Will come what I call some turnkey ready questions that you can turn right around to use, to ask your superior, your colleagues, your staff, your your clients, your, prospects, your friends or family. And then, also, I’ve written 5 books, and they’re available in multiple languages. But if you go to leading with questions .com at the top, one of the icons you can click on are is just books, And that’ll take you to the page with all the books.


Bob Tiede [00:38:38]:

And there, again, if you enter your email, you’ll be given instant access to download and save on your device. 1, 2, 3, 4, all 5, and 2 of them are also audiobooks, free m p 3, like your podcast. They can download and listen to those as they walk, run, drive, bike, whatever, even if they wanna sit in the rocking chair and listen. But thank you, Scott.


Scott McCarthy [00:39:04]:

Thank you to Bob. And for listeners always, it’s easy. What you can do is just open up the show notes, section your podcasting app. Scroll to the bottom, and the link is right there at the bottom for you always. So check that out. Bob. Again, thanks for your time. Thanks for coming out and speaking to the audience.


Scott McCarthy [00:39:22]:

And talk about this ever important topic yet so simple. Questions. And that’s a wrap for this episode, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting the peak performance leadership podcast. But you know what you could do to truly support the podcast and know that’s not leaving a rating and review? It’s simply helping a friend, and that is helping a friend by sharing this episode with them if you think this would resonate with them and help them elevate their performance level, whether that’s within themselves, their teams, or their organization. Tim. So do that.


Scott McCarthy [00:40:02]:

Help me. Help a friend. Win win all around. And, hey. You look like a great friend at the same time. So just hit that little share button on your app, and then feel free to fire this episode to anyone that you feel would benefit from it. Finally, there’s always more. There’s always more lessons around being the highest performing leader that you can possibly be, whether that’s for yourself, your team, or your organization.


Scott McCarthy [00:40:32]:

So why don’t you subscribe? Subscribe to the show via moving forward leadership .comforward/subscribe. Until next time, lead. Don’t boss, Anne. Thanks for coming out. Take care now.