Leadership Insights: 10 Questions

Author Gary Cohen starts our new occasional series called Leadership Insights. We provide deep insights into the minds of thought-leaders, practitioners, and everyday experts in the areas of Leadership Development, Organizational Health, and Personal & Professional Growth.


These Leadership Insights come from an interview with Cali & Jody, authors of Why Work Sucks! And What are You Going to do about it!

Gary Cohen:

What are your top 10 questions you ask your clients to move them forward toward a Results-Oriented Work Environment (ROWE)? These are the key questions that organizations need to ask themselves in order to move toward ROWE are based on what Cali & Jody call the 13 Guideposts:

Cali & Jody Questions

1) Are people in your organization able to make common sense decisions about what they work on and what they don’t work on, as long as they reach their outcomes? [And not just the “senior” people, but everyone]

2) Do you have core hours? Why?

3) Is every meeting in your organization optional? EVERY meeting?

4) What time is it on the clock when people are “coming in late” to your office? What time is it when they’re “coming in early”?

5) How many hours do you expect people to work – in a day? In a week? Why?

6) If someone is going to not work on a Thursday, do they submit vacation time?

7) How are your employees available when they’re not working?

8 ) Who do your employees need to tell if they’re going to leave the office for 3 hours and go to a movie?

9) How clear and measurable are your employees’ goals and expectations?

10) How do you know if your employees are reaching their outcomes?


Gary asks Cali & Jody some great questions. They answer the questions in the context of before and after the ROWE training.


Gary Cohen:

As a leader, what are the questions that I was likely asking in the Pre-ROWE environment to align, engage, motivate, & hold co-workers accountable? And what do those questions change to in the new, post-ROWE environment?


Cali & Jody:

As a leader, there are questions you might be asking today that you think are engaging and motivating employees, and helping them to hold each other accountable. However, the ROWE mindset might change them. Here are some examples:


“Let’s get everyone together next Friday for a barbecue.” Or “Let’s plan an off-site teambuilding event.”


Team socialization is driven by the team, not the manager. If a team is experiencing low engagement in the work, it won’t be solved by spending more time together – it could, in fact, make the situation worse!


“Let’s congratulate Eric for the great job he did on his last project. He actually gave up Thanksgiving dinner with his family and came in last weekend to meet his deadlines.”


“Let’s congratulate Eric for the great job he did on his last project. His outcome was to deliver a system for delivering our product that would improve customer satisfaction by 10 points. The system he created has done just that!” [No mention of time, hours, or effort – the praise is for the end outcome]


“I’ve noticed that you’ve been falling short on your expectations over the last few months. Let’s have you come back into the office vs. working at home and see if things improve.”


“I’ve noticed that you’ve been falling short on your expectations over the last few months. What can I do to assist you? Are you clear on the expectations?” [No reference to where the work is happening]

How well is your organization doing at answering these 10 questions with honesty and integrity. How do these questions make you feel about how you are running your business. If you work for a “traditional” organization, how would ROWE help your group free up intellectual capital and motivation within the ranks? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Gary Cohen
is Author, Speaker (on leadership) & Executive Coach at CO2 Partners
He can be reached at

Image Sources: sedelmynt.se, images3.wikia.nocookie.net

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Leave a Reply