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The Stupid Question Trump Asked That Increased My Respect for His Leadership Abilities

I don't agree with everything that Trump says. But listening to a White House meeting that Trump conducted the other day, he asked one “stupid” question that increased my opinion of him as a leader.

“You take a solid flu vaccine, you don't think that would have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?” he said.

“No… probably none,” Mr. Schleifer immediately replied.

People crucified Trump for that question.

I couldn't help but admire the guy for asking it.

The thing is, leaders can't be afraid to ask questions that make them look stupid. Asking questions is how you get answers. Questions are also an excellent way to make others think and move things forward.

I've sat in many board meetings where high-level executives and fellow board members with decades of business experience asked “stupid” questions. Sometimes those “stupid” questions turned out to be not so stupid after we talked about it a bit too.

I'd much rather see someone ask the question and look stupid than have the business fail because they didn't understand the situation. Leaders who pretend to have all the answers are the ones that drive an organization into the ground rather than risk losing face.

People don't become leaders by being afraid to ask questions. The ability to ask questions until you understand the material is one of the hallmarks of a great leader. John Maxwell wrote an entire book on the subject called “Good Leaders Ask Great Questions.”

Mr. Trump, thanks for asking the “dumb” questions. There are no easy answers to this crisis, so keep asking those until you find one that isn't so dumb.

Don Smith

Don Smith is a business coach with decades of experience. Happily married with five children, he lives in Springfield, Illinois. To work with Don, please click here.