“What do you need?” has to be one of the most powerful questions that I have ever learned to ask. I have seen it transform businesses, leaders, and employees when it is asked. I have watched it change the culture of businesses and non-profits. I still chuckle quietly when missionaries and ministries say, “You really mean it? No one ever asks us that.”
“What do you need?” is a powerful question. Answering it unlocks revelations, revolutions, restorations, and allows the unthinkable to be accomplished.
Last year, I helped train and lead a team of 8 people from the United States who lead a group of 25 Mexican volunteers to buildout a 16,000 square foot auditorium in 9 days. I stayed after the teams left and watched 700 young people occupy that space for a week of challenging leadership training. I continue to hear how those 700 teens are changing their communities.
It would be enough that any 8 trained contractors with 25 skilled laborers would buildout a two story hight building of this size but that isn’t what happened. None of the 8 or the 25 were builders by trade, none electricians, none plumbers, none framers. And the entire project began by asking an incredible Mexican missionary, “What do you need?” They needed a building and needed it by the third week in March. They had no money and no skills. That simple question fueled a bigger-than-life dream and accomplishment for 34 human being who will never forget the outcome.
There isn’t time or space here to share the stories of relationships restored, companies turned around, higher employee retention, increased profits, or church cultures that truly help and heal individuals. But there is time to tell the world, “What do you need?” might be the most powerful question, the most powerful agent of change, and the most focusing question ever asked.
It is a powerful question when asked from a child to a parent. Powerful when asked from a husband to a wife, when asked from an employee to a boss or from a boss to an employee. This simple question unlocks discussion, dreams, hurts, fears, and challenges. This simple question provides a launching pad to do incredible things for those who work for us, live with us, and those we serve as parents, children, and employees.
Living a life where one of your main goal is to really do what those around you need to be done is powerful. How many bosses would love a team that sought to do what was needed that day? How many workers would love to have a boss that wanted to give them the resources that they needed for the company to succeed? How many of us would like to follow or lead people who really wanted to answer this question?
Whether it is for your life or the lives and work of those around you, asking and helping answer this question might be one of the most powerful things you ever do.
How do you ask this question in your life?