The Power of a Question - An AltMBA Reflection

Have you ever considered the incredible value of a powerful question asked at the right moment in time?

By asking the right questions, therapists help patients, lawyers attempt to find the truth and journalists uncover breaking stories. And that is just the beginning.

A question can make or break a career. A question can lead to a profound breakthrough.

That's the power of a properly timed, thoughtful question. And at the right moment, the right question can change your life.

Just like ‘will you marry me?’ can set you up for a lifetime of love and support or a lifetime of conflict and misery - questions have far more power than we like to give them credit for.

And even seemingly unassuming questions, at the proper moment, can make a world of a difference.

A ‘how are you?’ can be both a common greeting or the beginning of a great friendship depending on context, people and timing.

The question, ‘what do you want people to say about you at your funeral?’ can literally alter the direction of a person's life and choices if posed at a moment when they’re receptive.

When questions become vague, or have no right answers, or are followed up by more questions - it becomes even clearer just how powerful questions can really be.

Many times these profound questions may seem basic to start. However, when given half a chance, or left open for significant amounts of time, a question can quickly become so much more than it appears.

So why am I writing about questions?

Well, because I’ve come to realize much of what gives the AltMBA its transformative power - and what makes it so unique are the questions asked.

The questions you’re told to think about, the ones you read about, the questions your coaches and peers ask of you and the ones used in the prompts to challenge you each week.

It is the evaluation and experience of answering these various challenging questions - and how deep you’re willing to go - that changes you. This is also why it’s so hard to put the AltMBA experience into words. Because it’s not about skill building in the traditional MBA sense. Neither is it an online course watching lectures and taking exams. Instead, it is a live experience that will be unique for each cohort. It will never be the same thing twice because so much of the experience is based on you and the special mix of your peers that make it valuable. The questions and prompts may be similar, but your experience will never be replicated because every person and cohort responds differently to a well posed question.

That is the magic of a good question.

No, rather the right question, posed at an ideal time.

And all of us participating in the AltMBA are open to some extent. We are each seeking something different. We are looking to grow. We are receptive to the insight and change that a question brings to us. We want to change. We’re ready to reflect positively and powerfully.

And these questions are what makes the AltMBA more than unique - rather they make it magical.