In every class that involves reading, I have always been told to mark the spot in the book where it mentions the title of the book. Wherever that title mention was located, that spot in the plot was going to be one of the most significant parts of the book. In some books, I had to sift through each line to find that title mention, but in others, I found it right away. In A More Beautiful Question, that title mention was on the third page. It came in the form of a quote by E.E Cummings (one of my favorite quote creators), “Always the beautiful answer/who asks a more beautiful question,” and it set the premise for the entire book.
The very first section of the books discusses the power of inquiry, but it never outright tells us what that power is. There really isn’t one answer to what that “power” is. Rather than being defined in one answer, this “power” is defined as a process. This process is divergent thinking; the process through which you generate brand new ideas through discovery, exploration, and of course, questioning. Divergent thinking is the idea that there is not only more than one answer, but there are also multiple ways to get to those answers.
Inquiry is a process and the beauty of it is that it never really stops just how we never really stop being leaders. Before I go any further, I want you to stop and reflect on why there is such a thing as leadership.
I’m guessing you tried to come up with an answer…but why? When someone asks a question, you’re supposed to come up with an answer, right? Why not question why they’re asking you that question? Why not turn your answer into a question? I know this sounds like cyclical process that would never really accomplish anything, but think about why we have answers. From day one, we’ve been trained to find the answers because that gets us to a destination. But does there have to be a destination for every question?
If you see leadership as a process and not as a destination, you are able to focus more on why you are leading rather than what you should be doing as a leader. Leadership is not stagnant; It is not a destination. It is a process propelled by people like you inquiring about all those “whys” surrounding you. Those “beautiful questions” E.E Cummings talked about are beautiful because they create, instigate, and motivate. As Ambassadors, we are all idea creators, inquiry instigators, and people motivators; we’re leaders.
Reflection Question: What is your beautiful question and how did you discover it?