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Do you sometimes wonder whether you really have what it takes to lead? Just asking that question puts you a step ahead of the rest of the pack, according to the book What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential (Harvard Business Review Press/available now). Author Robert Steven Kaplan contends that it's more important to ask good, honest questions of oneself, rather than pretending to have all the answers. Such questions should be designed to help you diagnose your strengths and weaknesses, analyze problems and change course when needed. Here, we highlight five key leadership questions from the book to get you started, and shed insight on next steps to take to help you respond effectively to each one. Kaplan is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. He was previously a vice-chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group.

This article was originally published on 09-14-2011
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