I’m an interviewer at heart. These days, when I meet just about anyone, I approach a first conversation with the mindset of a learner and the goal of really digging into the stuff that normal small talk won’t touch on.
This is a list of questions I’ll ask just about anyone I find interesting (and just asking them can make anyone interesting and interested). I’m posting them here in reserve and in reminder for use when I meet with phenomenally successful people. The goal? Asking the questions you won’t normally get answers for in their public interviews and appearances.
Who are “successful people”? I admit that I’m skeptical of how much the term “success” is thrown around, often without definition. For my working, evolving definition, I’ll say that a “successful person” by my standards is the following:
Successful Person, n. – Someone who is in the process of achieving mastery over the conditions of their own existence. They do not suppress reality or ignore it – they work with it. They have come to a place where they enjoy the process of being.
By that definition, a successful person could be a tennis star Serena Williams, BB&T CEO John Allison, or your old farmer grandfather who never lies, always keeps his word, and is just happy as a clam.
My Questions for Successful People: A Work in Progress
- What is one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with most strongly?
- What is one piece of unconventional advice that you disagree with most strongly?
- What was your biggest mistake? What helped you to identify it? What helped you to get over it?
- What is your biggest weakness? What helped you to identify it? What helps you to get over it?
- What do you do to gain self-awareness when everyone is out to flatter you?
- When are you closest to a state of “flow”? How do you get there?
- How did you find your definition of success? What is it?
TO BE CONTINUED…