Many companies and even entire industries can be traced back to a question—but they’re usually not as odd as this one. In 1965, Dwayne Douglas, a football coach at the University of Florida, wondered, Why aren’t the players urinating more after the games? The coach was baffled because he knew his players were drinking water on the sidelines; what he didn’t realize was that they were sweating away more fluids than could be replaced with water. Douglas shared his question with J. Robert Cade, a professor of renal (kidney) medicine at the university—who set about formulating a drink that could replace the electrolytes lost through sweat. Cade’s mixture was first tested on the freshman football team—who proceeded to defeat the upperclassmen in a practice session. The drink became known as Gatorade (named after the team mascot) and helped launch a sports drink industry now worth almost $20 billion.
A few Question quotes
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Want to be a better critical thinker? Questions can be a powerful way to spot false narratives and “weaponized lies.” Read more about it in this article I wrote for The Atlantic’s Quartz.com.
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I don’t know if they qualify as “beautiful questions” but there’s something oddly fascinating about the imaginative questions that band leader Reggie Watts asks the guests of James Corden’s The Late Late Show.
At the 2016 Capital Coaches Conference I’ll be discussing my belief that coaches, who already know the power of great questions, should teach their clients how to become beautiful questioners themselves.
In The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, by Michael Bungay Stanier, Michael shares 7 powerful questions that can make someone a better leader or manager.