It takes some digging to understand human behavior. Systems theories are one way to approach understanding the many interlocking variables that drive behavior.
One way to look at variables, is to develop concepts which are influencing one another and to then ask questions which hopefully will bring these concepts to life in a story form.
The the function of the interviews, that have been down with various leaders, is to bring theory alive.
Eventually there will be a more fact based way to understand the weight which should to be assigned to each variable. The we can be more clear about the impact of various forces on one’s functioning.
These questions are sent to people as a general idea of my interests in the family forces before we have dialogue. Often the questions are never asked in the interview.
Questions for consideration by those being interviewed:
1) Did your family value open relationships? An open relationship is defined as one where a person can say what he or she thinks while the other listens. The other is then is able to reciprocate by clarifying what he or she thinks without undue stress. Open relationships are thought to promote independent thinking.
2) How old were you when you could openly discuss how you chose principles/values to use as a leader.
3) How did these values fit or differ from those in your family of origin?
4) How were you able to handle criticism as a young person? And as an adult?
5) What are the qualities of important relationships that you believe promote learning?
6) What events in your early years taught you about leading?
7) Did your sibling position result in an automatic leadership position in your family?
8) Did either parent’s work inspire leadership values?
9) What are the qualities you admired in your Mom, Dad, Grandparents, Aunts, and/or Uncles?
10) What leadership qualities would family members have seen in you when were younger? And as an adult?
11) When did you first think you had achieved something worthwhile as a leader in your family or community?
12) How did your grandparents and extended family related to your parents?
13) How old were you when were you first able to articulate your values to your parents, siblings or friends?
14) How old were you when you knew you had a passion for your work?
15) How do you think about influencing co-workers, students or the broader public?
16) What were and are the economic and social forces that impact your generation’s family or professional life?
17) How accurate are you at predicting future events?
18) What are your criteria for identifying leadership qualities in others?
19) Do you have a formula for working with others?
20) How old were you when you developed a satisfactory way to understand others?