The Power of Asking Questions

The Power of Asking Questions

Never make a statement when you can ask a question.

About R. Lawrence Moss, M.D.

  • President and CEO of Nemours Children’s Health System
  • 26 years as a pediatric surgeon, including 7 years as surgeon-in-chief at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and the E. Thomas Boles Jr. Professor of Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • The inaugural chief of surgery at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, and the Robert Pritzker Professor of Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine

R. Lawrence Moss has worn many different hats on his way to becoming president and CEO of Nemours Children's Health System, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. Following 26 years as a pediatric surgeon, Moss served as a biomedical researcher, educator and health system executive. Along the way, he recalls one piece of advice that has shaped his management style.

"One of the wisest people I've ever had the privilege to work with gave me this leadership tip—it's very simple: When you're a leader, never make a statement when you can ask a question," says Moss, M.D., FACS, FAAP. "I benefit most when I hear other people and they feel free to speak their ideas."

Another benefit of more questions, according to Moss—fewer misunderstandings.

"When you're in a leadership role, there's a megaphone attached to everything you say," he says. "There are often nuances that can be interpreted in ways that you may not have intended, so I try to ask as many questions as I can."

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