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CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

Frank Sesno What hidden skill links successful people in all walks of life? What helps them make smart decisions? The answer is surprisingly simple: They know how to ask the right questions at the right time. Frank Sesno, CNN anchor, White House correspondent, and author of Ask More, should know. He has built an entire career on asking solid, direct, and thought-provoking questions to leaders all over the globe. In this CareerCast, Frank shares his insights, strategies, and experience on how to leverage the power of questions to open doors, uncover solutions, and spark change.

Aired February 17, 2017

Frank Sesno is an Emmy Award-winning journalist with more than thirty years of experience reporting from around the world. Widely known as an anchor, White House Correspondent, and talk show host on CNN, he has interviewed numerous leaders in government, the military, business, and the media—including five U.S. Presidents (George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter), Prime Ministers Benyamin Netanyahu and Margaret Thatcher, Jack Welch, Bill Gates, Walter Cronkite, and, when she was Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. He currently serves as Director of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, where he leads nearly two dozen world-class faculty and teaches classes on journalism ethics, sustainability reporting, documentary, and interviewing.

“For nearly four decades it’s been my job to ask questions,” Sesno declares. “From an inner-city school to a technology revolution, from the Brandenburg Gate where a president said, ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’ to the inauguration of the first African-American president, I have had the privilege of being there—watching, listening, and asking.” In his new book, ASK MORE: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change(AMACOM; January 10, 2017), Sesno makes a compelling case for cultivating and championing the art and skill of asking thoughtful questions, with insight and intention, and listening, actively and deeply, to the answers.

Sesno joined CNN in 1984 and served as White House Correspondent for seven years before becoming an anchorman. From 1996 through 2001, he served as the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief. As a CNN special correspondent, he created broadcast specials, including “Iran: Fact or Fiction,” aired as part of the acclaimed documentary series CNN Presents. For seven years, he hosted Late Night with Frank Sesno, CNN’s flagship weekend interview program. His work at the network has earned prestigious awards including several CableAce awards, a Clarion Award, and an Emmy.

Sesno is the creator and host of, a user-driven web and television project that brings students and experts together to examine innovations in sustainability and global food security. He has produced PlanetForward shows and video segments for Bloomberg Television, National Geographic, and HuffingtonPost. Sesno also launched, a nonpartisan content hub dedicated to highlighting factual information during election cycles.

Before joining CNN, Sesno served with the Associated Press Radio Network as Overseas Correspondent, based in London, and White House Correspondent. He has also created documentaries for The History Channel and National Public Radio, and worked in academia as Professor of Public Policy and Communication at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Sesno graduated cum laude with a B.A. in American History from Middlebury College, from which he later received an Honorary Doctorate. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change by Frank Sesno and Wolf Blitzer (2017)

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 12 Powerful Tools for Leadership, Coaching, and Life by Marilee G. Adams Ph.D. (2016)

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger (2016)

Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership by John C. Maxwell (2016)

4,000 Questions for Getting to Know Anyone and Everyone by Barbara Ann Kipfer (2015)

Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions by Knowing What to Ask by Michael J. Marquardt (2014)

Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling by Edgar H Schein (2013)

Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas (2012)

Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking by M. Neil Browne and Stuart M. Keeley (2011)

The Complete Book of Questions: 1001 Conversation Starters for Any Occasion by Garry D. Poole (2003)

Ask More by Frank Sesno

Read an excerpt of Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change by Frank Sesno and Wolf Blitzer

Read the Excerpt