Dec 6, 2018
Questions Help Us Focus
This episode will cover different areas of a business by asking
questions to help identify opportunities. Though you may not have
answers for all of these questions today, they will start the
thinking process and give you an inventory of questions today that
you can use as a reference for future thinking, either for you or
Having a clear picture of what you are working to create helps
guide decisions when things get muddy. An inspiring dream gives us
energy when we’re feeling bogged down. And when we’re not around,
the answers for these questions create clarity for our team which
can help them to stay on track:
- Who am I working to become? An organization will always
struggle to grow beyond its leader, so I need to have a picture of
who I’m continually working to become. This should drive reflection
of how I’m doing and what I need to be working on.
- In 10 years, a reporter from a magazine does a story about my
operation. What do I want the headline to say? This addresses what
you want someone to say about your operation—what’s important to
you and you really want to create.
Looking now at the people on your team, ask yourself these
- What indicators do I have whether my team is top-notch? What
behaviors would I see from such a team? How would people in a
top-notch organization interact with one another? Now—how does that
differ from what I experience with my team today?
- If there’s an employee who’s giving me headaches—knowing what I
know now, would I hire this person today? How would I feel if I got
a call tomorrow that this person was resigning? If their
resignation wouldn’t bother you, maybe it’s time for a candid
Business System Questions
How we accomplish things is a function of the systems in our
business—systems which may be written or unwritten:
- If this person were to be gone for a month, what jobs would not
get done? This question helps assess need to undertake
documentation of critical systems. Documentation of processes a)
forces us to look at how we are doing things and open up further
questioning on whether there’s a better way to do them; and b)
gives us peace of mind that the critical business systems can
continue, even if something happens or someone cannot be
Skill & Expertise Questions
For effective results, the business must be good at some critical
- What is something that I am exceptional at? What comes easier
to me than to others? Often we look at our deficiencies first, but
it’s just as important to know what you’re good at and have as a
- What skills does the business need to move forward? Maybe it’s
employee training, coaching from an outside source, honing your own
skills in an area—identify competency gaps with potential to hold
the business back.
Leadership Responsibility Questions
- What is something only I can do? This question shows the value
you give to the business. As the operation grows, you won’t be able
to do everything you used to do. It’s important to recognize which
things only you can do.
- What is something you do which you can no longer afford to do?
Classical economics says with growth comes specialization. In order
to specialize, we have to give up some of the stuff we used to
Thanks for listening! Email me any questions or comments at
firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next week!