In this column I have talked a lot about the questions that you should ask as a business owner. In fact, I think that sitting down once or twice a week to look at where you have been and where you’re going is crucial to growing and scaling a successful business.
Today, I wanted to talk about the questions that you should ask as a leader. Whether you are a CEO, a C-suite executive or even a department manager these questions will help you get a good feel for how you and your team are doing, and find ways that you can improve over the next year or quarter.
Be ruthlessly honest in answering these four questions. Let your insights help you accelerate your ongoing growth as a business leader and the success you enjoy. I encourage our own business coaching clients to do a similar exercise every quarter to track their progress and you should do the same.
1. In general, are you doing fewer things each week, with the few that you do mattering a whole lot more to the company?
Do you get that you aren’t the best person to do everything and, instead, have you narrowed your focus to those limited few activities that let you contribute your best value to the company?
Remind yourself as often as needed that a frenzy of chaotic activity is not the hallmark of a great business leader-; rather, it is a symptom of an immature one.
The best thing you can do for your business is to focus on the 1% of tasks that account for 50% of your value.
2. Does your team have more strategic depth today than it had last quarter?
Here at Maui Mastermind, we make it a point each quarter to look for ways that we can cross train our staff on various tasks within the company. Over time you will find yourself building a less owner reliant company, and be able to take vacations and time away without hurting or slowing down your business.
At the end of each quarter, review your notes from last quarter and rate yourself on how your strategic depth has improved over the last 90 days, and then look for ways to further develop your depth over the next 90.
3. Are you growing your next generation of leaders to be strong, capable business leaders for your company?
Another question to ask yourself each quarter, has to do with how well you are training and mentoring those under you. Are you helping your team grow and lead within their own departments? Are they able to take on more tasks and make more decisions without you being present? Both are signs that you are moving in the right direction.
4. Do you regularly ask your team, “What do you think we should do?” instead of just reactively solving their problems and doing their work for them?
Good leaders allow their team to shine. Asking them for their advice is one way that you can help them grow and develop and share their ideas with the team.
How did you score? Did you grow as a leader or did you find a few areas that need some improvement?