I recently wrote a piece entitled The 6 Words Successful CEOs Say Everyday and the response has been overwhelming. So many of you resonated with the piece, and let us know via social media and through email what your favorite word was and why. So I thought that I would expand on the idea of these "power words" by letting our readers know what my favorite word was.
After 25 years of being a business coach, the most common complaint small to medium business owners have is their lack of time. The average business owner works 70 hours a week, yet still finds themself lacking in real quality time to work on their business. According to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Index, 57 percent of business owners in the U.S. work six days a week, and more than 20 percent of them work seven days a week. Yet, most business owners can't seem to find the time to make decisions, lay the foundation for growth or development as a leader. Which makes progress really difficult, if not impossible.
Which is why my favorite word why is such a magical one. By asking this simple question, you can quickly cut through the clutter and get to the heart of any task or project. By asking why it allows you to become crystal clear as to what you stand to gain from a project and gives you the ability to say my second favorite word: no. Asking why allows you to eliminate things that don't help you reach your business and personal objectives.
Today I said why 35 times. Here are just a few reasons I said why today.
Why are we doing this marketing campaign? What do we hope to gain from this?
Why are we hiring this new team member? What are we hoping to gain from this hire?
Why are we having this meeting? Is it worth our time to get together to discuss this matter?
Why did you bring this issue to me? Do we have the proper systems in place to handle this situation? If not, should we create one?
Why are we working on this project? Is it the best use of our time and resources to work on this project right now or is it more of a "nice to have".
Why are we launching this new product? Is this a home run for the business?
Why would this partnership be beneficial for us? Is it a good use of our time and resources to collaborate?
Why is this considered an urgent task? Is this truly an emergency or could it wait a day...or three.
When was the last time you asked why? Chances are it's been far too long and you are overdue. I want to challenge you to stretch your thinking and build up your vocabulary. Tomorrow ask why 5 times...the next day 10...and so on and so forth. The best CEO's find themselves asking why thirty plus times every single day.