Video Transcript

00:09 Robert Kaplan: Part of the job that you must do. You've got a vision, you've got priorities, you're coaching your people, you're matching your time, there's one biggie that is on every one of your plate. And you'll get to the point do you regularly look at your business with a clean sheet of paper and say, "Does what we are doing still make sense?" Because invariably after a period of years, it doesn't. Okay. In particular what are you asking, you're asking the question of alignment. "Are we in alignment? Do we have the right people? Are we covering the right customers? Do we have the right product offering? Maybe we ought to re-think our product offering? Maybe we ought to think of our product segmentation. Maybe we ought to re-think our distribution, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

00:54 Kaplan: And what I find is, most of us who start businesses are too close to it to accurately see this, take three or four of your subordinates that you think highly of, give them this assignment. I used to do this regularly, send them off for a month in addition to their day jobs. They will come back to you with fabulous advice about two three things you might wanna do. Now you may not wanna do it and warn them in advance. Now many people say to me, "Rob I can't do that, it'll freak my people out!" They'll freak out if they think we're re-thinking everything. And I've got news for you. What they learned is it's the opposite. Your people are freaking out. They're freaking out, afraid you're not asking this question. They know you're out of alignment. Their only fear is that you don't know, and you're afraid to ask the question and look at things with a clean sheet of paper. They are not afraid of you making changes, they're afraid you're asleep and isolated and you don't know.

01:51 Kaplan: So, back to where we started and I know we got truncated a little bit at the front with time. Ask... Think... Step back. Leadership is about asking questions. You don't need to have the weight of the world on your shoulders. You have an enormously valuable asset, your people. Think about your vision, priorities, matching your time, coaching and start using them, getting advice. You don't need to go out to some fortune-teller to get advice, you've got great advisors sitting in front you. And if you don't, think about how you need to rebuild your team.

Published on: Aug 29, 2012