Tough Questions To Answer Before You Shape The Future Of Your Business, Your Teams And Yourself
Author: Jean-Francois Cousin
When was the last time you paused and asked yourself how do I need to evolve as a strategist, a leader and a person to best shape the future of my business, my teams and myself? That’s a question I often ask senior leaders the first time I meet them. And most exclaim, “too long ago!” When my eyes repeat the query, they usually add, somewhat apologetically, “before the latest crisis.”And that can’t be right.
Albert Einstein is often credited with saying, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Crises are no excuse. On the contrary, they are calling us all to reflect and bravely decide what sort of future we want to shape and who we must be to create it.
Tough Questions To Ask Yourself Now
I invite you to ponder and jot down the most crucial questions you need to tackle to ensure the well-being and optimal growth of your business, your teams and yourself. Take your time. Einstein is also often credited with saying, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
Next, contrast the questions you wrote with the inquiries below. I chose these questions because they triggered important, transformative dialogs with more than 100 leaders I coached over the past 18 months. We will start from the big picture and progressively zoom in on you.
Shaping A Greater Future For Your Business
Let’s first look at your business as a whole.
• How are your world and business views evolving?
• What can sink your business?
• What do you still have to learn before you define your strategy? Are you in sync and up to date on what’s happening on your organization’s frontline and your customers’ experience?
• Which are your must-win battles?
• Which strategy will place your company ahead of the trends and your competitors?
• Which resources do you need to commit to get there at speed and at scale?
• Which execution flaws do you need to fix in your organization?
• What do you need to stop to set your business on a smarter and safer path?
• How must your company culture evolve to attract, delight and retain great customers and top talents?
• What hard decisions do you need to make now — imperfect as they may be?
Shaping A Greater Future For Your Teams
Keeping in mind your ambition to shape a greater future for your business, let’s hone in on those you lead.
• Why would people trust and follow you on the path ahead?
• How can you make your people feel — as much as you do — the imperative of change for growth and success?
• What can you do to secure adequate buy-in and support from your board of directors?
• How will your strategy impact your people — notably their engagement and their skill development?
• How can you capture more of your employees’ hearts?
• How can you further empower your people to lead the needed cultural changes in your organization?
• How can you catalyze greater energy, collective intelligence and agility in your teams?
Shaping A Greater Future For Yourself
Lastly, and most essentially, let’s reflect on your evolving position as a strategist, a leader and a person. These questions will help you to mobilize your full power for the path ahead.
• How long will you stay in good shape at your current level of stress?
• What do you need to make happen to sustain your stamina and sharpness for a very long time?
• How are prolonged crisis times transforming you as a strategist, as a leader and as a person?
• Who do others say you are as a leader?
• Who do you need them to say you are as a leader?
• What is holding you back from becoming that leader?
• What more can you do to provide your loved ones with what they need from you now?
• How can you invest more time in what matters most going forward?
Taking It All Forward
I invite you to tackle the questions — in your list and mine — now. What is it that you feel a most pressing need to do? Challenging as it may be to answer, you can do it, for, as Lao Tzu is credited with saying millennia ago, “at the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
When you are done, I suggest you write down the three most important actions you want to take right away, to start making the difference you aspire to. Then, schedule a date for you to pause and ask yourself again how you need to evolve as a strategist, a leader and a person to best shape the future of your business, your teams and yourself.
Click here to access the article from the Forbes website