35 Great Questions

Posted on August 1, 2014

These “35 Great Questions” are important to ask in order to move your company forward.

1) How can we become the company that would put us out of business?
2) Are we relevant?  Will we be relevant five years from now?  Ten?
3) If energy were free, what would we do differently?
4) What is it like to work for me?
5) If we weren’t already in this business, would we enter it today?  And if not, what are we going to do about it?
6) What trophy do we want on our mantle?
7) Do we have bad profits?
8) What counts that we are not counting?
9) In the past few months, what is the smallest change we have made that has had the biggest positive result?  What was it about that small change that produced the large return?
10) Are we paying enough attention to the partners our company depends on to succeed?
11) What prevents me from making the changes I know will make me a more effective leader?
12) What are the implications of the decision 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years from now?
13) Do I make eye contact 100 percent of the time?
14) What is the smallest subset of the problem we can usefully solve?
15) Are we changing as fast as the world around us?
16) If no one would ever find out about my accomplishments, how would I lead differently?
17) Which customers can’t participate in our market because they lack skills, wealth, or convenient access to existing solutions?
18) Who uses our product in ways we never expected?
19) How likely is it that a customer would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?
20) Is this an issue for analysis or intuition?
21) Who, on the executive team or the board, has spoken to a customer recently?
22) Did my employees make progress today?
23) What one word do we want to own in the minds of our customers, employees, and partners?
24) What should we stop doing?
25) What are the gaps in my knowledge and experience?
26) What am I trying to prove to myself, and how might it be hijacking my life and business success?
27) If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what would he do?
28) If I had to leave my organization for a year and the only communication I could have with employees was a single paragraph, what would I write?
29) Who have we, as a company, historically been when we’ve been at our best?
30) What do we stand for – and what are we against?
31) Is there any reason to believe the opposite of my current belief?
32) Do we underestimate the customer’s journey?
33) Among our stronger employees, how many see themselves at the company in the three years?  How many would leave for a 10 percent raise from another company?
34) What did we miss in the interview for the worst hire we ever made?
35) Do we have the right people on the bus?

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