• Tony Richards

5 Questions Leaders Relentlessly Ask About Their Company

The best leaders work hard to keep their company’s performance at a peak level. They work long and hard to make sure their organization is operating well.

They keep a keen dedication to excellence and remain engaged in executing it.

Here are 5 questions leaders continually ask to make sure their organization is doing the same.

1. Do my people know what our organization stands for?

Take the time to closely look at your Mission Statement and/or Vision. Are they nice sounding words in which your people are or are not connected? If there is a disconnect between the cultural plan for your organization and what people are doing on a daily basis, it’s difficult to believe your people think you stand for anything important or anything at all. Your people will not proceed to a high level in this mode of operation. People typically only go to better places when they are led there. How can you continually teach what you stand for and where you are going?

2. Are we competing hard every day?

Market competition is fierce, especially in tighter economic conditions such as these. I’m certainly a huge advocate for creating fun in the workplace, especially if you can have fun as a team. On the other hand, if we want to be competitive, we must compete. When it’s work time, are we competing every time out? People have a tendency to think about the opposite scenario wherever they are. Example: They think about fun stuff when it’s work time and work stuff when it’s fun time. What can you do to keep this right side up and make sure your people are competing when it’s competition time?

3. Do people believe our values matter?

This ties into question #1, your core values are the ethical guiding forces for behavior in your company. People typically know doing something illegal gets them into big trouble. On the other hand, what about the employee who plays politics or gossips about another employee? What about the way your people behave themselves in vendor relationships? How do they treat customer issues? If one of your people acts in a condescending manner toward an outside person during a meeting, is there coaching or consequences? Values awareness, teaching, leadership modeling & coaching in these areas make a huge difference.

4. Is this the best version we can be?

Have we peaked? Are we at the height of our version of the Roman Empire? Is it downhill or very slow growth from here? No leader wants to believe this, but these are powerful questions to guide your observations. Leadership is about fighting the status quo and making things better. What needs improvement in our company to lead us toward the next transformation into being a better version of us?

5. What am I doing as a leader to set the best example?

If the previous four questions don’t propel you into enough to keep you busy, this question certainly will. In order to set the best example, you must already have a firm grasp on the key issues at hand and mix in a healthy amount of helping your team see the issues clearly for themselves. Remember, it’s one thing to explain a problem to someone and it’s quite another for them to see it for themselves. How can you get them to see it, once you have? Then you can follow up with modeling your leadership from there.

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