We are defined as much by the questions we do not ask as the questions we do.

Seth Godin penned a blog post a few weeks back called Questions for the Founder. In it, he poses some questions that may or may not be apparent, depending on your point of reference.

It got me thinking, what are the questions we are not asking that we should be?

We, as business owners and leaders, find ourselves in a difficult position today because there is as much we are unsure of as there is the other. COIVD-19 has flipped most businesses on their heads, and many leaders find themselves questioning their future today as at any stage of their lives.

The funny thing is, they should not be.  COVID-19 has changed the business landscape in many ways, but business basics remain the same.

The underlying truth is, has been, and always will be, that people buy from people they trust. Potential buyers tend to trust people who listen to them, understand their needs, and provide value.

So, moving beyond all the anxiety, all the unknowns, and all the pressure, we need to ask ourselves a short series of questions:

  • What is the value that I/we bring to the market?
  • How does it solve problems in unique ways?
  • Who precisely does it solve problems for?
  • Why should those people care about me/us?
  • How do I communicate with this specific audience in a meaningful way?

If you and everyone within your company can answer these questions, you are probably further ahead than you think, and on the path to success.

The big trick is to not only have you know the answers to these questions, but your entire staff also needs to understand them and realize how they, individually and collectively, play a part in corporate success.

It has to go beyond platitudes and mission / vision – and value statements written on a wall and never lived, understood, or believed.

Do your people understand the business’s purpose? Have they internalized it, believed in it, and lived it? Prove it!

Do you, as a senior leader, live your purpose so your people see what you do and what you say as congruent? Prove it!

Do the policies, procedures, actions, and decisions made daily reflect who you are as a company and why you do what you do? Prove it!

Do you communicate your purpose in actions and words beyond the office walls so that clients internalize what you believe, understand your actual value to them, and are compelled to work with you? Prove it!

Do you understand what is holding you back from being seen as valuable by your employees and clients, and are you willing to do the hard work necessary to rectify this? Prove it!

None of these questions are easy to answer, nor should they be. However, they are critical to your and every business’s survival.

These are the questions no one likes to ask because they are afraid of the answers. However, if not asked, then success, as defined by you, is impossible.

I urge you to ask vendors, strategic partners, clients, and employees what are the questions I am not asking you that is hurting our chances for success?

The answers you get will be humbling, insightful, and can put you in a much better place.

Here is wishing everyone health, safety, and long-term success.

Connect with Ben HERE to discuss how to provide your people with the skills and mindset they need to lead teams effectively into the new normal.