“In all affairs, it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” – Bertrand Russell
Sometimes as leaders in our organizations we spend so much time executing and implementing that we don’t spend enough time asking whether we’re executing & implementing the right things. Questioning fundamental beliefs is a critical part of being a leader. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself and your organization.
What do our customers really value? Too many times we think we know the answer. Too many times we decide in advance what we think the answer is because it’s something we already know how to provide, or could provide without having to make a lot of change, or could provide without spending much money, or it’s something we would value. But is it really what they value? Whether it’s business or life, our job is to provide value to others. We should be constantly questioning whether we’re really doing that.
What do our people really value? What is it our people really want in an employer? What are they really looking for in a job or career? Too often as leaders we project what we want onto them. Stop and think about what they really want. Related bonus question: Should you give them what they want? You could argue that as an employer you need to, but I’d argue that’s only true to a point. At some point if someone wants things you aren’t comfortable giving, perhaps they shouldn’t be with you.
What do you really value? Most organizations take for granted that their key people or their management team are really engaged, really happy with what they’re doing, really excited to be part of the organizations, etc. Is that really true? Do you feel good about what you’re getting from your role? Do you feel good about what you’re able to give in your role? The rest of the business isn’t going to be engaged if you aren’t. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself if that’s still true.
How often are you challenging your organization’s beliefs about these things? There are a lot of people out there doing what they’ve always done because nobody ever stops to ask if it’s the right thing. Don’t be that leader. Ask the questions.