10 Questions for Every Leader

June 25, 2009

If you are a leader, here are 10 great questions posed by Bill Taylor, the cofounder of Fast Company.

  1. Do you see opportunities the competition doesn't see? Or, are you out-thinking your rivals?
  2. Do you have new ideas where to look for new ideas? Consider looking at other industries for thoughts about new segments, products, etc.
  3. Are you the most of anything? Your company (or product) can't be everything to everyone, so who is your target and what are you doing to separate yourselves in the eyes of your customer?
  4. If your company went out of business tomorrow, who would you miss and why? Or put another way...what really matters?
  5. Have you figured out how your organization's history can help shape it's future? Learn from the past and use it to evaluate future options.
  6. Can your customers live without you? If the answer is yes....right NOW would be a good time to figure out how to change that view, and quickly.
  7. Do you treat different customers differently? Remember, not all customers are created equal. Focus on those that are core to your product and mission.
  8. Are you getting the best contributions from the most people? Surrounding yourself with a team of advisors and having a sense of humility is critical.
  9. Are you consistent in your commitment to change? Set your vision, manage your financial plan and be the constant driving force in your company.
  10. Are you learning as fast as the world is changing? Simply stated, what are you doing to stay sharp?

As you think about these questions, how will you take your answers into your role within your organization? Whether you are a CEO reviewing your business strategy, a CFO modifying a financial plan, or a manager developing a marketing strategy for a new product launch these are thought provoking questions are sure to get you thinking about your organization.