As a Leader, 5 Vital Questions to Ask Yourself

Ask and answer these questions regularly to get laser focus clarity around your team’s productivity and you can improve goal-setting, and more effectively lead and inspire performance among your team.

Question #1: Do I have the right talent?

Great leaders are purposefully and strategically surrounding themselves with talented people. These employees are working alongside their leaders and behind the scenes, driving productivity, profitability, and overall success. Studies have shown that 80% of turnover is directly tied to bad hiring decisions—and turnover is expensive!

Question #2: Ask ‘What’s the goal?’ often

Starting with you and then moving out to the frontlines of your team, determine whether everyone’s has a good grasp of their major goals. Pull employees aside and ask “What are your goals?” or “How are you performing against your goals?” If individuals struggle with articulating their goals, describing activities they are doing instead, you’ve got your answer – not clear!

Goal clarity is vital – cultures that embrace a “What’s the goal?” mindset are more productive – ask often… It’s powerful!  

Question #3: Do we have goal alignment with other departments?

High performing companies are strategically aligned through goal alignment across departments. EX: goal is to reduce overtime so you cut customer service hours, yet the customer service department gets flooded with more calls during its fewer open hours, hurting the customers’ experience and productivity. This is goal misalignment.

Question #4: Are we holding people accountable?

Real accountability requires sheer discipline if it is going to work. Regularly scheduled accountability meetings where performance is discussed, reported (and measured progress) is an excellent to keep everyone focused on the goals. These meetings also provide insight into what is and is not working and who needs coaching.

Question #5: How are we performing against the competition?

Knowing your competition gives you an opportunity to create a competitive advantage. Ask your team to explore how they’d feel if they could do something new or different relative to the competition. Then inspire their productivity, giving your employees the freedom and support necessary for developing cutting-edge solutions that align to the company’s goals

As we head into a new year and for many companies as you create new goals, this is an opportunity to embrace these concepts and put into action regularly.


Source: “The Disciplined Leader: Keeping the Focus on What Really Matters” by John Manning