I’d like to share three meaty posts with you. First up is a post from Sam Decker called 20 Questions to Develop Your Business. Whether we work internal to an organization or have our own business, these are excellent questions. Here’s a bit:
"A few months ago a friend who owns a retail furniture store asked me to help him develop his business. My first step was to understand his business, where he had gaps…and also find out what he didn’t know (but should). I came up with this list of 20 questions.
As important as the answers are to these, it’s as important that you CAN answer them. These aren’t all the questions that you could ask, but these were the ones that first lept to the top of the heap for me."
Particularly telling is the following question: "What do you think are the top three things keeping you from achieving success?" Not that I think most people would accurately answer this question – but even their incorrect answer is telling. I have found that many people do not see the key barriers in their way and identify meaningless things as barriers. Check out Sam’s post and see if you can answer the 20 questions!
The second post comes from Mark over at Manager Tools in this enticingly named post called, May I Save You $5,000? And some embarrassment? Well, yes, you may! Anyway, this is a great post about the common disconnect between what we say is important and what our daily choices reveal is actually important. Here’s a snippet:
"Whenever I´m engaged by an executive to coach them, one of my first (if not THE first) actions is to request their schedule for the previous 3-6 weeks. I want an answer to a question I don´t want them to hear me asking: what is it that you DO? How do you spend your time? Because what you DO really IS what your priorities ARE.
Let me say that again, differently. Your "priorities" are what you DO. The inferential proof of what´s important to you is how you spend your time. Your BEHAVIOR is the pigment on your life´s strategic canvas.
I usually set the calendar aside, and then in our first meeting, I ask them one or more of these questions: "What are your priorities? What do you consider most important in your role? What do you see as the primary responsibility of your role?"
You can guess what happens next. Would you get caught in this trap? Yes, of course you would. Most of us would on an average day. When I have a peak day/hour it is because these two things – importance and attention – are in alignment.
The third post comes from Skip over at Random Thoughts of a CTO in a post called, Deming and His 14 Points. Skip offers a kick butt summary of Deming’s 14 points – many of which I think are brilliant and most of which are ignored my managers (unfortunate). It will be no surprise to my regular readers that I selected this one to quote: