Mon, Sep 2, 2013
THE BOTTOM LINE
Questions can be more important than answers. Good CEOs know this. Among the questions: “What don’t I know that could kill me?” And “Am I pushing too hard or not hard enough?”
BUILT INTO MUSCLE MEMORY
It is NOT that they do it every day, just periodically. Good CEOs challenge their own assumptions and their own knowledge and routinely do it to others. They also imagine scenarios beyond those for which they are planning. “What if….” is a frequent question not only to test assumptions, strategy and plans but also how the organization may have to adapt in the face of change. And peeling the artichoke back until the heart is revealed by a series of “Why?” and “Why you believe that” questions.
The very best CEOs and business owners work hard to develop a culture where it is safe for all to ask such questions, even expected.
In 1988, Richard Neustadt and Ernest May wrote: “Thinking in Time, The Use of History for Decision-Makers.” I find it is timeless (no pun intended). Do I know all I could? How could I find out what i really need to know? Is the analogy in my head a good one or flawed? Let’s decide how to think about “this” before we decide “what to do about this.”
The book is still available on Amazon.com.
That’s just my view. What’s yours?