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Five Quality Questions Every CEO Should Ask

“The quality of questions you ask determines the quality of your life.”

Smelling the freshly brewed coffee in my hand, I began pondering over the phrase: quality of questions. It occurred to me that as most of our lives are driven on an auto-pilot mode, we seldom pause and reflect on the questions we ask ourselves.

A couple of examples flashed through my mind. Instead of asking – “What can I do to overcome the COVID-19 crisis?”, how about changing the the question to – “What is the first step I need to take NOW that can help us overcome the COVID-19 crisis?”

No sooner had this question cropped up in my mind than I felt empowered to act.

I realized that one way to weigh your question on the quality scale is to put an action verb with a timeline in it.

The McKinsey report on 5 Questions for CEOs

Recently, McKinsey came up with a thought-provoking article on “The digital-led recovery from COVID 19: Five Questions for CEOs”. I quite liked the questions the authors listed. This article is the inspiration behind today’s Tuesday Thoughts.

Today, my attempt is to help you phrase a question to get empowering results. Ask a poor question, and you will get a disempowering result. Ask a quality question, you will get results that are far-reaching.

Here are the top 5 top quality questions CEOs should ask:

  • What are the three things that I should do today to meet my monthly/quarterly goal?
  • What is the one step I should take today to address the top 3 challenges of my customers?
  • What action should I take today to make my business sustainable and future-ready?
  • What is the one small or big step I can take today to retain my customers and my top talent?
  • What are the investments that I need to make today in the technology environment to allow my company to thrive in the next normal? (McKinsey)

Give it a try and answer these questions today aiming on quality. See how the answers will give a fillip to your results.

In a crisis situation, instead of ruminating over the idea of ‘I’m going to lose my customer, my talent or my job’, and feeling anxious and flabbergasted, just change the question to – ‘OK. I know the situation is unpredictable, but what is the one thing I can do today to turn it around?’

You’ll be amazed at the revelations that follow.

Let me know your thoughts, and the quality of the questions.

I read this out loud, as I casually browsed through Anthony Robbins’ all-time best seller ‘Awaken the Giant Within’, early Sunday morning. The quote hit me like a bolt.

By: Venkat Nanduri

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