Ask yourself these three questions to stay at your best

It’s easy to lose track of the things that are necessary to stay at your best

Talk to any business leader these days and there is some major change going on in their business. Acquisition integration, new systems implementations, rapid growth, not having enough resources. You name it. It is taking a lot of time and attention.

And because of the frantic pace of business, it is easy to lose track of the things that are necessary to stay at your best. That’s why you need to ask yourself these three questions.

Are you doing the right things?

That’s a tough question to ask and answer right now. And one that you may not even want to contemplate.

And that is exactly why you should. When the economy is going like gang busters and you don’t have time to breathe, that is exactly when you should take a moment to step back and make sure you are doing the things in your business that will continue to move you forward.

Are you focused on the things that will have the biggest impact on your business? Or, are you getting side tracked by the day to day activities?

If you are doing the right things, are you doing it the right way? Or, are you spending too much time and money to accomplish what you should for half the time and a fraction of the money?

Has something changed in your industry, with your customers or in your business that should be driving you to stop doing something and start doing something else?

Are your best resources devoted to the areas that will have the most impact on your business? Or, are they spending time on fire drills that aren’t moving the business forward?

Are you creating flexibility in your business to quickly adapt to changing dynamics? Or, are you putting so much infrastructure in place that you won’t be able to adjust when the economy eventually changes or adapt to changing customer demands?

If you think you don’t have time to think through these types of questions, you do. You are probably spending half to 80 percent of your time in meetings. With a different approach, you can easily free up a day a week to spend time on strategic issues.

What is the cost of not doing the right things in your business? Missed opportunities? Missed earnings? Missed or lost top talent?

Would you hire yourself?

It’s an interesting question that not many leaders ask themselves. But it is an important one. If you were to go out right now and hire someone for your own role, would it be you?

  • Are you excited about your company’s prospects?
  • Is your energy high every day?
  • Are you achieving the results you desire?
  • Do you own mistakes?
  • Are you clear about your goals and how to get there?
  • Is your team functioning well?
  • How do you deal with conflict?
  • How do you evaluate yourself?
  • How do you hold yourself accountable?

    We’re at the end of the year and it is time to make that evaluation. What’s your grade?

    Would you hire yourself again? If not, what steps are you going to take to get back on track in 2019?

Do you know what is expected of you?

When was the last time you asked what is expected of you?

I frequently ask about expectations when I work with leaders. And many times, people don’t know what is expected of them.

Gallup found that only about half of the 1,000 people they surveyed said they strongly agree they know what is expected of them. Harvard found that 95 percent of employees don’t understand their company’s strategy.

Usually there is a large gap between what the leader believes they have shared and what people have heard. There are a bunch of reasons why, none intentional.

Without clear goals and expectations, people do what they think is right. But it may not be what you want or expect.

For your company to be at its best, you need to share expectations daily. It is easy to check if the message is getting through. Just ask your people what they believe is expected of them. Their response will tell you everything you need to know.

2019 is just around the corner. Are you and your business positioned to stay at your best? If not, it is time to make the changes necessary to be at your best in 2019.

Heidi Pozzo is a leadership and high-performance expert and author of Leading the High-Performing Company. She helps business leaders dramatically increase their organization’s value. To contact her, visit or call (360) 355-7862.

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