Question Authority

The road to success is filled with many interesting bends, turns, questions and answers along the way. I’m frequently asked how I’ve amassed so much specialised knowledge, the good and the bad about so many different businesses and their cultures.

The answer is an easy one – I’ve never stopped asking questions.

Having an entrepreneurial, curious mind and never settling for the status quo has also been a large part of my ability to help business prosper, however listening to what others have to say and asking the questions others may not fancy asking or simply didn’t know to ask is a big part of what being a great business strategist is all about.

Training Industry Quarterly, Winter 2013 edition has quoted me in their Training Industry Inc. Magazine (The training industries bible) as saying “The important thing is to Never stop asking questions”.

This quote is in the great company of other industry leaders and thought contributors such as Ken Blanchard, The Disney Institute and American Management to name a few that are featured in this edition.

The point is your company, your team, your happiness and your profit will all be a product of the questions you ask or don’t ask. It will be a product of what questions your team or clients ask of you and how you choose to answer.

If you have created a corporate culture that shuns or casts fear into those that our looking for answers to questions and are not wanting voices to be heard, I’m afraid you may be taking one of those bends in the road that will take you nowhere fast in today’s business culture.

I recall sitting in a boardroom once when a rare management and sales meeting was taking place. It had been a tough few years for this company and sales meetings had fallen the wayside. Staff hadn’t had the opportunity to question or be vocal about concerns in the marketplace nor get a feel about the company’s direction and vision going forward, morale was low; they simply were not getting the help they needed.

What happened next was an eye opener for me, after about 30 minutes of various people reaching out and asking some great questions because they finally had the opportunity to do so – the meeting abruptly ended. It didn’t end because all the questions were answered; it ended because the manager didn’t want to carry on. I knew at that moment this was one of the main reasons this company was underperforming.

A culture had been created where asking questions was taboo, the leaders of the company had lost their passion to teach and nurture. In this situation one of two things will occur. The company will carry on in an underperform realm until its complete demise or new leadership will be take the helm and questions from a deserving staff.

In this case, I’m happy to report the company is now doing much better with a mindful team leading them, asking questions is now a requirement – they understand questions are the foundation of a new and bright future.

Never stop asking questions. If you environment doesn’t embrace the positive impact of asking questions, maybe you best ask yourself one.

Any questions?