A good entrepreneur knows the importance of asking questions, a great entrepreneur knows how and when to ask the right kinds of questions.
“All good leaders should ask questions. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Don’t be afraid to look like you don’t know it all. Growth is an ongoing process.” – COO Alliance
What are the “right” kinds of questions for entrepreneurs to be asking to ensure that their business is growing and going well and that their business continues to go well? What do you as an entrepreneur need to focus on?
Ask Larger, Systemic Questions
Entrepreneurs all often put a major focus on minor issues and get stuck asking questions about the details. Yes, of course, the details do matter and should and will always get fixed. However, instead of just asking the question about something specific, try using the details as particular examples to ask larger more systemic questions.
People don’t fail, systems do. Look more in-depth at the systems that need to be fixed or created to ensure that everything in your company is running efficiently and effectively.
Find Solutions Through Those Questions
Imagine a light is not working on one of your signs or that one of your company cars needed repairs that never happened. Rather than only asking, “Why isn’t the light on that sign working?” or “Why did this car not get repaired?” and focusing on those small issues, tie it into a bigger question to find the solution.
A way to do that is, rather than asking why the sign isn’t working, ask something like this, “I noticed the light isn’t working on our sign. What systems do we have in place to ensure that all lights on all our signs are always working?”
With questions like that, you can then find the fault in your system and fix it, or, if you don’t have a system, you then know you need to create one. Focusing only on the light at the moment will only find you a temporary solution. Fixing the system will ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Implement Your Solutions
Once you’ve asked your larger, systemic questions and have discovered the flaws in your system or the places where systems need to be created, a great entrepreneur then asks themself, “How do I implement this?” or “How do I fix this system?” and take action upon that answer.
Asking the right questions is only useful when you focus on the answers and take action upon them. Those questions make you aware of systemic issues in your company. They give you a jumping-off point for growing your company to new heights. You just have to ask the right questions and put the answers into action.
“Problem-solving is one of the most important aspects of entrepreneurship. As both the founder of your organization and the leader of your team, you’ll be responsible for identifying and solving the problems of your customers, partners, employees, and your company, in general.” – Entrepreneur
Making sure that you are asking the right questions is an important part of any role, be it entrepreneurs, COOs, CEOs, or any other leader. Make sure you understand what those questions are and put them into action!
What questions do you ask as an entrepreneur? Let us know in the comments below!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send us an email, and someone from my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2017 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.