The Most Important Questions Business Leaders Should Ask Themselves

“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” - Mark Twain

We’ve all heard the contrasts made between being a manager and being a leader. However, while we may aspire to be a leader in our companies, it’s often difficult to truly step into a mindset of a leader without dipping into our manager-minded habits. In my experience, I’ve found that a great deal of discipline is required to constantly step into a role as a leader in whatever capacity I’m in. Below are some of the most important questions business leaders should ask themselves.

Are You Committed?

As a Business Sergeant, the first and most important question you need to ask yourself (before you even think of asking it of your troops) is: ARE YOU COMMITTED?

In your heart of hearts, do you want to get to the top of your game so badly that you’re willing to put yourself through all the pain and suffering that will be involved? Are you willing to walk onto the business battlefield day after day and fight through that pain and suffering?

You will need that kind of resilient commitment to make your vision a reality; looking for exits and for excuses to quit won’t get you where you want to go. In the military, we knew our job as soldiers was to run toward the danger when everyone else was running away. It’s that level of commitment that makes every branch of the U.S. military so damn effective.

Are You Here for Passion or Profit?

Another question you should ask yourself and your team every morning is: “Are you here for the passion or the profit?” The answer should be the passion every time.

Don’t get me wrong: you want and need both passion and profit. But if you’ve just got a thirst for profit with no passion behind your idea or your work, your business won’t get very far. I’ve found time and again with my clients that if you’ve got lots of passion for what you do, you’ll usually have plenty of profit.

In order for your company to run at premium capacity, you need to have a shared vision with your leadership team and everyone else. How do you do that? YOU have to be excited about it. YOU have to have a mirror moments and ask yourself whether you have the same fire that you’re asking your sales staff to have for the product you’re selling. Even though we’re all in business to make money, if you put the profit in front of your own passion, it will cost you handsomely.

Are You Committed to Your Employees?

I have a personal theory that if 70% of Americans are disengaged at work it’s because 70% have managers that are not committed to them and aren’t developing them. Employees feel disengaged when their managers aren’t investing in them, or are unappreciative or steal credit from them. I could go on and on about everything I’ve seen related to this topic. The root of this problem is that the majority of employers are not committed to their employees as their #1 priority. I often see employees placed well behind profit, shareholders, customers, and sometimes even vendors, and I believe that is a HUGE mistake, because without your team you have no business.

The best leaders are always thinking: “What can I do for you today to make you a happier, healthier, and more engaged member of our team?”

Remember, there are a lot of people who offer whatever you’re offering. What separates the exceptional companies from the herd is that their leaders are absolutely committed to their employees, investing in their growth and development, and motivating them to consistently execute at a high level to ensure customer satisfaction.

Chris Hallberg