One Of The Most Important Questions Leaders Can Ask

2020 has shown us just how quickly things can change.

Many businesses were going along, doing okay and then COVID-19 hit.

As is always the case, there were winners and losers.

Technology became an even more critical part of life and business.

I’ve even heard people say that technology they have been trying to get people to buy in for 2 years was implemented in 2 weeks.

Working from home which was something that was seen as something that might happen one day happened overnight.

All of the apparent barriers seemed to disappear.

What events over the last year have shown us is how fragile business can be.

For that reason there’s one really important question that leaders and leadership teams can ask.

That question is ‘what if’.

What if questions are great at looking at different perspectives.

They are great at looking at the downsides.

As well as the potential upsides.

They are great at helping deal with whatever comes up or at least minimising the impact.

What if questions you might consider include:

  1. What if we lose a greater proportion of customers?
  2. What if that marketing initiative doesn’t generate the leads we had hoped for?
  3. What if costs of doing business increase?
  4. What if we have a major operational issue that impacts on our reputation?
  5. And many more…

Does this mean that everything will be plain sailing?

Of course not.  At the same time when you are prepared for the crisis or adverse event you handle it better.

You move forward more quickly because you already have a well thought out plan of action.

You mitigate the impact.

You are proactive rather than reactive.

Leading is ultimately about helping the organisation achieve.  Using the what if question can help navigate through challenge and uncertainty.

Give it try.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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