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5 Questions to Test Your Growth as a Business Leader

Want to know if you’re really growing as a business leader? Here are the five questions you must ask yourself…

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BY David Finkel - 09 Aug 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Then here are the five in-your-face questions you must ask yourself. Be ruthlessly honest in your answers. Your insights will help you accelerate your growth as a business leader and the success you enjoy. 

1. Are you doing less things, but the less that you do matters a whole lot more?

A clear sign of maturing entrepreneurs is when they finally get that they aren't the best person to do everything and instead they narrow their focus down to those limited few activities that are what contribute their best value to the company.

Sometimes this can be holding their team to a clear design or production standard. Or, being the company spokesperson who generates huge business development opportunities. Or, focusing their time on grooming their key team members and coaching them to produce at their best.

A frenzy of chaotic activity is not the hallmark of a great entrepreneur, rather it is a symptom of an immature one.

2. Is your company less reliant on you today than it was last quarter?

A key part of your job in building a scalable company is to role model the relentless move to reduce the business's reliance on you. To quantify this, we developed the "Owner Independence Index" (OII) and have our business coaching clients examine their company, pillar-by-pillar, every quarter to quantitatively track this progression over time. At a minimum your goal should be to be 10 percent less reliant on you every year. Just for a benchmark, our average client reduces their company's OII by well over 3 times that every year.

3. Are you growing your next generation of leaders to be strong, capable business leaders for your company?

This means you're helping them develop the leadership skills they need, coaching them to overcome glaring behaviors that hold them back, and imbuing them with a clear sense of your company mission, vision, values, and culture.

4. Do you regularly ask your team, "What do you think we should do?" instead of just reactively solving their problems and doing their work for them?

This is a tough one for so many entrepreneurs. They ask you a question, you want to just give them the answer. You see a problem, you just want to prescribe the solution. You want to help, but is this type of compulsive "solving" really the best way to help?

Instead, use reflecting questions to help your team spot the problem and solve the problem. Yes you'll still have team members who just won't see it. At the very least this process helps you separate who has the potential to be future leaders for your company.

Ten years ago one of my business mentors gave me this same coaching and it has had a deep impact on my success as an entrepreneur. Best of all it has helped me reclaim my life and gain more time freedom while scaling my companies. It will do the same for you.

5. Do you find yourself regularly frustrated by your team's inability to "get it" over time?

There is one commonality with all your team that just aren't getting the strategy, the business context, the culture, the company priorities that you're trying to share with them - YOU!

Painful as it may be, if most of your team isn't "getting it", then you have to own that as the leader and common denominator and use this as a spur to grow.

How can you change your approach? What hasn't been working in the past and what else can you try? What small things had some positive impact that you can spin up and build upon?

There you have the five core questions you must ask to see if you are really growing as a business leader.

If you enjoyed the ideas I shared, then I encourage you to download a free copy of my newest book, Build a Business, Not a Job. Click here for full details and to get your complimentary copy.