Did curiosity kill the cat? Perhaps but in business not having curiosity is never a good thing. In fact, asking questions, probing, and getting to the truth are all important aspects of effective leadership. But there's more to the story because great leaders have a skill set that is defined by a few basics. Here are just a few musings on business that-while simple-are often forgotten.
Ask More Questions
Asking questions is an activity that many of us feel is beneath our pay grade. Interestingly smart leaders understand that they never have all the information they need and will continue to refine and build their knowledge base. Asking questions is the only way to truly understand why a process works, why something is done in a certain way, and why something else is no longer needed. When we assume without asking we tend to make more mistakes. Being thorough, curious, and asking "why" makes sense. Questions are good; don't be afraid to ask them. Use the 80:20 rule of listening versus talking. You'll be amazed at the opportunities that come from what you learn.
Spend Time Wisely
Time is the "coin of your life" so spend it wisely. As leaders, we have many choices. Some of those choices are time well spent and others are not. The key to success lies in understanding how to divide time so that no one area is in deficit and no one area is all-encompassing. Balance, not completion is the sign of time well spent and until we learn to manage our time more effectively we will never have enough. You have choices. Personal and professional time will always be in high demand. Learn to use it well and the outcomes will always be better. Keep a log of how you spend your major blocks of time. Compare that log to the priorities that you set for yourself on how you want to spend your time. Positive change occurs only after real behavior modification.
Network Network Network
If I had just 10 percent of my time available to do just one thing it would be to network. Connecting with people is by far one of the most important responsibilities and one of the most beneficial activities for everyone at every level. For every person you connect with there are five more waiting in the wings. Products are sold through network marketing and friends are made. It's big business. Speak to people and don't be afraid to ask them who they can introduce you to. LinkedIn is the perfect example of the importance of "linking" with others in your industry to learn more and expand your relationships. Be aware of what you don't know in business. Ask more questions, spend your time wisely, and use the power of networking to market yourself and your enterprise.