Four Key Questions

The business schools will tell you that succeeding in the marketplace is about your product. Or else it’s putting your customer first. Unless it’s beating your competition. Well, it has to be one of those.

Unless it’s something else. I submit to you that running a successful business does require a deeper understanding of product, customer, and competition. But, deeper than that, you have to figure out your identity in the marketplace. And that comes from answering questions like:

* Purpose – Why do we exist?

* Values – What are the non-negotiable things that subconsciously govern our day-to-day activities?

* Stretch goals – Where do we want to be five years from now, which would represent milestones that demonstrate we went in the right direction and at the right speed?

* Anthology – What are the defining stories that get passed on from generation to generation, that tell the next generation something of who we are and who we want to be?

I’ve been thinking about these four things as it relates to the organizations I am a part of: my job, my boards, my church, even my family as a unit. It’s been a fun exercise to peel away to these core questions. I encourage you to do the same, and let’s share what we come up with; when I get further along in my own musings, I may post my answers to those questions for the groups I affiliate with.

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