A lot of businesses that are in startup, or just past the phase of startup, don’t have a formal group of advisors to challenge them. The fact remains, of the 28 million businesses in the United States, only 4 percent will surpass $1M in annual sales. Going from zero to $1M+ requires agility and unemotionally answering objective questions.

If you’ve been following my writings for the past couple of years, you’ll noticed that I frequently reference the mantra that my wife Shannon and I share which is: “Own things, not run things.” This mantra enables us to really be about the development of new ideas and stewarding our companies the best we can. There are times when it’s important for a CEO to climb up in the crow’s nest and ask brutal questions of your company.

Here’s a list of questions I ask myself about our companies at Miles AG:

  1. Is my vision crystal clear with all front-line employees? How can I tell?
  2. Do my employees know the “WHY” behind what we are doing? Can they tell me a story that connects to the WHY?
  3. Are our business expectations (and results) obvious?
  4. Are my employees happy? How can I tell?
  5. Is my executive team leading well? How can I tell?
  6. Do we execute well on tasks, projects, and strategies? How can I tell?
  7. Do I hear “I” or “we” more often from our leaders and employees?
  8. Is this company developing leaders at a pace tied to its growth?
  9. What is preventing me from empowering more of my leadership into others?

As you can tell, the answers to these questions should take time. The questions themselves mandate quiet reflection. Honesty in the form of genuine observation should help guide your answers to these tough questions. Metrics and financials are very important to review as well, but I find these questions really help me get to the heart of our business…which is people.

Are there any questions that you ask? Share them with me on twitter, @bryanmiles and @Miles_AG!

This is a guest post written by Bryan Miles, co-owner and CEO of Myles Advisory Group (MAG).  One the companies under the MAG umbrella I highly recommend is MAG Bookkeeping.  If your church or business needs virtual bookkeeping assistance during the upcoming tax season, make sure you click HERE or the image above.  They are simply the best in the industry!


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