Maybe the most powerful 2-word question you can ask. Or be asked.
Also maybe the most painful for many entrepreneurs. And certainly, one that is sure to make some folks angry.
So what? 😉
It’s among the most universally applicable questions. Test it.
“We’re not hitting our sales projections.”
“We’ve got to find a suitable Director of Marketing.”
“Our chief competitor just bought another competitor and managed to double their size overnight.”
It’s not “so what?” in that it doesn’t matter. It’s “so what?” as in, “What are gonna do about it?”
We love to figure out who’s at fault. Blaming somebody is job one for many companies. It’s a defeatist culture. So what? So what if you finally do figure out who’s at fault? Now what? Which is likely the second most powerful question. Actually, they’re one and the same. I often use them interchangeably.
Sometimes we love to assume an excuse. We say “making excuses,” but it’s more appropriately assuming excuses. Looking for ways to explain a failure. Ways that will deflect responsibility away from us. Ways that will give us an out. Okay, list them. Assume every single excuse you can name is legit. So what? Now what?
Nobody remembers Harold Geneen, the tyrannical leader of ITT, the original conglomerate. But they should. He would say, “Managers must manage.” Translation: Find a way. We simply have to find a way. Or not. We win. Or we lose. Period.
When I sit down with an entrepreneur of top-level leader and they begin discussing their calendar, I’m almost always amazed at the talk to action ratio. Or we could term it the meeting to doing ratio. It often feels like our federal government in D.C. Committees, meetings, discussions, thinking, blah, blah, blah. Not nearly enough doing. But lots of preparation to do something. For too many business leaders it feels like you’re strapped into a space rocket ready to launch, but the countdown seems to get stuck on repeat somewhere around the number 7. 10, 9, 8, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7…leaving us wondering if we’re ever going to take off.
Hesitation. Delay. Procrastination. Overthinking.
Anything to avoid facing the truth that we’re responsible and we can do something to fix it.
We all know something about this stuff because at some point in our lives, in some circumstance…we did it. Maybe we’re still doing it.
Whatever challenge or opportunity facing you right now — be bold. Have courage. Ask yourself the question.
Now, answer it.
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