20 Great Questions for Entrepreneurs (and Bank Sales Leaders Too)


I recently came across a piece in Inc. Magazine by Leigh Buchanan entitled “100 Great Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask“. The questions are actually culled from the writings and speeches of consultants like Peter Drucker and Jim Collins, top business school professors like Adam Grant and Theresa Amabile and successful entrepreneurs like Tony Hsieh (Zappos) and Kevin Cleary (Clif Bar—yum!). It’s a thought-provoking list that would be a nice thing to pass along to any business owner.

Many of these questions are relevant for bank sales leaders, too, particularly at the start of a new year. Here are 20 that are worth considering, along with their source:

  1. What trophy do we want on our mantle? – Marcy Massura, a digital marketer and brand strategist at MSL Group       
  2. What counts that we are not counting? –Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality and head of global hospitality for Airbnb 
  3.  In the past few months, what is the smallest change we have made that has had the biggest positive result? What was it about that small change that produced the large return? –Robert Cialdini, author and professor emeritus of marketing and psychology at Arizona State University  
  4. What prevents me from making the changes I know will make me a more effective leader? –Marshall Goldsmith, leadership coach and author  
  5. What are the implications of this decision 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years from now? –Suzy Welch, author
  6. Are we changing as fast as the world around us? –Gary Hamel, author and management consultant
  7. How likely is it that a customer would recommend our company to a friend or colleague? –Andrew Taylor, executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings 
  8. Did my employees make progress today? –Teresa Amabile, author and Harvard Business School professor 
  9. What should we stop doing? –Peter Drucker, management expert and author  
  10. Do we have the right people on the bus? –Jim Collins, author and management consultant
  11. What do we need to start doing? –Jack Bergstrand, CEO, Brand Velocity      
  12. Are you satisfied with your current role?  If not, what is missing from it? –Charles Handy, management consultant  
  13. Do your employees have the opportunity to do what they do best everyday? –Marcus Buckingham, author  
  14.  Do you see more potential in people than they do in themselves? –Adam Grant  
  15. To whom do you add value? –Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood, co-founders, The RBL Group  
  16. Why should people listen to you? –Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood      
  17. Who are four people whose careers I’ve enhanced? –Alex Gorsky, CEO, Johnson & Johnson
  18. How do you encourage people to take control and responsibility? –Dan Ariely, author
  19. How do I stay inspired? –Paul Bennett, chief creative officer, IDEO
  20. How is business? Why? –Thomas A. Stewart, executive director, National Center for the Middle Market

Action Step: Good coaches are adept at asking questions. This is a chance for you to ask yourselves some questions that might lead to valuable insights about managing your team. Let me know what you discover in the process.

Recent blog posts of interest to Sales Leaders on coaching:

6 Common Errors in Coaching Prospecting

7 Minute Tasks for Sales Leaders

Tips for Time-Starved Bank Sales Leaders

Bank Sales Leaders: Do you need 1 on 1 coaching for yourself or one of your team leaders on how to improve business development results? Call Ned Miller at 484-433-2378 or email him at nmiller@mzbierlyconsulting.com to arrange a time to talk about how we might assist you.


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