5 Simple Questions That Will Help You #StayFocused On What MattersClick To Tweet
How We Stay Focused At CoSchedule…Around our office, you’ll hear the phrase “that’s a thing we could do” at least several times per day. It indicates when we’ve come across an idea that we could work on, but instinctively know we shouldn’t because it would be out of focus. As a company, we have a roadmap for our product and distinct metrics that we're working to improve. If we chased down every idea, there's a chance we could lose our focus and miss our clearly outlined goals.
If we chased down every idea, we'd risk losing our focus and missing our goals.Click To Tweet
Good leaders ask great questions. -John MaxwellClick To Tweet
Question #1: What's In It For Them?This is the essential question that frames everything we do at CoSchedule. With every blog post, new feature, or web page, we continually ask ourselves what’s in it for the reader, visitor, or customer.
What's in it for your readers? Customers?Click To Tweet
If you aren't focused on providing value, you aren't focused on anything at all.Click To Tweet
Question #2: Does This Meet Our Standard Of Performance?Does everything you ship meet your team's one true standard of performance? This question allows your team to constantly review their own work and evaluate how it compares to the quality level your entire team has committed to. Even as a tiny startup, our goal has been to provide a best-in-class experience for everyone that comes in contact with our team. We expect ourselves to perform as well, or better, than the top five companies in our class. No matter how limited our resources are. For our content marketing team, this means that they literally focus on writing the absolute best blog post on a given topic every time. This doesn’t mean the best blog post they are capable of; it means the best blog post on the entire internet. It means that they have to push themselves further every time.
Create the best work anyone has ever seen in your niche.Click To Tweet
Question #3: What Can You Ship Right Now?While it may feel a bit contradictory to my recent statements about quality, we also frequently ask ourselves how we can get things out the door faster and sooner. This question is related to the concept of the minimum viable product made popular in the book Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Many people associate this concept with sloppy or unfinished work, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Rather, our team uses it as a way of splitting large projects into smaller and more manageable chunks. It’s all about shaping a project to ensure that we approach it with clear goals in mind.
Focus on something that you can ship in a week.Click To Tweet
Always focus on moving forward. What can you ship right now? #Startups #StayFocusedClick To Tweet
Question #4: Are You Building A Monopoly?Some of my favorite startup advice comes from PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel. He simplifies it all by instructing startups to "always seek to build a monopoly." In a monopoly, the business owns its market. It can set its own prices, avoid the struggle of competition, and maximize its place in the industry. What Peter is talking about here is building something that is unique enough to avoid competition, or has grown so aggressively that it simply leapfrogs the competition entirely. One way that we apply this idea at CoSchedule is to constantly evaluate the impact of the projects we take on. We look at it as 10% versus 10x improvement.
You can't build a monopoly by grinding out 10 percent improvements all day.Click To Tweet
Question #5: Do You Have Everything You Need To Be Successful?As a leader, it's my job to make sure that everyone who works at CoSchedule has everything they need to be successful. This may sound simplistic, but it's actually very powerful.
One of the things that drive me crazy is to see team members who have not been empowered to do their job. This is not their fault; it’s mine!It may be due to a lack of time or clarity but can often arise from a lack of permission to act as well. Either way, it’s an inefficiency that needs to be dealt with. The problem with someone not having what they need is that they can never achieve clear focus without it. If there are too many things on their plate, how will they ever do anything well?
If there is too much on their plate, how will they ever do anything well? #team #teamworkClick To Tweet
- What's going well?
- What's not going well?
- What is required for a happy future?
What Questions Are You Asking?These are the five questions I ask our team the most often, but it is far from a complete list. Questions are powerful tools for self-reflection and leadership What questions are you asking of your team to bring laser beam-like focus? Share them in the comments or via social media. We’d love to hear! P.S. This post is part of a new series about CoSchedule’s workplace, culture, and productivity. Join our official email list and never miss a post!
5 Simple Questions That Will Help You Stay Focused On What MattersClick To Tweet