6 Key Questions for Business Executives

Pro Back Office recently sponsored a CEO Summit on “The Role of the Chief Financial Officer”. We had many great San Diego business leaders in attendance who discussed:

• What a CEO and board should expect today from the CFO
• The components of internal financial reporting, metrics and KPIs
• How CFOs should pay for themselves

In addition to discussing the role of the CFO, we identified an excellent exercise to quickly identify areas of focus for your business.

6 Key Questions for Business Executives

Each business executive was asked to ponder the following questions for one minute and share the answers.

  1. Would you rehire EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE on your payroll tomorrow based on what you know about them today?
  2. Would EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE on your payroll choose your company based on what they know about you today?
  3. Would you pursue EVERY SINGLE CUSTOMER you have now tomorrow based on what you know about them today (including whether they let you make some profit or not)?
  4. Would you offer EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT or SERVICE you offer now tomorrow based on what you know now?
  5. Would you engage / use / hire EVERY SINGLE VENDOR (supplier / resource / advisor) tomorrow based on your experience with them to this point?
  6. Would EVERY SINGLE VENDOR (supplier / resource / advisor) chose my company tomorrow if they knew what they know about us today? As we look at periods of economic slowing, they will be answering #3 also.


Executives will likely have answered NO to several of these questions. In answering these questions, you and your leadership team will be able to identify a game plan for changing each of the answers to YES. The next key steps are in the strategies you develop to make changes. For example, if you answered “NO” to Question #1, identify the employee who you would not re-hire.

Next, identify why you would not re-hire her? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is she in the wrong position?
  2. Did the company provide the necessary training and support for her to succeed?
  3. Is there another role in the company where this employee would be successful?


Don’t overact if you answered NO to any of these questions. Taking a few moments to answers these six questions provides an expedient way of identifying areas for improvement and provides an opportunity to delve deeper into finding solutions to make your company the best of breed.