Yes, I admit it: this is a somewhat lurid headline. But for many, what's about to come is apparently quite a big mystery, judging by how rarely the questions listed later are asked.
What is it all about? Well, all of our success - and that of companies as well - is strongly limited by the biggest limiting factor in any given case.
You may know this as the "theory of constraints”. And in fact, this concept is quite prevalent in manufacturing: If you want to increase output profitably, you have to identify and eliminate the biggest bottleneck. Unfortunately, this is often not so easy to spot.
The same is true in principle for any success and of course also in leadership. But here the bottlenecks are often even more difficult to identify than in production.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I unfortunately see very few leaders who take care of the bottlenecks in order to massively increase the success of their team. If anything, it happens intuitively instead of systematically.
"What internal factor is limiting our success the most right now?"
The emphasis on "internal" is important here. Because you can only work on these factors in a targeted manner.
There are three categories: Your mindsets, your behaviors, and your work practices in the team or company.
The work practices - i.e. processes and rules - are what most people think of first when it comes to identifying bottlenecks. However, from my observation, in most cases the real constraints are the mindsets and behaviors.
My tip is to take a close look at which of the mindsets and beliefs are severely limiting success. Often this has to do with a lack of courage and contentment with the status quo.
"Assuming this obstacle is removed, how would our success massively increase?"
This second question is important after you have identified potential bottlenecks through question 1. This is the validation.
Before we take massive action, it's important to think through the outcome.
The real power of this question is in the team discussion. This is because it often gives birth to ideas that go far beyond removing the obstacle.
If, on the other hand, you cannot conclusively deduce that removing the bottleneck will lead to significant improvements, you have to go back to question 1.
"How can we remove this obstacle?"
The third question is then quite logical. What you need here is, above all, to define very concrete steps that you will implement quickly.
In the area of mindsets (see question 1), these are often ➔ training sessions or ➔ coaching, which bring the fastest results. For changing behaviors, a first step might be committing to challenging team standards that people remind each other of.
Either way, taking massive action is critical.
So here you have three powerful questions to eliminate your internal bottlenecks and thus massively increase your success. This works for you as well as for your team and the whole company.
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