THE BLOG
09/17/2014 11:45 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2014

A Glimpse Inside the Minds of 3 Business Leaders

Have you ever wondered what today's business leaders think about? How about what keeps them up at night? Many people dream about owning and operating their own business. However, they fail to recognize that running a business is not always a walk in the park. In fact, tough questions must be asked almost every day in order to keep the business running smoothly.

Recently, I published an article called CEO Survival Questions on LinkedIn. After writing it, I thought it would be even better to share the perspectives of current business leaders in several industries. With that in mind, I asked three brilliant executives some tough questions. Thanks to Dave McLaughlin, CEO and Co-Founder of Vsnap, Douglas McFarlane, Owner and CEO at Lomond Yachts and Dean Rizzo, President, Quincy Center For Innovation, we not only have questions, but answers from savvy business leaders.

Does my management team acknowledge that technology needed for a sustainable business is not just re-purposing or replacing your old equipment?

It is not only essential to have up-to-date and versatile technology to sustain a business today, but it is just as important to ensure that the management team and staff have the training and resources in place to effectively utilize it.

- Dean Rizzo, President, Quincy Chamber of Commerce


Does my management team have the right set of skills?

The playing field today is so fluid, so the definition of the most important skills can shift pretty quickly. Obviously you need to have certain capabilities in order to be in a specific management role, but it's equally imperative that you have a willingness to challenge your own assumptions, and a hunger to learn whatever new skills are needed to play the next inning. That requires confidence and humility and an incredible work ethic. So we don't just hire for skill sets, we also hire for those character attributes.

- Dave McLaughlin, CEO and Co-Founder of Vsnap

Does my management team know how to fully embrace the fact that business is driven by technology and how it is connected to our customer's 24x7?

Technology is intricately linked with business in today's modern world. Every hour of every day, every business sends an email, posts on social media, or publishes a blog. By communicating to customers directly instead of delegating it, empower executives to really understand why their business is important and where it could improve. Having a management team who are equally bought into communicating using technology 24/7 is an important advantage in business. To confirm quickly to late enquiries, and advising that further details will follow in the morning, can satisfy an urgent desire and stop your competitor picking up that business.

- Douglas McFarlane, Owner and CEO at Lomond Yachts


Can my management team yield their power as the business figureheads and empower our employees to provide creative ideas for the future?

Our approach is to talk constantly about our vision for video messaging as a way to humanize buyer interactions and grow business big-time, and about the values that guide us as we build that -- then we give employees tons of autonomy to make decisions that advance those two things. Our management team is critical in making sure that team members know that's not only an opportunity for them, it's actually the expectation. We have no problem with people making mistakes -- as long as you can articulate how your actions were aligned with our values and our vision. That equals velocity.

- Dave McLaughlin, CEO and Co-Founder of Vsnap


Does my management team fully understand that just because our company survived up to now, doesn't mean we will be s sustainable business for the future?

Our management team fully understands that in order to succeed and grow in today's very competitive market the organization needs to always be cognizant of our clients needs, and have the flexibility to adapt for the organization to survive in the long term.

- Dean Rizzo, President, Quincy Chamber of Commerce

As you can see, this article focused on five topics that are the crux of many discussions at the C-level. Technology, skills, customers, employees and future are all critical elements in every business that can't be ignored. How would you answer these questions? If you're a business leader, maybe it's time for a serious discussion with yourself and your management team. Don't just answer the questions; solve the problems at hand before it's too late.