May 13: Answer the Question

Good answers leave a thread that the executive can pull if she/he wants to dive deeper.

Source: Dave Kellogg and Fact of the Day 1
Published: January 2012 and April 2021

Answer the Question

Presenting to your leadership can be a nerve-wracking experience. Enterprise software advisor Dave Kellogg recommends that “the best thing you can do in front of a senior executive is answer the question succinctly. Executives often have a line of questioning prepared and want to move through it quickly.” Good answers leave a thread that the executive can pull if she/he wants to dive deeper.

Question: On a scale of 1-10 how is the team working?

Bad answer: Well, you know, the team has been trying hard, things haven’t been perfect, but the team has really been pulling together lately, and I think things are improving.

Good answer: 7, but there are two key problems to work out. 

Follow up question: What are the key problems and corrections?

Good answer: New employees are finding it difficult to onboard remotely and the team doesn’t feel that their work is recognized. I plan to (1) increase our investment of time in the new employee onboarding experience and (2) highlight the team’s work with a demo during the organization’s next All-Hands.

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