Your Five Most Important Questions

governance as leadership leadership Mar 08, 2022


What do you ask yourself?


Peter Drucker, the well-known and well-regarded management guru articulates The Five Most Important Questions You’ll Ever Ask Your Organization in the Leader to Leader Institute. These are critical for every not-for-profit board if you want to have an impact and make a difference in and for your community.


Board members! Raise the questions at the board table as appropriate.

CEO/Executive Directors! Raise the questions, have some answers, or have a means for ascertaining them.


Question 1: What is our mission?

This should be a clear concise attainable statement of purpose – what you do, why, for whom, with what expected results. Every person at the table should know it, believe it and be able to recite it. Yes, really.


Question 2: Who is our customer?

Dig deeply. It may be different for the board and for the organization/staff but they should be aligned and congruent. Is your customer your client? Are they the same? For example, do you serve someone who serves someone else further “down the line”?


Question 3: What does the customer value?

What are their needs and interests? What do they lose sleep over? What problem are you solving? What dreams are you realizing? How do you know? Are you guessing? Going on personal experience? Or have you identified and articulated the problem clearly and sought a credible means to address it? What are the priorities then for funding?



Question 4: What are our results?

How do you assess, monitor and evaluate? By what measures? What are your key success factors? Are they written and tracked over time? Are they specifically aligned with your mission? Shouldn’t they be advancing clearly and incrementally your mission and its accomplishment?


Question 5: What is our plan?

Indeed. Your community expects that you will represent them at the table and ensure results. What are your strategic directions? How are you using results to improve and grow? How do your structures and processes ensure that your plan is current and relevant, monitored and evaluated?


If these are the five most important questions for any organization, surely they warrant time and attention at your table, with a focus on success factors, criteria, evidence, results and change.


What are your main “pain points” when it comes to your Board making an impact? What advice would be most helpful to you? And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!

Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.




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>>JOIN NOW! The latest class begins this week. Register before March 11 to join us now or wait until our next class in May.

In this one-month course, you will move from feeling reticent and tentative to competent and confident, asking good questions and making great contributions.

The course complements and reinforces your on-site orientation and opens new channels of communication and discussion.

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P.S. May I ask a tiny favour? 

Would you mind sharing this blog with one person? I would love it. You can post the links in your Facebook Groups, LinkedIn or even send an email.

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