20 Questions A Manager Should Ask Themselves

June 8th, 2010 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

Do you remember the old game of 20 Questions? Managers and owners of firms should regularly stop and take stock of where we are as managers.

Here are some questions you should answer for yourself. Only you know the answers, so be brutally honest.

1. What is your unique value proposition within the firm?

2. Do you always follow the “rules” or do you occasionally throw out the “rules?”

3. What is your greatest weakness?

4. What are you doing about mitigating your greatest weakness?

5. What have you done lately to improve your skills as a manager?

6. Do you have an open door policy? If yes, do employees take advantage of it?

7. Have you delegated all the work that you can?

8. Do you hold group meetings to share information in both directions/

9. Are you a micromanager?

10. Are you a “big picture” manager?

11. Has your management style changed for the better or for the worse?

12. Do you spend disproportionate time on tasks you like and less time on tasks you do not like or enjoy?

13. Do you consider the per hour cost of employees when assigning tasks?

14. Do you have a personal development plan for yourself? Is it in writing and being followed?

15. Are you consciously acting as a positive role model for your staff?

16. Do you act as a goodwill ambassador for your company? If not, then who does?

17. Who is your most promising employee?

18. What are you doing to grow that most promising employee?

19. Are you a solo decision maker or do you consult with others for their input?

20. How are you using technology to better manage?

The Takeaway

Managers and owners manage many aspects of their businesses. Remember that we need to manage ourselves as well.

Those are the ideas for consideration. What do you think? Please comment below.

1. Do you ever stop and think about how you manage?

2. Did you find answering these questions helpful?

3. What other self-exploratory items would you add to the list?

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  1. Rob, with respect, anybody that reflects on how to constantly improve ponder on such questions on a regular basis. At least I do.

    It’s true that most people tend to blame the outside world for what doesn’t work. But sincerely, such people shouldn’t be in management and if they are, not only the people working for them but the company will pay for the mistake of appointing him/her to a management position.

    • Rob Berman says:


      The Peter Principle does apply in some cases where people are promoted above their level of competence. On the other hand, stopping and considering your situation is useful.


    • Marion says:

      Catarina, I really wish that what you write were true. Sadly it is not. It is for this reason I have a successful coaching practice.
      Often poor managers breed more poor managers and I wish there were more people like Rob writing post like this to make them think!

      • Marion, that’s because unfortunately many companies, all over the world actually, are run by managers and not leaders.

        And as we all know there are a lot of poor managers out there. But the good aspect is that you hence have a successful coaching practice:).

  2. Marion says:

    I love this post and will pass it on to some young managers that I know. The question I would add is – Are you a bottle neck in your employee’s work flow?
    Do you have a bundle of questions, “to do” points or awaiting approval submissions sitting on your desk waiting for you to action before your staff can proceed with their tasks?
    If you do you are a source of great frustration to your staff.

    • Rob Berman says:


      I like the questions you added. If OK with you I would like to include them in the next post on this topic that I do. Is it OK?


  3. Rob
    This are great questions to ask yourself as a manager or as a small business owner. I consult with authors that are self publishing. I think this would be a good list for them to keep in mind when setting up a self publishing business before publishing their book.They typically dont have lots of employees but they must work with a variety of professionals.

    What book would you recommend for someone that wants to improve their management skills.

    • Rob Berman says:


      I do not have one book to recommend for improving management skills. Often, a business coach can help tackle some of the challenging areas. Lots of good books out there depending on what guru someone wants to follow.


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