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3/10/2010
03:34 PM
Bob Evans
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Global CIO Quick Take: 100 Questions Your Boss Asks

What questions are top of mind among business executives? Here's a list of 100 from management consultant Patty Azzarello.

We're hearing a lot these days about the importance of execution and focus, and the need for companies to coordinate and collaborate more effectively than ever before, and the value that's created when those efforts are bottom-up rather than top-down. But how do the folks in the middle of the organization know what priorities are most urgent for the leaders at the top?

Patty Azzarello, former high-tech CEO and currently a leadership coach and consultant, has posted on her blog a list of 100 questions that general managers always think about. As Azzarello says, "If you want to make a relevant, significant contribution, and advance your career, you should think like a General Manager – no matter what role or level you are at.

"You need to understand broadly what drives the business, so you can really understand how and where your piece fits in, how to add the most value, and communicate better outside your team."

Azzarello, who became a Hewlett-Packard general manager at the remarkable age of 33, breaks out her 100 questions into the following categories: How does your company make money; Geography; Market; Value proposition and strategy; Competition and market perception; Sales; Marketing; Finding customers; Service & support; Product development; Supply chain and manufacturing; Distribution channels; and technology.

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Below I've offered a sampling of those GM-level questions Azzarello has put together, and you can see her entire list of 100 questions here.

How Does Your Company Make Money?

**What are your sources of revenue? How much does each provide?

**What are your sources of profit? How much does each provide?

**Where do you and your department fit in the revenue generation process?

Market

**What are the risks of your primary market changing and being less available over time?

**How will you know? What are the most important triggers or changes in your markets to be watching for?

**What is your biggest competitive disadvantage in the markets you serve?

Value Proposition & Strategy:

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