You have an important business goal. You know that it is attainable, and you know what you need to do.
With all of the plans and strategies that we have in place, why do we have so much trouble actually getting things done?
Many leaders consider themselves to be “Idea People”, and while this high-level visioning is important, their ability to actually implement those ideas is often lacking, and this is when it becomes difficult to execute plans. Not just at the executive’s desk, but throughout the organization.
Practicing involved leadership doesn’t make you a micro-manager. Honing your execution skills means that you are able to link aspirations and results. It is the fundamental job of a business leader. If you don't know how to execute, the whole of your effort as a leader will be less than the sum of its parts.
Master these four core execution processes and watch your ability to lead effectively take some powerful new steps forward.
Start Leading, Stop Presiding
Leaders who excel at execution immerse themselves in the substance of execution and even some of the key details. They use their knowledge of the business to probe and question constantly. They bring weaknesses to light and rally their people to correct them. It’s simply a matter of taking action.
Become Skilled at Executing
Stay in touch with day-to-day realities; don’t let information be filtered by others who have their own perceptions and agendas. Know your people and your business. Getting accurate information will help you and others around you learn things about what is happening in the organization, and what needs to happen next.
Be Persistent About Realism
It is at the heart of successful execution. Don’t allow yourself to avoid the truth, no matter how much others would like to mask the (sometimes) painful reality that lies ahead. Clarify priorities and move forward with plans that have a solid base.
Link Rewards to Performance
Ensure effective follow through. Make sure that action always follows words. If action steps are connected to the plans, any obstacles will reveal themselves right away, and can be addressed. From there, recognize the achievers in a tangible way. This could take the shape of base pay, stock options, or even increased flexibility. A small investment in coaching and dialog with these potential performers will give them the tools they need for succeed.
Most of all, know thyself. Resilience and fortitude to successfully execute the organization’s plans comes from self-mastery. You will earn your leadership through conveying your inner strength, confidence, which will give you the ability to sift through high-level strategies to the successful execution of those strategies.