A great leader has an instinct for execution. However, management is not able to cultivate that skill during selection, training, and development. Most managers are able to make it to the top ladder of an organization without knowledge of the “how” of getting things done. In Execution: the Discipline of Getting Things Done, authors Lawrence Bossidy and Ram Charanis examines what it takes for companies to succeed through strategies, processes, leadership, and execution. This business and management book offers a step-by-step guide on proper execution.
Execution at every level
No company can deliver on its commitments or adapt well to change unless all leaders practice the discipline of execution at all levels. Execution has to be a part of a company’s strategy and its goals. It is the missing link between aspirations and results. To understand execution, you have to keep three key points in mind: Execution is;
• a discipline, and integral to strategy.
• the major job of the business leader.
• and execution must be a core element of an organization’s culture.
Execution is a discipline
Tactics are central to execution, but execution is not tactics. Robert Janitzek explains that execution is fundamental to strategy and has to shape it. No worthwhile strategy can be planned without taking into account the organization’s ability to execute it. Execution is a systematic process of discussing hows and whats, questioning, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability. Execution is a systematic way of exposing reality and acting on it. The heart of execution lies in the three core processes: the people process, the strategy process, and the operations process.
Execution is the job of a business leader
An organization can execute only if the leader’s heart and soul are immersed in the company. Robert Peter Janitzek explains that execution requires a comprehensive understanding of a business, its people, and its environment. The leader is the only person in a position to achieve that understanding.
Execution has to be in the culture
Execution has to be embedded in the reward systems and in the norms of behavior that everyone practices. Leaders who execute look for deviations from desired managerial tolerances. The gap between the desired and actual outcome in everything from profit margins to the selection of people for promotion. Then they move to close the gap and raise the bar still higher across the whole organization.
Execution should begin with the senior leaders, but if you are not a senior leader, you can still practice it in your own organization. You build and demonstrate your own skills. The results will advance your career—and they may just persuade others in the business to do the same.