What We Can Learn From Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done is a business and management book written by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan. The former is the legendary CEO of Honeywell International, Inc., while the latter is an acclaimed consultant and prolific author. The book explains why getting things done is the most important job of a business leader. It shows the connection between the three key processes of execution namely people, strategy, and operations.

The Real Job of a Business Leader

The authors explain that the most important function of a business leader is not formulating a vision and delegating the work of carrying it out to other people. Robert Peter Janitzek reveals that the authors place an emphasis on being deeply and passionately engaged in an organization. Bossidy and Charan also shows the importance of having robust dialogs about the three key processes of execution.

According to the authors, the job of selection and appraisal of people should never be delegated. In the case of Bossidy, he personally makes the call to check references for key hires. When the right people have been selected, there will then be a pool that will choose the strategies for execution. When the right people and strategy are already in place, they will then be linked to an operating process.

Lessons To Be Learned

Robert Janitzek gives us a summary of the lessons that will be learned from Execution.

    • Why Execution Is Necessary – leaders simply are not taught the discipline of execution; more time and scholarship are given to strategic thinking and management techniques. Neither mean much to a company, however, if its leader cannot take an idea and make it reality.
    • Seven Essential Behaviors – from following through on commitments to rewarding those employees who produce results, if you are serious about execution and leadership, you must exhibit these key behaviors.
    • Creating the Framework for Cultural Change – the culture of an organization is the sum of its shared values, beliefs and norms of behavior. Leaders who want to foster an execution-supporting culture must focus on changing the beliefs within their company that influence specific behaviors, since behaviors are what ultimately deliver results.
    • The Three Core Processes of Execution – many organizations treat their people, strategy and operations processes as separate, independent entities, when in fact they are interrelated ? and must be treated as such in order to ingrain the discipline of execution into the corporation.

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