Mentoring younger professionals or new business owners is one of the things I really enjoy doing. It is a form of giving back but also a way of learning from a different generational perspective. Mentoring is truly a two-way street, but on this blog more than on that mentoring relationship, I want to focus on the art of Execution.
Planning and strategizing is something many entrepreneurs, startups, and leaders, in general, spend a lot of time doing. To have a solid business plan and strategy is certainly crucial. I have noticed, however, that executing the plan or more importantly the vision is usually not taken as seriously, and to me, that is the most critical- and hard- part of the plan to begin with.
I don’t know how many times I’ve had people on my team that highlight an issue, a problem, or something that can be done better, and I’ve given total freedom to change it. Most often than not, you know what happens? Nothing. Having an idea, highlighting the inefficiencies, and providing a different path, that’s the easy part, but executing, that’s the part I feel a whole bunch of people truly get stuck in it. Landing a 10,000 feet “bird view” idea is extremely hard, but I can assure you that you will shine in your job if you become that person that develops the ability and the art to Execute.
To better understand why do we fail to execute, let’s take an example we can all relate to, New Year’s Resolutions. Did you know that 80% of people fail to execute whatever they resolved to do by the time we’ve reached February of any given year?
The main causes linked to the lack of execution are:
- Unrealistic expectation
- Lack of true commitment
- Lack of persistence.
These are just a few of the reasons, but if you ask me, they provide a perfect game plan. If you are someone that struggles to get to the finish line, focus on these three things and you will change your execution dynamics. Develop self-discipline as the secret weapon to honor the commitment you make to yourself and to the end goal. Make sure that the objective is achievable and realistic and have the courage to call out an unrealistic goal when one is set by your organization.
Trust me, you might have some resistance at first, but if your opinion has solid groundings, your honesty and objectiveness will eventually pay off. Break the tasks into small and achievable units, so that it is easier to stay committed, on track, and to show progress. You will be surprised by how far moving the “ball” with small little steps will take you. Be consistent and repeat this ‘recipe’ until you get it done.
Developing a reputation for being someone that “gets things done” is one of the biggest assets you can develop career-wise. What are you ready to execute this week?
To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.