Execution – The Art of Getting Things Done, Bossidy and Charan

Posted on February 17, 2011 by

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According to Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan – Execution is the ability to mesh strategy with reality, align people with goals to achieve the promised results.

execution

get er' done!

I was looking at an article I wrote a few summers ago about “Execution, the Discipline of Getting Things Done”. I was trying to convey two tangible sets of measurements (softball/baseball and swimming skills).  As we prepare for a whole new summer (with a bit more advanced skills levels at all levels)  the lessons resonate still!

Here are some concrete examples of getting to the ‘real stuff’ this summer; in growing our own small business  and seeing the growth in our kid’s abilities.  Each child has been involved in baseball. For a soon to be kindergartener (Annaliese) baseball has a bit different expectation than a 1st grader (Joshua) and 3rd grader (Rachael). The thought is that as they get older skills are acquired and a sense of which base to throw to begins to sink in.

In their other summer passion, swimming, the measurements are much more precise. Rachael’s become an old pro at swimming and her goals are “Olympic swim team, art school and veterinarian.” Six year old Joshua cut over 30 seconds off his times in early May and swam with a 9-10 year old relay at the meets. More than ribbons, each enjoyed “swimming with friends and blowing the bubbles off others” (that’s swimmers smack talking).

What’s the connection to Execution? Regardless of age, measurement is important to improvement and fun. As long as it’s not used as a sledge hammer but more to mark trends, measurements help us to focus our attention. During an end-of-the-year awards swim party on Sunday, the coaches did a great job of stressing how much each swimmer improved. That came first, then they finished with handing out medals and ribbons.
I think that’s a perfect prescription for improvement in our own performance. When celebrating success, focus on measurable  improvement first and then the measurable tangible results second. If we gloss over the measurable improvements it’s far too
easy to forget how we achieved those  results.

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