Execution – A Book Summary

You’ve got the bright ideas and the smart people, and the
market is just ready for you. But why hasn’t your business
taken off as you predicted? Maybe the problem is in your
execution. What does it really take to get a business
going? You need the right people combined with realistic
strategies to create effective operating procedures. Let
Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan tell you how.

A business leader’s most important job is the execution of
plans, the “detail work,” making sure that the staff is
getting results. This is the sort of responsibility that
cannot be delegated. It is the leader’s primary duty to see
that every member of the team is carrying out his part
of the big plan to ensure the whole company’s success.
There are no excuses for failure: the market will always
be tough. What spells the difference between successes and
failures is the ability to execute plans.

Too often, too much intellectualizing and philosophy occurs
at the planning level. The leaders are busy with their
dreams and plans for success but there is little focus on
implementation, thus the promised result is not delivered.
The emphasis on execution as an integral part of the
business process has not received enough attention in terms
of accumulated knowledge and literature.

The Building Blocks of Execution

The Leader’s Seven Essential Behaviors

1. Know Your People and Your Business.

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2. Insist on Realism.

3. Set Clear Goals and Priorities.

4. Follow Through.

5. Reward the Doers.

6. Expand People’s Capabilities through Coaching.

7. Know Yourself.

Creating the Framework for Cultural Change

You can’t just institute changes for the sake of shaking
things up at your company. Your changes must be geared
towards getting results. Be specific: what sort of
behavior is acceptable in your company? What’s unacceptable? Change must begin at the top-level, to set an example down the line. Don’t just expect it to happen either. Reward successful implementation of your plans to instigate change.

The Job No Leader Should Delegate–Having the Right People in the Right Jobs

Hiring the right people is as important as planning ahead; you need people who are not only capable, but also full of potential for growth as your business expands. Take time to focus on your staff, because in effect your business is in their hands. Take time to develop your staff’s leadership capabilities so that they can bring results to your plans and visions. Assess individual capabilities and determine if you can further develop your employee through training, coaching
and exposure, or if he’s better off elsewhere. If you can properly develop your people, you should be able to fill top administrative posts from within. Hire a talented person and she will hire a talented person.

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