“Every organization must be prepared to abandon everything it does to survive in the future.” — Peter Drucker
If the execution of a company’s plans is an avowed priority, critical to the success of both the CEO and the business, why aren’t CEOs spending enough time on it to make it successful?
Why is it that every time the Conference Board surveys CEOs to identify their Top Ten Challenges, “consistent execution of strategy” or “excellence in execution” is invariably cited as being in the top two or three “greatest concerns” … yet, when CEOs are asked about their greatest disappointments or failures, they routinely list their company’s inability to execute?
Huh? How is it that a subject among the top three goals of most CEOs is the very one where the CEO has the least amount of success? Is this simply a conundrum tucked inside a mystery hidden inside an enigma … or can we sort out some of this ambiguity?
Every Tuesday, we’re sharing valuable and practical leadership tips and tools to help you BE a better leader so you can BECOME a better leader. For the next several weeks, we’re going to identify the recurring themes that have become obstacles in the path of our success, and figure out how to dropkick them out of our way.
We’ve done all the work to formulate a powerful strategy but we simply ran out of steam when we were finished.
We devoted all of our available resources and employee time to formulating the strategy, but people are tired of it all so we’ve simply stopped investing in the process.
We proudly announce our strategy, complete with PowerPoint and FAQs on our employee web site, and figure that since everyone now knows what needs to get done, they’ll go off and do it.
Our people are smart, they’ll figure it out, and we don’t have to do it for them. La-la land is just so warm and fuzzy ….
Remember … you won’t BECOME a better leader until you start BEING a better leader … implementing NOW the changes necessary to adopt the proven strategies of successful leaders. Start by building on the communication matrix and making sure you’re defending the castle to get done what only you can do. Make sure to take some time so you’re thinking past today. Read our 12 part Leadership series.
How well does your company execute its plans? Are you working hard to develop plans and not very hard to implement them?
Maybe you’ve had a lot of success with it? What has worked for you?
This article was published in the February 13, 2012 edition of the North Bay Business Journal, a publication of the New York Times, and a weekly business newspaper which I have served as a regular columnist for over three years. The Business Journal covers the North Bay area of San Francisco – from the Golden Gate bridge north, including the Wine Country of Sonoma and Napa counties. The electronic version of this article, as published by the North Bay Business Journal, may be found here.
Lary Kirchenbauer is the president of Exkalibur Advisors, providing practical business strategies for family and other privately owned businesses in the middle market. Exkalibur works closely with senior executives and their businesses in the wine and other industries, and hosts the Exkalibur Leadership Forum for leaders of middle market companies in the North Bay. Please visit Exkalibur.com for a library of valuable resources, articles and insights or connect on Twitter, LinkedIN or the Exkalibur fan page on Facebook.