Execution is critical for a company to be successful. One of the biggest dragons we have to slay everyday as entrepreneurs is flawless execution. Without it, businesses will fail to achieve great results, their CEOs and teams will burn out, lose their motivation and confidence to change their future.
Simply stated, it’s all about doing. But not doing for the sake of doing. It’s not about being so busy that you don’t have time to think or breathe but intentionally doing for results.
Do you need help getting things done? If so, we have three pieces of priceless advice. For 20 years, Altima Business has stood by entrepreneurs’ side and provided strategic, operational and financial expertise, and over $400 million in capital. Every day we work hard to move businesses from point A to point B.
Here is the first key principle to effective execution:
1. Get out of the way
Every experienced entrepreneur runs up against their own abilities. In the course of growing their business, they found out what they were great at but also what they thought they were good at. They believe they are good at leading execution, until the company stalls.
“Leadership is the single greatest factor in any team’s performance”, said John Gretton “Jocko” Willink, a retired officer of the United States Navy, whose SEAL task team remains one of the most highly decorated for their missions securing the most violent, insurgent-held city in Iraq.
As an instructor during a particular SEAL training known as Hell Week, Willink observed that one of the boat crews dominated every race, while another one was consistently sub-par. The first crew had a strong leader and the team seemed highly motivated, helping each other and proud of their group. The second crew looked frustrated, screaming at each other, their exasperated leader blaming his team for their failure. The crew leaders were asked to swap boats. Amazingly crew number two went from worst to best in the class under their new leader, outperforming crew number one.
Leaders drive execution…or do not. The first step in ‘getting out of the way’ is getting your ego out of the way and accept this responsibility. As CEO you have to accept complete responsibility for every problem that has led to every failure. It is a simple concept but not an easy one to accept. Still there is a lot to gain from recognizing this notion as a truth to live by. Confidence, yes; cockiness, no.
With this mindset, you will have the ability to detach yourself emotionally and assess each problem objectively and realistically.
When you take an objective inventory of mistakes and problems, and completely accept them as your own, you can remove yourself from the trenches and actually lead by focusing on a bottom-up approach. Like in the Navy SEAL boat crew, each member of your team needs a chance to showcase their talent, their strength and support for each other and the company. No one likes being told what to do. It is far more efficient for the team to set their objectives together with their leader. Start the conversation by taking complete responsibility for the mistakes due to your lack of clarity in explaining the goals, the process or whatever you have identified. Clearly states what needs fixing and what the new goals are. Everyone gets to have a say in what their objectives are and what results will be measured. In fact, 70% of the plan should come from your team, giving them the opportunity to buy-in into the plan and your leadership, while you’ll focus on steering the boat.
To be continued…
Altima Business is membership-based on-demand consultancy firm founded by entrepreneurs whose jobs is to slay the dragons most business owners try to fight. Every day we work hard to move businesses from A to B point.