What is execution and why does it matter?
Put simply, execution is the ability to turn ideas into outcomes and it’s the key to any and all business success you might have (or want to have).
Let me give you an example.
You start wondering why some parts of your client work seem to take so long to produce. Reports get stuck in the back office for weeks it seems.
You decide to improve that process and shorten the cycle time, which will improve client satisfaction, owner satisfaction, team satisfaction and might also lead to an uptick in client referrals.
Let’s call that an idea.
How many business owners get to that place of having the idea, but taking it no further?
Because they haven’t learned how to execute on their ideas.
If that’s you, or that’s you sometimes, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
And more importantly, you can learn the skills that will improve your execution ability, if you want to.
Great Ideas Get Celebrated
Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Arianna Huffington and Steve Jobs get accolades for their amazing ideas.
However, their ideas were not what made them successful.
It’s their ability to turn their ideas into something real that should be celebrated.
The same goes for you.
Ideas are great.
Ideas are important.
Ideas are the starting point for all achievement.
But there’s no change in the world if it only stays as an idea in your head.
There’s no change in your business and there’s no effect on your client’s lives.
You have to be able to execute.
Being Busy Is Not Execution
Let me clear something up. Doing more, being busy, or ticking things off a to-do list is not execution.
Most of us are busy doing those things every day and yet we can find ourselves another 12 months down the road having failed to execute on something important.
The key is to become un-busy.
And you achieve that by increasing your focus.
A piece of glass with the sunlight shining through it is nice.
However, when used to magnify the light to a point, it can start a fire.
Your ideas are the same.
You need to be sifting them, debating and discussing them with whomever you find adds the most value to your thought process.
That might be someone who champions your ideas, or it might be someone who likes to pick them to pieces.
The point is, you only want to execute on the very best of your ideas.
“I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things. You have to pick carefully.” ~ Steve Jobs
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” ~ Warren Buffett
How You Can Improve
I’ve said many times in previous blogs, my idea of business hell is seven projects 98% complete. A project that isn’t completed yields no benefits.
One project 100% complete has the power to change the course of your business trajectory.
Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work, says, achieving goals can be reduced to three rules:
- Do fewer things
- Do them better
- Know why you’re doing them
It’s great advice for improving your execution skills.
Let me know how you go.