What is leadership?
As a leader in charge of execution, what do you do? How do you keep from being a micromanager, caught up in the details of running the business? The answer is to exhibit the seven essential behaviors of successful execution management discussed in Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan’s book, “Execution.”
Seven Essential Behaviors
Know your people and your business.
Are you familiar with the details of your business? Are you spending time with your people? Are you asking questions and understanding how they spend their time? Are you only getting your information from your direct reports and peers or are you talking to others in the organization like teammates that work in other departments and customers to understand the details of your business? Leaders know what is going on in their business.
Insist on realism.
Most of us in business and sales are optimists. We always expect the best outcome. That is great, but as eternal optimists we can’t avoid reality. Make sure you are being honest with yourself. Look at the facts. Don’t hide mistakes. We can only make great decisions and execute at a high level if we understand the details and facts of the business. We must be realistic and set priorities against reality.
Set clear goals and priorities.
This is the area in which I see leaders fail too often. At the end of the day, your clear goals are meaningless if resources are not dedicated to those goals and actions are not happening. There must be follow through mechanisms put in place. You need key performance metrics and scheduled follow-up meetings. Everyone must know what their roles are in the process and what actions are needed.
Reward the doers.
Expand people’s capabilities.
One of your most important roles as a leader is to pass along your wisdom and experience to the next generation of leaders. This is imperative for your aggressive growth plan at your company or team. Teach others.
We all know the importance of character. To lead execution, strong character is critical. You must have the strength of character to deal with the realities of your organization and the strength to give forthright assessments to others in the organization. You also must have the courage to make decisions that sometimes are not easy.
We need great leaders in business and sales. We need leaders with clear vision to execute at a high level to produce positive results. Your ability to lead execution has never been more crucial. Be a great leader of vision and of execution!