This article by our Founder and CEO, Chris Pollinger as published by Inman News shares insights on mastering the art of execution.
Mastering the art of execution is allusive for most. Strategic planning, S.M.A.R.T. Goals, and thousands of operational processes and plans are available to anyone who cares to search for them. But actually seeing results? That takes execution and implementation. How do you translate that amazing vision and mission statement into practice? You can master the art of execution by focusing on these five critical traits.
Develop a clear picture of where you want to go, why it is important and in what time frame you want to get there. This takes equal parts vision, mission and strategy. This is also where most teams memorialize things, put it on a poster and move on. This is only the beginning when it comes to mastering the art of execution.
When you have a clear framework and direction, expectations become simple. Mastering the art of execution only starts with defining your goals. It then continues with setting appropriate expectations for timelines, responsibilities and metrics.
One must emotionally connect to why you need to accomplish your goals. A sense of passion brings the determination to overcome challenges, obstacles, and uncertainties. All the while inspiring your team to commit, engage, and act.
Mastering the art of execution requires a fair amount of grit. You will face unexpected obstacles. You will be sidelined by competitors and allies alike. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. When committed, you will pivot and get it done.
Mastering the art of execution requires someone on your team to “own” each area. Committees don’t get things done. They debate, politically position and make resolutions. Resolutions only offer a glimpse of motive. Intent alone doesn’t actually deliver results.
“Getting things done” is the domain of those who have boots on the ground. Your front line is those who actually with carry out the vision and mission. They make it a reality. Define who is responsible. Give them the authority to carry it out. Both are critical to getting it accomplished.
Far too many times, those that are successful struggle with being “control freaks”. To master the art of execution, you have to trust those in your organization. You must delegate both the authority and the responsibility to get the mission done.
Mastering the art of execution melds with the need for transparent accountability. Each member of the team needs to own their metrics. Accountability becomes peer based when the key performance indicators are open and visible to the entire team.
Peer based accountability is an amazing tool. We have a system we use which we are happy to share for free. Just shoot me a message. What it does is keep the team cohesive. It also takes the pressure off you as the leader and adds it across the rest of the team. Excuses aren’t tolerated by the team. They aren’t justified. The team members will call out and support the necessary growth in a caring way.
I’ll share one more secret to effective accountability. Give each person a single metric that they are accountable to. One measurement which encompasses what they contribute to the team’s success. It could be volume on the sales side. It could be client satisfaction on the servicing side. Or strategic relationships added on the growth side. There are many factors which contribute to success of those single metrics. But the magic is having a single metric is what they are accountable. Too many key performance indicators diverges focus and leads to disappointing delivery.
Empires aren’t built alone. You will need a team of people around you. Surround yourself with people who inspire greatness in you. Build a tribe with those that are encouraging, loyal, and who hold a standard of shared excellence.
The people you surround yourself is arguably more important that what they do. Yes, everyone will have a job to do and a role to play. But the character of each person and how they fit into the culture of your team is nothing less than imperative. It is key to building a culture of team implementation.
Great leaders know how to integrate expectations into their planning. They build a tribe and lead with commitment. They model responsibility and accountability. Great leaders deliver results because they have learned how to master the art of execution.
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