In the world of athletics, professionals and amateurs alike have success in their chosen sport not just because they show up and take action. It is because they execute to a defined plan. Take for instance a downhill skier. (It is winter in the north part of the country, so we get the opportunity to mix in a little snow fun along with our business insights.) They train in a variety of ways, from weights, to balance, to actual on the slope skiing. Each of these are not just random actions. Each one has a specific contribution to the overall performance of the athlete. As a result of these elements being specific to contributing to the overall outcome these efforts are not done casually. They just don’t go through the motions and actions. They execute to a given standard so the maximum contribution can take place.
Ok, back inside from the cold wintery slopes…
As the business leader in your organization, you set the standard for execution. Regardless of the size and scope of your business, the people in your organization are keeping an eye on your contribution and execution. They might not fully understand that your contribution is very different from theirs, but they are always looking at your ability to execute. Thus, with all eyes on you as you begin your trek along the path of business the level of execution either raises the standard or lowers the bar for everyone in the company.
Not too long ago I was at an executive luncheon where the CEO of a large multi-unit business with over 7000 employees was telling his story. Part of the conversation tied in athletics as he had participated in collegiate sports at a younger age. One of his takeaways was that he was not the best or most talented person on the team, nor would he ever be. That did not diminish his efforts. He knew that he had to work harder and execute more exacting in order to be part of the team. This drive caused him to take execution beyond the idea of just showing up. As crazy as it might sound, he still practices what he learned years ago. He shows up early, he puts in the extra effort when appropriate and does not complain when asked to be part of the success of others.
Leaders can sometimes become complacent. We get to a point in our career where we let our pride work its way into our execution and success. We start thinking and acting like we have made it and everything else is within your domain. Unfortunately, this is the beginning of the potentially rapid decline. You may have financial success and if that is your only measurement then potentially you have made it. Most prominent successful business leaders are more likely to have success on multiple platforms and money is typically not one of the major one.
This week as you grow yourself and your business, look at your execution routines. Are they setting and keeping the standards you want your organization to be known for? If a third party looked in on you and your business, would they walk away thinking the way you believe your organization is executing at? There is a time for execution and a time for play. If you mix them up, you might just let your competition ski right past you.
JKL Associates and our Promise Guide approach to helping you be the best you can be is waiting for you to execute. Reach out to us and let’s get started with building you to be a great leader who demonstrate excellence in execution. Give JKL Associates a call at MI (313) 527-7945 or FL (407) 984-7246
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