This month, Anna Kosova, CAE of Capital Association Management shares her review of Execution: the Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan.
In our field, it’s the executive director’s duty to steer vision and conduct action to meet the association’s goals. A very skilled team can back an executive director, but without executive direction to complete crucial tasks that will advance the organization forward, it’s possible for no consequential work to be completed.
It turns out, that the discipline of execution is art in of itself, and can be broken down into three processes: strategy, people, and operations.
- Leading for execution is active involvement not micromanagement. Leaders must show up, dig deep from strategy to operational level and constantly create a culture of getting things done.
- Leaders need to intimately engage in business and not just spend time with the upper management or industry leaders. They need to ask tough questions and make right tradeoffs.
- The discipline of execution needs to be the leader’s strategy!
- Attract the very best and diverse talents.
- Talk to employees of all levels, establish personal connections by asking them questions and listening to their feedback.
- Together with employees set SMART goals, discuss the roadmap for achieving these goals, and follow up on the progress. If the person succeeds – recognize and reward good performance. If the person falls short, offer coaching or additional training, move to another department or another job setting, or let him/her go, while preserving good relationship.
- Encourage productivity and exert maximum potential: you can teach skills, but you cannot teach a “Get it done attitude.”
- Live a balanced life and coach your employees to do the same!
- Create a balanced team with different types of talent your business needs in order to be successful. Remember that some people are great for strategic processes and others – for operational process.
- Maintain candid and reality-based attitude. For every problem find a realistic solution.
- Foster candid self-assessment and boundaryless thinking!
The one takeaway for our industry is to understand our partner-associations, introduce initiatives to increase productivity, and maintain and sharpen intellectual honesty. Do things differently, do things better, and create a win-win strategy!