“In reality, the last thing most organizations need is another goal they will miss because their people cannot execute, often simply because they were never taught how.”
by Dave Anderson
I am a fan of Dave Anderson’s work. I have been promoting Up Your Business to our agency leaders for many years. His new book It’s Not Rocket Science is also a must-read. I interviewed Dave on Pittard TV in August and was reminded about how much he knows about business and leadership.
He’s right about the need for competent execution. I have met many leaders who set goal after goal, seldom to achieve any because of a lack of follow-through. Some leaders’ grand plans fizzle into nothing because the grand plans were nothing more than wish lists.
Planning a business direction is similar to planning a holiday
- Decide on the destination
- Plan an itinerary
- Preparation – make the necessary bookings, obtaining visas where necessary
- Study places of interest
- Pack and go
- Goals – know what you want to achieve with a clear deadline
- Plans – determine what must be done to achieve the goals
- Preparation – gather the necessary tools and devise systems to ensure success
- Train – raise team members’ skills and standards to the necessary levels of competency
- Execute competently
If some leaders’ execution was the same for holiday planning as it was for business planning, those leaders would not get much vacation time!
Banking on incompetent competition
A plan to win should not rely on our competitors remaining incompetent. Being the best of a bad bunch is not a winning plan!
It’s not hard to be the best when the competition is dreadful, but this can be a short-lived strategy. All it takes is for an astute operator to open in the area and they will quickly dominate. With close to thirty years in business consulting, I have seen this happen many times – a new player enters the market and takes over within a year.
You know the kind of competition I’m talking about – those people who resist progress and change, often using that loser saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it“. These people aren’t taking their businesses anywhere. They are comfortable, lazy, and cannot see any need for change. They are marking time until the day they retire. They are sitting ducks, waiting for ‘executors’ to execute them.
The smart choice
For smart agency leaders, it truly is a case of execute or be executed.
Always be working on goals that stretch yourself and your people, goals that take you in the direction of increased profit and, always, increased competence of everybody involved in the business.
Set goals, sure, but keep going – plan, prepare, train, and then execute… competently. Do this and nobody will be executing you any time soon.