EXECUTION!

“I saw that leaders placed too much emphasis on what some call high-level strategy, on intellectualizing and philosophizing, and not enough on implementation. People would agree on a project or initiative, and then nothing would come of it.”—Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan/Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

Spoke last night in Orlando to eCustomerServiceWorld, one of those “holy-moly”/”parade of …” events (Giuliani, Tony Robbins, etc). After my speech, I interviewed on stage Larry Bossidy, former Chairman of Allied Signal, former GE Vice Chairman. He and consultant/strategy uber-guru Ram Charan wrote (a couple of years ago) Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. The extraordinary—and accurate, as I see it—hypothesis is that we inordinately pay attention to strategy, customers, innovation, and the like, but not the true discriminator between success and failure—implementation! Moreover, execution is the leader’s Job #1, and execution is a “systematic and rigorous discipline” that can be learned and applied by one and all. The truth is, I had read the book, liked it, but had not really dived in. I have done so now (as I prepared for my interview), and I conclude that it is a genuine original, of the utmost importance!

Which led me to …

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS! Attached you will find two. The first, titled “Bossidy,” consists of some quotes from Execution that I found particularly apt. The second is a broader presentation I concocted; it’s called “A Bias for Action,” which a few of you may remember was Principal #1 from In Search of Excellence (our way, in 1982, of underscoring the importance of implementation … my shorthand has been/is “too much talk, too little do”).

Enjoy …

[Also find the event slides for the eCustomerServiceWorld event here, and the longer Web version here.—CM]