Techniques for Execution: Getting the Right Things Done


The role of an executive is to make effective decisions that lead to getting the right things done. Executives are expected to execute plans to deliver outstanding business results by mastering these key things down below.

1. Time Mastery:
Time is a scarce and precious resource. To increase your effectiveness, begin by understanding where you are spending your time. Once you get actual evidence of where you are currently spending your time, it is important that you identify and eliminate activities that are time-wasters. Schedule focused 1-hour blocks of time to advance important tasks that deliver key results.

2. Set Priorities that Match Your Strengths:
Start by asking what needs to be done versus what do I want to do. Identify which of your priorities you are most suited to accomplish. Focus on the tasks you’re good at, and delegate the others.

3. Develop an Execution Plan to Deliver Results:
What results does the company expect from me this year? What results will I commit to? An execution plan is a statement of intentions, not commitment. The execution plan determines how you will spend your time on key priorities in order to be effective. It should be revisited and revised often, because every success and failure creates new opportunities that require new priorities to be set.

4. Make Effective Decisions About People:
Studies show that decisions about selecting people are successful only 1/3 of the time. Another 1/3 are outright failures, and the remaining 1/3 brings neither success nor disaster. The problem is not that 2/3 of people are in some way unsatisfactory; the problem is you didn’t put the right people on the right job. Learn from your mistake and move on.

5. Decisions are NOT EXECUTED Unless People Know:
Who is accountable for executing the decision? What is the deadline?
Who will be affected by the decision and therefore, who has to know about, understand and approve it? Who must be informed of the decision, even if they are not directly affected by it? Who cares about the results?

6. Communicate your Execution Plan:
Your execution plan and your information needs must be understood by all of your stakeholders. Share your execution plans, and ask for feedback using a 360 degree approach: superiors, subordinates, and peers.

7. Focus on Opportunities Rather than Problems:
Problem solving prevents damage. Innovating and exploiting opportunities produces results. Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems. Don’t discuss problems in management meetings until all opportunities have been analyzed and addressed.

8. Focus on Ideal Outcomes for Meetings:
Studies show that most executives spend upwards of 50% of their time in meetings. If you are running the meeting, follow the principle of listen first and speak last to increase creativity and candour. Presumably you are holding a meeting for a specific purpose; be clear about your ideal outcome for the meeting, and clearly communicate the purpose of the meeting at the start. If you have achieved your desired outcome for the meeting, sum up and end early!