Execution – Outline Part II

Here’s part two of my review of Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan:
II.  Part II – The Building Blocks of Execution
A.  Chapter 3 – Building Block One:  The Leader’s Seven Essential Behaviors
1.  “Know your people and your business.”
2.  “Insist on realism.”  “Embracing realism means always taking a realistic view of your company and comparing it with other companies.”
3.  “Set clear goals and priorities.”  “Leaders who execute focus on a very few clear priorities that everyone can grasp.”
4.  “Follow through.”
5.  “Reward the doers.”  “You have to make it clear to everybody that rewards and respect are based on performance.”
6.  “Expand people’s capabilities through coaching.”  “One of the most important parts of your job is passing it on to the next generation of leaders.”  “Good leaders regard every encounter as an opportunity to coach.”
7.  “Know yourself.”  “Good leaders learn their specific personal strengths and weaknesses, especially in dealing with other people, then build on the strengths and correct the weaknesses.”
a.  Four core qualities that make up emotional fortitude:
i.  authenticity
ii.  self-awareness
iii.  self-mastery
iv.  humility
Jon’s comments:  It all starts with the leader.  This chapter provides valuable encouragement to any leader.  I especially appreciated that the authors offer hope to leaders who make mistakes.  We can all learn from our experiences – successes and failures.  What we do with what we learn is key.
B.  Chapter 4 – Building Block Two:  Creating the Framework for Cultural Change
1.  “To change a business’s culture, you need a set of processes – social operating mechanisms – that will change the beliefs and behavior of people in ways that are directly linked to bottom-line results.”
2.  “The foundation of changing behavior is linking rewards to performance and making the linkages transparent.  If a company rewards and promotes people for execution, its culture will change.”
3.  “You should reward not just strong achievements on numbers but also the desirable behaviors that people actually adopt.”
4.  “You cannot have an execution culture without robust dialogue – one that brings reality to the surface through openness, candor and informality.  Robust dialogue makes an organization effective in gathering information, understanding the information, and reshaping it to produce decisions.”
Jon’s comments:  Who and what is your organization?  Figure it out through discussion.  Go after it.  Reward people for it.
C.  Chapter 5 – Building Block Three:  The Job No Leader Should Delegate – Having the Right People in the Right Place
1.  “An organization’s human beings are its most reliable resource for generating excellent results year after year.  Their judgments, experiences, and capabilities make the difference between success and failure.”
2.  “To consistently improve its leadership gene pool, every business needs a discipline that is embedded in the people process, with candid dialogues about the matches between people and jobs, and follow-through that ensures people take the appropriate actions.”
3.  “If you want to build a company that has excellent discipline of execution, you have to select the doer.”
4.  “Getting things done through others is a fundamental leadership skill.”
5.  “You can’t spend too much time on obtaining and developing the best people.”
6.  “If you sit down with your boss and your boss hasn’t said something to you about your weaknesses, go back!  Because otherwise you’re not going to learn anything.”
Jon’s comments:  You can’t put a square peg in a round hole (and vice versa).  As leaders, we need to be extremely diligent in finding the right people and putting them in the right place.
Until the next post…