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Execution is the Key to Success

Happy Holidays! In last month’s blog, I asked the question, “What is your #1 priority for 2017?” based on the four decisions (People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash) that every business owner and executive has to make to maximize their revenue, productivity and company. A majority of our readers mentioned that “driving flawless execution” was their main decision to focus on this upcoming year. Because of this, I will focus this month’s blog on ways to improve your business’s execution strategy.

In order to execute well, you must know what success looks like. Success means something different to every business. Hitting a specific amount in revenue, having a certain number of employees, profit growth or acquiring the next business are just a few ways your business may define success. Knowing your definition of success can help you stay focus and evaluate new opportunities as they come. Be sure that “success” is measurable, and defined within a certain timeframe.

Here are four ways to improve your execution:

Clear priorities:

Not everything can be a priority. If you try to focus on everything, you will find your overall execution to be poor. Instead, focus on doing the right actions at the right time to get the right results.

Are you the type of business owner or executive who says yes to everything? Understand that when you say “yes” and dedicate your time to a task, you are saying “no” to giving your attention to something that may be more important. Work to make the right decisions with your time and focus.

Identify three to five priorities that must be focused on to achieve success and eliminate all other distractions that keep you from being focused on those priorities. Delegate or eliminate what is less important.

Routines and rhythms:

Are you consistent in your use of time and your behaviors? By getting into routines and rhythms, you will become more consistent with your execution through structure and procedures. For example, by creating a routine to communicate with your team through a weekly or daily huddle, you will set the precedence of a strong rhythm of productivity throughout the week.

Take time to think, prepare, follow up, communicate, and focus on your priorities. The more you get in the routine of doing this, the less time-consuming it will feel.

Be forward thinking:

Every person in every business should have a clear 90-day action plan. This plan outlines key actions, benchmarks and timelines for the upcoming quarter. The action plan may also include when you will be working with others on your team to accomplish a specific project.

If your plan isn’t on paper, it doesn’t exist! When creating your goals, take a moment to sit down and document your action plan. Create each goal with the end-date in mind. Identify the outcome you are working towards, and step backwards to define what actions need to be taken by when to get the result that you want.

Once you have created your action plan, share it with the rest of your team. Look at it daily or weekly, and follow it. Remember, out of sight, out of mind!

Accountability:

Your team is depending on you, and you are you depending on your team, to follow through on your 90-day action plan. How are you holding yourself accountable and how is your team being held accountable to follow through on the steps and the commitments identified to meeting your goals? Accountability ensures follow through. What processes do you have with your team to create a culture of accountability within your organization?

To create a culture of accountability, consider having weekly or bi-weekly meetings where each person gives an update on their action plan. When a team member gives their update, use green, yellow and red to describe the status:

Green = I am on track
Yellow = I am a little behind and here are the actions I am taking to get caught up
Red = There is no way I am going to hit this date, I need help and how can I adjust my timeframe?
Measuring progress always helps with accountability! This is not micromanagement, this is good management. Remember that progress is more than just the results. It involves the actions you take daily that create the results.

I encourage everyone to have a clear plan for success in 2017. Know clearly what success looks like to you and create an action plan of what needs to be done to make this year a successful one!

Continue to grow as a leader and manager in 2017 by attending my monthly workshops. In January, learn how to change your thinking to become more successful. Successful people are all alike in one way: how they think! This is the one thing that separates successful people from unsuccessful people. The good news is, how successful people think can be learned! Learn more and sign up here!