"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").
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
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on the front page.