Execution, not perfection…

“A good plan violently executed today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”

General George S. Patton

There is no such thing as a perfect plan. Trying to get it just right and waiting until it is perfect means that nothing will ever get done. I’d much rather have a good plan well executed than to wait another minute to try and get something perfect. It just isn’t going to happen. Seeking perfection is the enemy of execution.

10 words or less…

“Greatness is more than potential. It is the execution of that potential. Beyond the raw talent. You need the appropriate training. You need the discipline. You need the inspiration. You need the drive.” 

Eric A. Burns

All the raw talent in the world won’t create a champion. The champions are created in the training room practicing their skills and building on their God given gifts. This takes desire and motivation beyond simply “doing your best.”

What gets you to give the extra 10% that no one is asking for? What motivates you to push beyond what is expected? What drives you to excel?

If you can’t answer this in 10 words or less then keep working on it. It has to be on the tip of your tongue when you wake up, when you go to bed, when you hit hard times, when you lose, and when you win. That’s how you push yourself to get better.

You don’t win on emotion…

“No excuses. No explanation. You don’t win on emotion. You win on execution.” 

Tony Dungy

Execution is everything. Without great execution nothing else really matters. The greatest idea or plan in the world is worthless without relentless execution and a focus on getting the work done.

One thing that stands out for me on this quote is the “you don’t win on emotion” sentence. Emotion can be great fuel for winning and can be a tremendous catalyst for action but it won’t be the reason you win. Without intense focus and direction all the emotion in the world won’t create great execution.

Too often, myself most certainly included, emotion has been an excuse or a “reason” for poor performance. Things like “I am just not passionate about this,” or “my emotions got the best of me” are just excuses for not executing the game play properly.

Look in the mirror. The only person that prevents you from getting the work done is yourself. “No excuses. No explanation. You don’t win on emotion. You win on execution…”

If you want to hear the music, do the work…


“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”

Peter Drucker

A great symphony isn’t of any value unless there is an orchestra there to bring it to life. To convert the written notes into the music which fills the air takes tremendous effort, collaboration and direction from many people all aiming for the same thing, to bring to life what is essentially just a written plan.

I don’t know anyone who achieved anything without dedicating themselves to the work necessary to turn their plans into a new reality. There are no free rides in life. Do the work, the hard work, or you won’t be able to hear the music…

Strategy vs. Execution…

“Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless.”

Morris Chang

I love how this quote frames the importance of both strategy and execution so succinctly.  How do you measure success?  Is it by having great intent, or by achieving great results?   It is the results in life that matter right?  But only if they are created through intentional focus and effort.  Time is going to pass either way, so we better make it count… 

Who’s fault is it?

“You’re a failure as a leader if people sit around waiting for you to tell them what to do.”

Dan Rockwell

Leadership failure happens if you aren’t first asking yourself the question, “what am I doing that is creating or causing this situation?”  The outcome is simply a reflection of leadership choices.  What choices have I made, intentional or not, that are responsible for creating a culture where ownership and accountability is low and “people sit around waiting to be told what to do?”  Leadership starts with self and that means asking yourself tough questions on how you are contributing to the problem.

I might argue that you’re a failure as a leader if you sit around expecting others to have to change, but your not looking to change yourself…

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