It’s All About Execution

So the crying over the Cowboys not making the playoffs has finally stopped here at home and it’s time to take a few lessons from this tragedy. The ‘boys didn’t make the playoff’s because they lacked talent, they are brimming with talent. It wasn’t strategy, head coach Wade Phillips showed that he can build a strong defensive strategy and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is considered a boy wonder off offensive strategy. So what it a lack of teamwork? They sure seemed united as a team for most of the year. Sure there was some sniping at the end but I think that was more a symptom than a cause.

So it must be leadership, right? Isn’t leadership the answer to every organization’s problem? Yet offensively, Romo sure seemed to be a heck of a leader. He shook off his own mistakes and made big plays. He worked to keep the whole offense involved. Defensively, several of leaders emerged, both on the field and off. NFL sack leader DeMarcus Ware and Greg Ellis come to mind. So if it’s not leadership, what then?

It’s execution. Most companies have talent. Maybe not as much as the Dallas Cowboys but we know that talent isn’t everything. Most companies have a good strategy, if the competition does nothing. Most companies have at non-dysfunctional teams and good, if not great leadership. Most companies also suck at execution.

A lack of execution drives CEO’s nuts more than anything else. The CEO has hire the talent and motivated the team. He’s got a great strategy to crush the competition but nothing happens. The talent and the team just don’t execute.

I see this in lots of companies. People meet, they talk and debate but never go see. Participants discuss but never decide. They come to a half-consensus but no one is willing make a real decision.

Building a culture of execution is the most critical thing a leader can do for their organization.