Execution: Action That Is!

I spent the day looking over many of the performance reviews that I have received in my many years of working in the corporate world. There was one common theme that stuck out to me from the many different managers that had input in writing them. They all highlighted the fact that I can be counted on to getting stuff done. I made sure that actions were in place and work got done. Started me thinking that there is a blog post in those items… I had many different managers, leaders, organizations, job scopes and there was one thing that was never different, change. We can all count on change happening everywhere we turn. Some of those changes are self imposed, but many are imposed upon us. As a manager, this is one area that really separates the good ones from the want-a-be’s. How do you react to change and make stuff happen (or execute)?

Looking back on my experiences, I came across some ideas that I like to use in almost every situation. These are not anything special, but making sure that you stick to a process or using the ideas will help you to drive execution better.

  • Brainstorming… It is the simplest of tasks to help seek new ideas to implement within the particular situation you are in. Not every manager can do their job by themselves. Some would give that impression, but they are the want-a-be’s. The knowledge lies within the individuals on the team. Use that wealth of collective wisdom to help. It is amazing how that area goes untapped by many.  I used to schedule some brainstorming sessions on particular topics, just to keep us working together and helping each other with particular problems we were facing. Later on, with the additional of social tools, we all could post a question and the group could brainstorm off-line. The information gathered is so helpful. Don’t ever lose sight of that fact.
  • Don’t apply filters… It is so easy for managers to put up their personal prejudices toward some of the ideas that were gathered. We all come with experiences and lessons learned over the years, how well use turn on (or off) those filters will help you with getting to the essential ideas that could become reality. I like the phrase, “keep up with today, don’t ignore yesterday and look to tomorrow.” You can not get stuck in one area..
  • Implement… This is where the real work comes in. You have to do something with the brainstorming. You have additional knowledge, but you have to sit down and put those ideas not actions. Make sure that you take into account that action adds an additional layer of fear to the group (you are going to make some changes). Keep an eye on your plans and progress. There will always be some level of failure that will happen along the way. These are great lesson and experiences to use moving forward. I don’t remember anytime in my working career that everything went 100% perfect.
  • Remove roadblocks… Managers are there to remove roadblocks that their team encounters that slows them to the goals that are needed for success. What may seem small to you, maybe huge to the team. Set up your monitoring of performance goals (and tracking) and keep an eye (and ear) to progress. Step in quickly and remove those roadblocks. Help your team be successful!
  • Lead with passion… For me, this was always easy. I choose to be a manager and I enjoyed it! I was passionate about everything about leading my teams. Their work, success and us all getting our jobs done was important to me. Proactive leaders must make sure that the lead with passion. That passion is contagious. I know, I watched it happen many times.

Simple ideas to remember when you want to make sure that your team will execute. We all want to get things done! For me, there was not greater sense of pride, when a team member would say that they enjoyed making changes together and how they could watch stuff getting done. They went home happy about their work, which made me go home happy about all of our work. That reflected and shine through on all of those performance reviews.

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