Execute Your Strategy Flawlessly: 4 Leadership Principles to Help You Win While Others Fail

 In Business Success, Coaching, Customer Loyalty & Retention, Inspirational, Leadership Development, Training

Let me ask you a question. If a company has a cost leadership strategy they want to gain the maximum number of customers on price.  Will they do everything they can to win, or not?   Of course!  They will identify tactics throughout the organization to succeed, right?

Why is it that, according to a Fortune survey, 82% of CEOs were concerned about their companies’ ability to execute the company plan?  Why is it that only 27% of the time the workload of employees are considered in making these plans?  Why is it that only 5% of managers can really articulate their company’s strategy?  One company recently bragged it had over 100 initiatives to achieve its customer loyalty strategy. What do you think the odds are that they will make excellent progress?  Kotter says 70-75% of these change efforts don’t work or meet expectations.

This Catch-22 of grand strategies and failed attempts plague businesses and managers everywhere.  There are many reasons for the failures–here are the top ten:

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  • Lack of clear goals
  • Lack of buy-in
  • Resistance to change
  • Too many priorities
  • No accountability for results
  • Lack of capability in the team or resources
  • Poor on-going communication
  • Little personal responsibility
  • Lack of planning detail
  • Rewards not tied to success

Then of course, disaster strikes when the company has the wrong strategy, like what has happened with a large clothing retailer recently.  All of these obstacles tend to paralyze or demoralize employees and managers alike to produce poorer results. It costs companies millions of dollars in lower productivity.  Ineffective managers lose potential career opportunities and rewards.  So, what can you do as a manager to overcome this and SUCCEED?

To begin with, focus on these four key principles:  Clarity, Competence, Commitment and Consistency. These will help you become more effective than others, and most likely gain you flawless execution, which will be noticed by top management.

Once you know the strategy, establish your goals and plans. Include your team in this process; you will get better ideas and buy-in. Then, review this with your boss for input and confirmation.  Create individual plans for each employee. Then, track results and discuss these with your team regularly. We have found that 80% of performance issues are because a lack of clear expectations and goals.

Ensure that your team can win by making sure that they have the knowledge and skills they need.  Schedule regular on-going training to support your team.  Partner with your HR team for parts of it and the rest you could do yourself by enhancing your own knowledge and skills.  ‘Best In Class’ managers deliver 50-60 hours or more of training to their teams every year.  And, they conduct one on one sessions at least monthly with each employee. Guess what? Their employees outperform everyone else!

You have to work at gaining your team’s belief and trust in implementing goals and plans. It starts with you being a better leader, where your team knows that you can lead them on to greater success.  Include them in your planning, as discussed. Give them the credit and recognition for a job well done. Follow-through on your commitments.  Make yourself readily available, show that you care about each person’s success on the job, and learn to listen to your team.  These types of behaviors will help you build a team that will go the extra mile for you. These means become a leader-coach.

Finally, you must execute day in and day out, not once in a while.  This is all about renewing your team on a daily basis. In each of the above areas it means, for example:

  • Clarity: Review and adapt goals for more effectiveness on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Competence: Training and coaching needs to be done on a regular schedule all year long.
  • Commitment: This is about the work climate you create and the teamwork you establish by doing business with integrity and caring.

Remember these words, “Leadership consistency means following a good plan even when it is inconvenient and hard. And, as you do, raising your performance to another level of effectiveness.”

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