action vs, business executionLast week I started a new set of articles focused on execution titled Why Business Execution in Critical to Successful Growth.  In it I tried to convey the difference between just taking action and business execution, also known as business strategy implementation.  The main difference is FOCUSED vs RANDOM action.

This is a pretty simple concept.  And, most people understand this right away. In fact, this past weekend I presented the concept to an audience at BarCamp and they all got it right away.  What was more intriguing to them was what does it take to get better at business execution/implementation?

Here is the list of skills I shared in becoming a better leader of business execution.  I’ve touched on most of these topics in way or another over the years, so where possible I will redirect you to where you can find more information on the skill.

Align Business Execution with a Vision

vision image KeyYour vision is that ONE thing you ultimately want from life and you are using your business as a vehicle to get you there.  Vision also helps you communicate your direct to others and becomes a “litmus test” for all your decision making.

Set Goals & Objectives Along the Way

Goals & objectives help you create major milestones along the way to achieving your vision.  They help you monitor progress and provide you with the needed focus needed to make sure your actions are directed toward the right things which is key to good business execution.

Create a Plan to Achieve Your Objectives

Action plans are what drive your goals & objectives.  They help you define who does what by when.  It’s just a project plan at its core which is what I’ve said a business plan is all along.  It forms a scope of work for the next major skill to good business implementation – delegation.

Delegate for More Effective Business Execution

Succession PlanningYou need a team to achieve your vision primary focus to create self-sustainability.  Delegation is the way you get there.  However, delegation is a skill that is underdeveloped in most small business owners and beginning entrepreneurs.  You want to improve your delegation skills because it increases the values of your business.

Communicate Your Quality Standards

One of the most frequently forgotten aspects of delegating work is communicating expectations.  That is how well do you need outputs to perform?  This is all that a quality standard really is.  But, it’s often hard work to document your specification and communicate this to others.  This is why this step so often gets left out.  Or even worse, the owner decides “I’ll just do it myself.”  In which case the lack of delegation in the business perpetuates itself even longer and the business loses value as a result.

Lead Your Team

If you own a business you are a leader.  The problem is owners don’t always act that way.  Good leadership means tearing down the barriers for you team.  It means motivate you team toward the vision by helping your team members achieve their goals in the process.  Are you doing these things?  If not, read more on leadership to improve your skillset.

Apply Discipline Every Step of the Way

Discipline Marital ArtsDiscipline is a term that gets used a lot but is not really well understood.  In Scott Peck’s book The Road Less Traveled he defines discipline as the ability to delay gratification.  None of us do this very well.  However, if you are not willing to endure the pain and discomfort necessary to accomplish your goals and objectives your vision has little chance of being realized.  Discipline means staying focused on you vision!

Hold Yourself Accountable First and Then Others

Accountability is discipline in action.  You have to walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk.  If you tell your employees watch expenses, but you spend frivolously chances are they won’t listen.  Implementing accountability means having humility first.  Show your team that you have discipline.  Then teach them how to have discipline themselves.  Everyone wins in this scenario.

Change and Adapt When Necessary

Change is the only constant in the business.  Things never go as planned, so you have to be flexible.  But, in order to know when to change you have to monitor with frequency to notice deviation and shifts in your plans.  Then you have to be disciplined enough to make the tough decisions when the situation warrants.  Not doing so will mean delaying success or possibly preventing it all together!

Celebrate Your Victories Along the Way

Business People CelebratingYou’ve hear the old cliché, “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.”  It’s not different in business.  When you have success rewards your team.  It is a great way to show your team that you appreciate what they’ve accomplished and to create solid indicators for achieved milestone.

So, there you have it.  Are these the only 10 things that bring success?  No, but it’s a pretty good start. What other things can you think of that can help with business execution?  Share them here.

You have plenty of things here to help you begin working on improving your business implementation.  In the weeks to come there will be plenty more.  So, STAY TUNED!