Monday, February 4, 2013


EXECUTION – The Discipline of Getting Things Done, by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan.
Yes, I knew the subject title would get your attention. It got mine too. Execution is a book about leadership. I thought this book was about how to marshal your faculties towards ensuring you carry out your plans and not become a talk shop or a procrastinator. But it is more about leadership, about being effective and about getting things done. It is an excellent book. I did some quote-mining so I will just share the quotes I gleaned as I soaked up book’s contents. Of course, reading the quotes by themselves don't have as much value as the book itself but they are still useful. Here goes:
  • A leader should be where the action is and should not get reports filtered by perceptions.
  • If your followers suffer ignorance-based fear when you are executing a new strategy, it is your fault as the leader.
  • A leader must be self-aware. Self-awareness gives you the capacity to learn from mistakes as well as your successes. It enables you to keep growing.
  • Behaviours are beliefs turned into action. Behaviours deliver the results.
  • We don’t think ourselves into a new way of acting; we act ourselves into a new way of thinking.
  • If you reward performers and high-potential people, people will work harder at differentiating themselves.
  • Leaders get back the behaviour they exhibit and tolerate.
  • Be more what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it oriented.
  • Decisiveness is the ability to make difficult decisions swiftly and well, and act on them.
  • Getting things done through others is a fundamental leadership skill.
  • Micromanagers are insecure leaders who cannot trust others to get it right because they (the leaders) don’t know how to calibrate them and monitor their performance.
  • The fact that a strategy of good or right does not mean you can execute it. I.e. A good idea is not necessarily good for you. Know your capabilities and shortcomings.
  • A leader must be able to replace an excellent performer with one who can take the business to the next level. A leader must have emotional fortitude to make tough decisions.
  • Everyone has unforeseen events that come along, and the people who ultimately succeed are those who overcome them.
  • If you cannot describe your strategy in twenty minutes, simply and in plain language, you haven’t got a plan. Every strategy boils down ultimately to a few simple building blocks.
  • No matter how well you execute, the risk of failure increases markedly when your ideas don’t fit your existing capabilities.

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