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Close Your Execution Gap

October 11th, 2019

A recent survey at MIT Sloan of more than 400 CEOs revealed that the ability to execute strategy was their number one challenge, ahead of innovation, geopolitical instability, and top-line growth.   These results closely mirror my own empirical experience working withhundreds of private business owners.   Overwhelming data from many studies prove that the vast majority of organizations are decent at developing strategies, but suck at execution.


A solid business plan is certainly important, but I have often witnessed companies with first-rate strategies, deep pockets, or a better mouse trap get stomped by competitors with a lesser strategy and better execution.    Simply stated, companies that execute win.


How would you rate your own organization’s ability to consistently execute?


Do you have a specific plan to close your execution gap?


How is it working for you?


Like all issues facing your company today, the problem (and solution) resides in the CEO’s office.   When it comes to execution, the entrepreneurial bell-curve consists of three main categories of owners:

 1.  Winners:   Those owners that execute consistently and thrive.

 2.  The Majority:  Those that constantly struggle to survive.

 3.  Wheel-Spinners:   Those that fail consistently.


Wheel-Spinners spend the vast majority of their time and resources putting out fires, working inside their business, addressing tactical urgencies, and allowing distractions or shiny objects to govern their behaviors and activities.  The Majority also exhibits similar behaviors, except they do so to a slightly lesser extent.


Winners choose to think, act, and behave differently.  Skillfully.  Here are just a few of the distinct characteristics of Winners…:

·         Winners think, and therefore speak, differently than most owners to themselves and others.

·         Winners understand that there is no more powerful force than focused energy.   They choose to use their limited time, money, energy, and resources wisely.  (This sounds trite, but most owners make other choices!)

·         Winners understand that they can do anything, but that they cannot do everything.   They consequently make sure to commit sufficient, personal time each and every month to work on, versus in, their business.  And they make sure they keep this commitment.  No matter what.  Winners unconditionally commit. 

·         Winners understand the difference between hard work and smart work.  They choose to focus upon smart work.  They do not care about keeping busy.  They know (and tons of research shows) that most busy work is wasted energy (aka:   wheel-spinning).   Winners only care about keeping productive.  They care about results.

·         Winners understand that there is nothing they can do in their business that will have a greater impact on achieving their personal and business vision and goals.

·         You will rarely (if ever) hear a Winner say they “don’t have time”, or “they don’t have money” or they are “really busy”.  Winners know that everyone has 24 hours in a day, and that everyone spends their limited time and money on something.  

·         Winners understand that success and excellence require personal humility, self-awareness, and discipline.  They also understand that consistent execution requires the ability to learn faster than their competitors, and they know they cannot succeed alone.  

·         Consequently, Winners embrace assessments, criticism, and feedback and make sure to proactively seek out the assistance of other owners, coaches, accountability partners, and peer support groups.


If you believe you have an Execution Gap, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.   In fact, why would you even try, when you already have the formula?


You can close your gap by simply modeling the behavior of Winners.


I hope you will start today and will share your experience and significant results.



Copyright © Joe Zente  2019.  All Rights Reserved.