“Success begins with preparation but ends with execution”
In a previous article titled, “The 3 Highly Effective Habits of Business Success”, I outlined 3 key habits necessary for preparing for business success.
The article stressed the importance of learning, thinking and planning as crucial factors in the preparation for success both in business as well as in life.
In this article however, I will be discussing the 4th highly effective habit of business success.
This concluding article is in response to the feedback I got from my readers, most especially Elise of Elisesreview blog and Brenda of Mindrecipes.
They both pointed out the need for a 4th habit of business success which as a matter of fact, I had considered including in the first article but had a rethink when I realized I had written up to 3000+ words already just explaining the first 3 highly effective habits.
Therefore, I encourage you to join me once again on this unusual journey as we explore the 4th habit that brings about business success. As always, I urge you to share your views, thoughts or questions in the comment box below this article so as to help expand the knowledge therein.
As you’ve just seen, this article is a derivative of the feedback gotten from those who didn’t just read, but also contributed to the overall relevance of the article by leaving a comment behind. Always bear it in mind, knowledge shared, is knowledge expanded!
EXECUTION – the art of producing results!
The 4th highly effective habit of business success is execution. The great Isaac Newton once said, “All objects are at a state of rest until an external force is applied”.
Meaning; without taking action, everything else remains at a standstill. Every great accomplishment either in business or in life came as a result of certain actions executed by certain people in a certain way at a particular period in time. Nothing simply just happens by itself, people make things happen by taking certain calculated actions.
This is why execution is such a critical element in the composition of highly effective habits that brings about business success. This is because in the final analysis, it’s not what you know, thought, and even planned about that ultimately brings about success; rather it’s the eventual actions you took that brought about the success.
So without the presence of the 4th habit of execution, business success will only remain an imagination and may never become a reality.
Why is Execution so damn important?
Preparation which involves the cultivation of 3 highly effective habits of learning, thinking and planning helps you begin the process of achieving business success, but without execution, which involves putting into action all that you’ve learnt, thought about and laid out in a logical plan, all you’d ever accomplish is remaining in the process but never actually achieving success.
Preparation is getting ready for the game, while execution is getting into the field and playing the game. You see, you can prepare all day long, but if you never make it to the field and actually start putting to use all the skills you’ve acquired from practice (preparation), your chances of succeeding are not only slim, but absolutely non-existent.
It is only execution that has the potential to deliver success. That is, the measure of your preparation is the outcome of your execution. We know how well you’ve prepared when we see how much you’ve accomplished.
Until your actions (execution) produces certain results (outcome), all your learning, thinking, and planning (preparation) is regarded as effort (activity). In other words, until your execution produces certain outcomes, all your preparation is just activity. And activity (effort) is not a yardstick for measuring success, productivity (outcome) is.
How do I mean?
Each of the 3 highly effective habits of business success; learning, thinking and planning previously discussed produces certain outcomes which increases the odds of succeeding. They indicate how close or far you are from your predetermined destination, goal or objective. For example,
- the outcome of learning = knowledge (acquisition of information)
- the outcome of thinking = insight (comprehension of situation)
- the outcome of planning = strategy (formulation of action)
As you’ve probably noticed, none of these 3 outcomes of knowledge, insight and strategy clearly points to or suggests a yardstick for measuring success. They are only tools or indicators of success, they are only predicting the possibility of success occurring.
They don’t in anyway produce an outcome that will clearly reveal success or not. As a result, there’s need for one more habit, the habit of execution which will ultimately produce an outcome through which success can be objectively measured. Therefore,
- the outcome of execution = result (valuation of success)
After all is said and done, success is measured by results. Results are the feed backs you get from execution that makes valuating success possible. Without execution which ultimately produces results, it’s impossible to assess success. Making sure that your execution has the potentials to produce results is the subject matter to which we now turn.
How to Execute for RESULTS!
When it comes to executing for results, two factors are fundamentally necessary. They are;
EFFECTIVENESS – doing the right things
Before you begin to do what it is you need and should be doing in your business, be sure to ascertain that you are about to do the right thing(s). Often times, because of the pressure that the world of business mounts on us entrepreneurs, we tend to trade what is important for what is urgent.
We run after the good things at the expense of the right things. The irony is this; good things are not always the right things, but the right things are always good things. Therefore, never be in a rush to execute that you forget to align your actions with your predetermined objective(s).
Effectiveness is not so much about doing several things; it’s concerned primarily about doing the right things. Those set of activities or actions that contribute to the overall purpose or mission of your business.
Effectiveness is about remaining true to your core. Never letting the rush to get things done, influence what is being done. Effectiveness is never relenting to ask; “are we headed in the right direction?” “How does this action impact where I am headed?” “Is it getting me closer or getting me farther?”
EFFICIENCY – doing things right
Having made sure that you are on the right track (doing the right things), you want to be sure you’re doing them right. It’s not sufficient to be doing the right things if you go about doing them wrongly.
Your actions must be in alignment with your objectives (effectiveness) and those actions must be well taken (efficiency). The focus of efficiency is about managing the process of execution.
How well are you implementing your knowledge, insight and strategy? While effectiveness bothers about, on what activities are you implementing your knowledge, insight and strategy?
In the world of business, effectiveness is a leadership priority, knowing what to pursue as a business and what to overlook.Knowing what market to enter and which to stay away from. It’s about picking the right battles to fight.
Efficiency on the other hand, focuses more on management, knowing what tactics to use, what formation to employ and how many soldiers are needed for every battle. To understand efficiency, you must never fail to ask this question; “how well are we being effective?” In other words, “how well are we doing the right things?”
I have written an unusual article on how to build an effective organization, avail yourself with it by clicking here;
The 4th highly effective habit of business success is Execution and it entails effectiveness + efficiency. This means, success is about getting desired results by doing the right things and making sure they are consistently being done in the right manner.
In other words,
Execution (actions) = effectiveness (right actions) + efficiency (taken rightly) = success (desired result)
Has your business IQ increased as a result of reading this article?