Show me a successful man, and I will show you a man who is good at execution. I have never seen a general win a war by mere planning without execution. I have studied the lives of many successful people and have come to two conclusions – success is no respecter of persons; execution is the only key to success.
You may have big dreams, you may have great plans; but until you move from dreaming and from planning to execution, you cannot achieve anything. It is indeed critical for our success. I think we have done enough dreaming and wishing. We have done enough folding of the arms, enough sitting down, enough waiting, and enough sleeping. It’s time to execute. Execution is the only path to results – be it an individual, organization, community or nation.
Our dreams will not magically happen; we have to make them happen. Our career goals will not magically happen; we have to make them happen. In fact, the difference between our current state and our desired future is execution. Execution is what engenders change in our status, be it spiritual, physical, economic, career, health, family, etc. So, I urge you to take that important step, make that call, read that book; make that visit, begin that course, take that action, execute that plan.
Execution is the discipline of getting things done. It is not just something that does or does not get done. It is a specific set of behaviors and attitudes that individuals must master in order to fulfill their dreams and be successful in life. It is a whole discipline of getting things done no matter the economic status, social background, religious affiliation, relational status, cultural and family background, career status, race, gender, or personality of the individual. It is what differentiates achievers from non-achievers; the successful from the unsuccessful; the rich from the poor. Without it, nothing gets done. I have come across people who have beautiful dreams and career goals but lack the discipline to execute those dreams and goals. You can live your dreams. You can live your life on purpose determining in advance the outcomes you want to experience.
Execution is not good intention. It is good intention put into action. No matter how good your intentions are, they will not just happen; you have to make them happen. I have not come across any successful person who has succeeded as a result of good intentions only. Many people have good intentions but not many people have cultivated the discipline of execution to put their good intentions into action. That is why we see only a few people achieving their New Year resolutions; as against the majority who give up on their resolutions few weeks into the year. I know you have good intentions, but please move a step further and put your good intentions into action.
Sometimes people confuse execution with strategy. Strategy is deciding what to do, and execution is all about making it happen. The strategy is what you want to get done, and to execute is the whole discipline of getting it done. The sad truth is that most people stop at the strategy stage and never get to execute their strategy. Only a few people get beyond strategy to execution, and that is why we find only a few people at the top. I believe you can be among the few people at the top; all it takes is execution – the discipline of getting things done. Execution is fundamental to strategy. No worthwhile strategy can be planned without taking into account the ability to execute it.
We must understand that execution does not make us oblivious of the realities on the ground. A Good execution requires that we have a systematic way of exposing and dealing with realities. Beyond strategy, we need resources, people and time to be successful. So, for execution to be successful, you need to answer the following questions: what resources do I need to execute this plan? Who do I need to talk to for advice or support in executing this plan? What time do I have available to commit to the execution of my goals? Remember that if you have a strong will and desire to execute your plan, you will always find ways to make it happen. But whilst doing that, keep your values in view.
Again, execution is a continuous process, and the consistency with which you execute your plans or goals determines how successful you will be. You should be executing every day, every week, every month, and every year. There is no annual leave, no long holidays and no break or tiredness in execution. This must be done consistently. The story is told of an international speaker who was very successful at what he did. This man was consistently executing his plans until one day he decided he had done enough and needed a break. He packed his luggage and went on a long holiday enjoying himself and his success. He came back a year later to continue where he left off but unfortunately, nobody gave him any speaking engagements. He lost all his clients. Don’t let this happen to you. Stay on course and be consistent in your execution. God will help you.
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