Home > Book Review > Execution!


That’s the title of the book I am reading right now!

Thought that a quick introduction to this amazing book would not be out of place because couple of my readers had recently posted comments that hinted at the need for Execution!

Jei said:

“ …. I have noticed that when a person in promoted as manager, he doesn’t have the entire qualities of a manager, he still works or interacts in a capacity of an Assistant Manager,  …..”

Clifford shared an anecdote which could have come right out of the book:

“The company that I work in has a very senior person who is the COO. Now you’d expect him to sit in his grand office and call it the shots. Contrarily he is of a different kind, the type who moves around and get things working. You will find him in the Ops area, the IT production room, the call center and just about everywhere his team is spread. Passion!”

Clifford also mentioned Jack Welch, who is the Patron Saint of the religion called Execution; the authors of the book have been hugely influenced by this man who took GE to great heights.

Execution is the Art of Getting Things Done, usually classified as dirty work. Conventional business wisdom stipulates that Head Honchos and Senior Managers sit in swank offices to Envision, Strategise and Review. They use theories and models learnt at the best business schools to generate grand plans which will then be conveyed to the front-liners via their Managers. The guys upfront would run around and get things done. Every once in a while the Top Cat would come around to ask the Senior Managers how things are going and then recommend the “remedial measures”.

Larry Bossidy, who worked with some of the biggest names in Corporate America, and Ram Charan, an advisor to many leading Corporations and an academician, have co-authored this brilliant book that tells us to turn conventional wisdom on its head. They suggest that Execution is the task of the highest official in the organisation.

Any organisation is only as good as the revenue and profit it generates for stakeholders and Managers are expected to deliver that. Strategies that are devised without knowledge of the market are bound to fail and what better way of knowing the market than by being there. Only those Managers who are willing to dirty their hands by getting involved at the “business end of the business” will be able to sense what needs to be done to deliver results The book tells Managers to spend less time on niceties and more on dealing with the nitty-gritties!

The book defines the qualities of Managers who focus on Execution and their methods of engagement with the team. It suggests the Social Environment that needs to be created in the organisation to bring  focus on Doing Right and Delivering Results.

The three core processes of Execution are:

Strategy – Creating the framework and the roadmap for achievement of objectives based on thorough understanding of market and business environment.

People – Every employee in the system needs to be tuned to need of the hour; more than connections and qualifications it is the Can-do attitude and the willingness to pick the ball and run that helps organisations excel.

Operations – This crucial element in the mix speaks about allocation of goals and accountability. It also enumerates the methods of measuring performance and the rewards that can be expected by the achievers.

The book explains in detail how you can (1) build a strategy, then (2) select and develop people to do what’s needed and (3) construct a robust operating plan to deliver the strategy.

I thought it would not be out of place to list down the Seven Essential Behaviours of Managers who delivers results:

  1. Know your People and Know your Business
  2. Insist on Realism
  3. Identify Clear Goals and Priorities
  4. Follow – through
  5. Reward the Doers
  6. Expand People Capabilities
  7. Know Yourself

It is a well-written book, replete with examples and insights from the professional life of the co-authors; there are Chapters in the book that elaborate on the need for Execution, its building blocks and the three core processes. 

Execution is a must read book for Managers who believe in Getting Things Done!

  1. Jamy
    June 10, 2012 at 8:05 am

    True to the core Jay!

    • JayadevM
      June 10, 2012 at 9:36 am

      Absolutely! Fantastic material.

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