In team sports the coach determines the strategy. The smart ones draft a strategy they believe their players can execute. The only job for the players is to execute the strategy to their greatest ability. Business is exactly the same.
An article last year in Fortune Magazine was an interview with the worldwide HR czar for IBM. The interviewer asked him what it takes to lead at IBM.
Randy MacDonald said, “There’s a maniacal focus on execution. If you say at IBM you’re going to deliver, you’re held accountable.”
A while back, I read a book on marketing strategy by the Harvard Business School’s Tom Bonoma. He believes almost any strategy will work if it is executed properly and vigorously. What every business needs to be successful, he said, is an experienced, tough-as-nails master sergeant who’ll get the troops up the hill.
In football, if everyone executes his blocking assignment, you’re likely to score a touchdown on almost every play. If all execute perfect tackling technique, it’s unlikely the other team will ever score. When I watch Alabama on TV, that’s what I see. Every man executes his assignment better than his opponent.
Whatever your strategy, it, too, can succeed if all employees understand clearly their assignments and execute them accurately and vigorously.
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