Hooper Leadership Coaching
Accelerating Leaders


Thoughts on Leadership

Execution -Getting Things Done

What is the one strategic project that needs to be done that would bring significant results to your organization? Getting things done, or execution, is one of the main functions of a leader. Processing the various aspects of execution will ensure that great ideas can actually turn into reality.


On a trip to Cairo Egypt, our team had the opportunity of visiting the pyramids of Giza. I was amazed at how these massive structures were built around 2560-2540 BC.

My imagination ran wild thinking about the execution plan to build these pyramids. I thought of various projects I am working on and helping other leaders work on.

When thinking about a big project, we can complain that things are not getting done. Maybe things are taking too long to get done. As leaders, we initiate a major initiative or strategic priority and we want to make sure it gets done.

The benefits of successful execution include:

  • We have faster and more effective execution.
  • There is improved accountability and alignment.
  • The team has higher productivity.
  • You will have peace of mind.
  • You actually accomplish the plan or project!

There are 9 areas of execution which you as a leader need to consider:

  1. Success defined
  2. Orientations
  3. Plan
  4. Relationships
  5. Risks
  6. Set the Tone
  7. Structures
  8. Communication
  9. Conversations

Once you clarify what the goal is and define success, you can consider the other areas.

Here is a summary of 3 of the 9 areas and questions for you to consider to get started.

1. Orientation

  • Perceptions: What mindsets might hinder execution?
  • Time: What approach to time can get in the way of execution?
  • Relationships: What are the various types of relationships in the execution process?
  • Money/Resources: What mindsets about money can get in the way of execution?
  • Influence: What perspectives about influence can get in the way of execution?

2. Relationships

These are the various types of relationships which can be evaluated in the planning process to see who will help or hurt the plan.

  • Committed Supporters: How can we leverage the biggest supporters?
  • Compliant Supporters: How can we turn compliance into commitment?
  • Neutral: How can we turn neutral parties into supporters?
  • Antagonists: What steps do we need to take to neutralize antagonists?
  • Active Resisters: What steps do we need to take to isolate resisters if they don’t get on board?

3. Conversations

Many leaders are able to come up with the vision and make a plan.  The challenge for some leaders is the relational and communication aspect of execution.

Here are some of the types of conversations which need to happen around execution:

  • Vision: What is the vision behind the plan?
  • Opportunities: What ideas and opportunities grow out of this vision?
  • Alternatives: How can we analyze which ideas are best?
  • Decision-making: What are the tough decisions we must make?
  • Accountability: What guard-rails need to be set up to keep us on track?
  • Action: What are the actions we will take and by when?
  • Follow up: How can we make sure that setbacks are overcome?
  • Closure: At the end, when results occur, how can we celebrate and move forward?

The successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. ~ David Brinkley

What are your strengths in execution? What are your struggles in execution? What skills would you would like to develop in execution?