Six-Step Strategy to Win at Execution

Do you find it hard to execute?

I know this feeling. 

You have a dream, you set goals, and perhaps even a strategy, to make it happen. 

Then you get as far as chunking it out into deliverables and next steps. If you make it to that point, statistically you’re winning. 

But what about pushing it over the finish line? 

This is where many people get stuck. 

August is a great reset, so a lot of us are in a season where we want to start new things. 

Maybe you’re looking to:

  • Enroll in professional development.
  • Revamp your health routine. 
  • Purge your closets.
  • Finish the strategic plan you started in February.
  • Launch the program.

You’re inspired – You’re ready to tackle what’s in front of you…and then something happens. 

The spinning starts. You find yourself weighing scenarios, questioning whether you have enough information, wondering what other variables are at play. Before you know it, you’ve closed the browser, added it back to the to-do list and kicked the decision down the road. Again.

Sound familiar?

Maybe you’re like so many who struggle with an execution problem. And the stats agree. In the workplace, data says 90% of organizations fail to execute their strategies successfully. 

What’s happening?

There are multiple contributing factors at play: 

  • Overcomplicated Vision: We have a tendency to create lofty goals without clear steps, which often leads to paralysis. 
  • Lack of Clarity: Due to overcomplicating goals, we may not know exactly how to articulate what we’re trying to do. We will abandon ship if there’s not a clear directive. 
  • Lack of long term focus: It’s too easy to stay in the Urgent/Important place. 
  • Resistance to Change: Our brains like autopilot, so new things can feel like mud as we trudge through them.
  • Accountability: We aren’t naming it or telling anyone – we’re trying to go it alone.
  • Lack of Systems: We don’t have good systems and habits for follow-through, which makes it more difficult to stick to effortful behaviors and resist distractions.

Addressing these things can feel hard. It’s much easier to avoid more thoughtful tasks for the easier, quicker ones. The downside is that those minor items don’t have much impact. When we allow our brains to stay in easy mode, we’re no longer leaning into the things that really inspire us or get us out of bed in the morning. 

This matters.

If we’re not careful, the collective pattern of avoiding the important things we feel passionate about will eventually lead to depression and burnout.

Alice Boyes, PhD psychologist and author calls the novel, longer term work we avoid, “friction-filled”. I love this phrase because it’s exactly what it feels like in my world. 

For me, this work includes writing and developing growth plans for the business. It makes sense that novel work is, as Boyes says, “often full of friction, which inherently slows progress and causes stress. When you feel tense and challenged, you might conclude you’re moving in the wrong direction or not making enough progress”

This is where we tend to abandon ship or reroute to something that DOES feel like progress. 

You are not flawed. You just need strategies.

How do you stay focused on the things that have the power to change your world? What does it look like to successfully execute on the things that really matter most to you? 

It starts with one of the hardest things we can do in our fast-paced culture: be willing to hit the pause button.

  1. Schedule the time – We have to plan WHEN we’ll zoom out to determine what our most important tasks are. Create time to think and strategically schedule what matters most. 
  2. Be selective. You can’t do everything. A tool like the Eisenhower Matrix can quickly help you boil down what matters most, what belongs to you, what needs to be delegated, and ultimately deleted.
  3. Be accountable. Research tells us that progress and growth happen in community. Find someone to be in your corner and share your goals with. 
  4. Become your own CRO. It can take an extra dose of the “why” plus the energy to push through the mud sometimes. We have to be ready with our why.
  5. Think in terms of systems. It’s systems that make our work actually happen. What sequence of steps will you create for making the “friction-filled” smoother?
  6. Stay curious and compassionate. We tend to flog the person in the mirror for lacking execution. This rarely serves or gets us closer to the goal. When you’re open and curious, you’ll find the patterns that will help you learn and change. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the execution of learning to execute better, I want to leave you with the words of Mel Robbins, “Start Late. Start Over. Start Scared. Start Again. JUST START.” 

You won’t achieve the things you want by staying on the other side of this. You must make a move, and good news, you don’t have to do it alone.

One of the ways you can get there is by joining our group coaching program, Emerge. We designed this group specifically for leaders who wanted to get clear on what is important, make those things matter, and begin to love their work and life again. 

Check out this video and email me with questions. We know you want what’s next for you!