The idea didn’t work

The strategy wasn’t well planned

The idea wasn’t fully accepted by the target market

Ever heard a leader make these statements to their teams on the failure of an idea? In all probability it will be a yes.

But it’s not very often that you hear leaders acknowledging the weakness in the execution process. The probabilities of hearing statements like the following are slim to none.

The execution was weak.

We probably took on more ideas than we could execute

The execution process was flawed.

Ideas are easy, execution is hard. Ideas are the blueprint execution is the construction of those ideas. One of the single most, toughest challenges that leaders are facing today is execution of great ideas. Ideas when thrown onto a whiteboard may portray an image to change the dynamics and standing of a business, which in all honestly it may even. But the question is not the idea that could potentially change the face of the business but how many such ideas are thrown on paper every day? How do you choose among these ideas? How do you say no to the great ideas?

These are questions that leaders in the current corporate environment are dealing with every day. But the side that is getting little to no light is the execution. The idea without being blended with perfect execution is going to fail no matter how great it sounds on paper.

So, how do you really get ideas and execution to work perfectly and generate phenomenal results? The answer is to say no. Say no to good ideas, sometimes even saying no to great ideas and sometimes even saying no to revolutionary ideas.

There is always going to be more good ideas than there is a capacity to execute.

Take for example Apple and competitor who created a new interface to compete with Apple.

Apple created one phone for both domestic and international markets where as this competitor created over forty different phones offering different features.

The competitor’s revenue was not even a patch on Apples profit earning.

The leader responsible for this went down to feeling extremely discouraged. His ideology was that he had accepted forty great ideas, with vast product offerings which should have given him a springing edge over Apples offering of one phone. But his company is a true example of how, very often, less is more in an execution driven economy.

However the CEO of Apple Tim Cook had only one ideology which he went on to pen down as “ We are the most focused company that I know of or have read of or have any knowledge of. We say no to good ideas every day. We say no to great ideas in order to keep the amount of things we focus on very small in number so we can put enormous energy behind the ones we choose.”

As a result of Apple’s ability to say no, and to say no repeatedly, the company was able to develop the powerful and iconic iMacs — and then iTunes, the iPod and the iPhone and so on……….

Although most leaders have been encouraged to say yes to good ideas, it was actually Jobs' ability and now Tim Cooks to say no that is helping the company to continue striving and thriving.

As Stephen Covey said, “you have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage –pleasantly, smilingly, unapologetically-to say no to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.”

Give your team the knowledge and tools that they need to execute your top priorities. Book a free consultation to get more information on how we can go about imbibing a culture of execution within your organization.