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According to a recent-ish survey, a staggering 72% of leaders fail to excel at both strategy AND execution. Of the 700 respondents questioned, just 16% were considered highly effective at either execution or strategy, a mere 8% were rated very effective at both, while an astonishing 63% were neutral (to be polite) on even one of the two.
But, enough of the bad news. There’s a surprising side here too. It should be noted that more than 50% of the leaders rated effective in either strategy or execution were skilled in both. This means that those with the capability to become better strategists can also excel at execution as well (and the other way around, of course). So, how can you develop and expand your skills and manage to keep your company on track in executing strategy?
Through these 5 acts of leadership:
1. Becoming a model of commitment
Committing to an identity is important. If you defend your convictions passionately, you will have set the foundations to build your dream company.
2. See how the strategic can enter the everyday
Being a good CEO often requires you to be extremely detail-oriented so you can hold a complete overview of everyday activities. But, as a person occupying a top executive position, you also need to have a far-sighted perspective that will allow you to clearly see how the value you offer to your customers meets your global capabilities.
3. Be one with the company’s culture
You are a fierce advocate of the company’s culture, and you show that with your every act. You are not just someone watching things from a distance. You actually get your hands dirty to get the best out of everybody. Their success is your success, too. You devote yourself to both teaching and learning to achieve mastery at all levels. And, you do all that in a way that’s aligned with your company’s culture.
4. Respond to what YOU consider important
Every company distributes its resources to meet strategic priorities. And you should do the same with your own resources, such as your attention and time. Take a minute and think. Most executives waste too much valuable time and attention on what others consider important, and on immediate demands. How about you?
5. Work towards developing the new generation of leaders
Shaping the future is critical. Constant change is key and includes you growing as a person and knowing when it’s time to change yourself. That way, you will be a more efficient leader and build a team of very capable people that will become successful future leaders. That’s your real legacy.
James Leighton Davis is a Customer Acquisition Consultant, Interim Digital Director and NED, primarily for PE-and-VC-backed companies across B2C, B2B and D2C markets in both the UK and Australia. Further information is available at leightondavis.com.
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