Larry Bossidy’s book Execution was a bestseller. My friend Sam Giest just wrote a book called Execute…or Be Executed. Both books speak to the crucial need for leaders to create results. The road to Hades, as it is often said, is paved with good intentions. The road to success is paved with results.
Nearly fifty years ago Clement Stone and Napolean Hill said, “Too often what we read and profess becomes a part of our libraries and our vocabularies, instead of becoming a part of our lives.” I express it differently: the difference between excellence and mediocrity is the difference between common knowledge and consistent application.
There is a trait I have discussed countless times as I’ve interviewed job candidates, and I call it “drive to completion.” While I value it in an associate, it is absolutely essential for a leader. Is the ability to do whatever it takes to complete a project or task. Don’t tell me you haven’t been able to get the information I requested because someone didn’t return your phone call. Drive to completion means you kept pursuing the needed information by other means.
As leaders we need to continually hone this trait in ourselves and teach it to our team members. Drive to completion is the ratio between what you started and what you finished. It requires persistence and creativity; determination without skill is annoying and ineffective.