Ideas vs. Execution

Think of your physical self in two ways:

  • At your physical peak
  • At 200 pounds overweight

Between these two points is a spectrum that you are actually on. The proximity to your peak has to do with two factors: 1) knowing how to get there and 2) doing it. It takes both ideas and execution.

But only one of the two factors separates those in great shape from those in bad shape: execution. Almost everyone has the idea part down, i.e. they know what to do: what to eat, what exercises to do, that stress needs to be managed and that sleep is essential. Many even have advanced workout routines developed and belong to fitness clubs with super-fit people who provide excellent coaching.

Too bad most are not actually doing any of this.

It’s the human condition – ideas are easy and execution is hard. To be disruptive, your focus must be on execution. Ideation is essential, but you don’t have to work on that because it comes naturally. That’s the fun part. Everyone has their own ideas and values them, but most people are the 100+ pound overweight guy on the couch who knows he should be outside running, but just isn’t.

If you find yourself complaining that your company doesn’t listen to you or give you credit for your ideas, it’s time for you to start executing better. You are in bad shape and doing nothing but sitting on the couch.

Figure out how to execute your ideas and push them in your organization. Lead others, even if you must do so via extracurricular activities. Create business cases for change to compel your management to move forward, never losing your rock star status so that you will be listened to.

It takes guts to get this done because it is difficult. It takes extra work to fill in the gaps where your peers are not performing, it takes courage to believe in your ideas when they are questioned by executives and customers, and it takes perseverance to keep going when you continuously encounter obstacles on your way to success.

This is what execution is all about. It’s the hard part of disruptive innovation, and it’s what will give you the edge over all the others – regardless of how good their ideas are.

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