In the final month of the year you’re probably thinking about the challenges you’ll tackle next year. Like many leaders, you’re likely setting new goals or revisiting how to more effectively achieve current ones. So it’s a good time to discuss the subject of implementation because in spite of having great ideas and goals, it all comes down to how well you execute. It’s a common issue for leaders and organizations everywhere, yet it’s more than possible to become highly effective with implementation. There are a lot of reasons why leaders struggle in the implementation phase, but the overarching culprit is a lack of focus on what’s vital. Improve your understanding and planning around this, and you can boost your odds of implementing the right ideas and strategies for success.
Here are three specific ways to improve implementation:
Limit what you’re doing. As discussed in MAP’s recent release, “The Disciplined Leader,” you’ll be most effective when you focus on what matters. A good way to do this is to use the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 Rule—80 percent of results are driven by 20 percent of your actions. Cut down on what you’re doing to reflect the golden 20 percent of activities that most align with your vision, values, and most vital goals. This, invariably, will likely net the majority of your results and successes.
Plan for resistance. When new goals and ideas are set, the associated changes can sometimes be tough to manage. If the transition waters get rough, people may want to jump ship on a great idea or course-correct to old, familiar ways or habits. As the leader, you’ll be able to better implement what’s new if you foresee such distractions and challenges by planning how you’ll handle them. When resistance surfaces, it is your responsibility to assertively respond so everyone stays motivated, aligned and onboard.
Better estimate your resources. I bet people are often suggesting new ideas and possible goals to you. And that is wonderful—as a leader, you want your people to feel comfortable sharing solutions and making suggestions. But if you and your team start implementing these possibilities without the necessary resources (time, talent, and money), you’ll quickly struggle and likely feel forced to quit. So before committing to any new idea or goal, make sure you’ve got the resources to truly implement it. It’s a responsible “best leadership practice” that’s proven to bridge the gap between good ideas and execution.
How have you improved the implementation of goals and ideas at your company?