Archives for posts with tag: Execution

You’ve done all the homework, all the prep on your latest big project. You’ve sounded people out, you’ve gotten buy-in, feedback. You’ve iterated the plan a few times, all your resources are in place, people have been briefed and are ready to go. And now it’s time to push the button.

What are you waiting for? ‘If I just wait a few days, just in case the situation changes, I may get more information in…’

The longer you delay, the more paralysed you get, the worse the fear becomes, the greater the inertia.

You’re not waiting for anything except the fear of failure to increase. Go!!!

Always Check Your Comms

Always Check Your Comms

It always pays to check your customer communications before they go out. It’s a good idea to have someone else – ideally someone away from the business – to check the communications, because you’re often too close to it to see a problem.

This is a recent sample of emails in my inbox. One of them is a problem for me. Can you tell which one? [Pauses, for dramatic effect…] It’s the bottom email. I can say with some certainty that there is no chance that this email will make my Dad smile, since he died some years ago and his ashes are probably fertilising a bowling green somewhere in the middle of England.

Had I received this email in the immediate aftermath of his demise, when I was a teary, shambling wreck of a man, I would probably have torched the offices of the people who sent it, and certainly unsubscribed for ever.

Where you can, always try and put yourself in the shoes of the person you’re sending something to, the person you’d like to buy from you. You’re hoping to build a rapport with them, not dash it to pieces in one fell swoop.

Poster Epic Fail

Poster Epic Fail

So much of communication is down to execution. If you get the execution wrong, your message is not received, not understood, and not acted upon. Remember the age-old AIDA acronym – Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action.

As I write this, we have some local and European government elections coming up. In the case of the candidate’s poster in the picture above, he – yes, the budding politician is male – is hoping to get your awareness that he’s standing for election, that you will connect with his message, that you will decide to vote for him, and that you will follow through on your decision on the appointed day in the polling booth, when the rubber meets the road.

Hence the epic fail in the picture. The poster has been like that for over a week. Whether blown that way in the wind, or put up that way for reasons that we will never know, the execution of the message has failed – miserably.

This is a lesson to all of us to check that we have executed the communication well. Did you get my message? Do you understand all elements of the proposal? Can you confirm we are OK to proceed?

Always look for confirmation that you can proceed at each step of a process. It’s the short cut to nailing success and avoiding misunderstandings.


Our American friends are very good at making every moment count. Far from wallowing in the past or wishing their lives away until some happy event in the future, they encourage us to capitalise on what is current. Hence the familiar phrases like ‘being in the moment’ and ‘living for now’. This resonates in sports and is also especially true for business these days, when the emphasis is, quite rightly, on execution. You can only execute on the present tense; you can’t execute in the past or future.

That said, imagine what kind of a world it is for those people for whom there is only the present tense. There are millions of people with varying conditions of what is essentially an eternal limbo. Long term memory is OK for many, but for the majority the short term memory evaporates. Think about what this means.

There is no recent past. The couple of grand you spent on last week’s holiday, or yesterday’s dinner with friends, or this afternoon’s sports match are gone, as if they never happened. There is no future. You’re not looking forward to the weekend, because within a few minutes of being reminded of the delights in store, you’ve forgotten them.

You are literally in the moment, constantly, fleetingly, living from moment to moment. Do you even try to enjoy every moment to its fullest? Probably not, because you have to remember to do that…

I don’t have any wisdom or answers to offer here. But I do have a question:

If the present really was all you had, would you execute better on your work lives, social lives and family lives? Would you check out, or would you do your best every time? Here’s to option 2…