Peter Drucker is credited with having said: Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. The emphasis on doing is from this blog post because for reasons unknown the world of organizations (whether for-profit,non-profit or government) seem to worship "leadership" and treat execution as mundane and "tactical." Somehow beneath the dignity of true "leaders."
In fact, check out the curriculum of most business schools and operations – the closest to execution is not emphasized and certainly cannot be learnt from a class. It's hard to publish academic articles on execution because there is no one grand theory behind execution of policy or strategy for managers and leaders. To quote Drucker again: Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.
Perhaps the term "Executive" is a better title for leaders and managers – so that the "execution" part is not relegated (or delegated?) to the lowest possible echelons of organizations. Terminology alone might not help and legendary manager Jack Welch emphasizes the execution piece in his 4E's and one P.
Marketing managers and supply managers sometimes complain about being held accountable for numbers – (we are always chasing numbers) – but it's really a great thing. For by focusing and talking about key performance indicators the organization's value chain is always in motion and that keeps the economy going . So what are some typical metrics that marketing and supply managers should embrace ?
- Marketing Managers: What are the sales results of my advertising spend? Today digital advertising helps you demonstrate sales results on that segment of your ad spend.
- Supply Managers: Did I meet my cost reduction target by supplier segment? And innovation with suppliers help you do that apart from getting new products out of your organization's door.
So celebrate execution for getting it done is a skill that the better organizations value highly.