In his Six Disciplines blog, Skip Reardon, a Certified Business Coach offers advice on strategy execution, leadership development, and business process improvement. In a recent post, he provides some fundamental principles about strategy and execution:
- Execution will always be more important than strategy.
- Actions will always speak louder than words.
- A fair-to-middling strategy – exceptionally executed – will almost always yield better bottom-line results than a great strategy poorly executed.
- A great strategy never executed (which happens a lot more than any of us would like to admit) is a lame exercise in futility.
Perhaps, the best (and funniest) example is from sports.
John McKay had a track record as the highly successful coach of the University of Southern California Trojans. He moved on to the NFL to become the first head coach of the expansion franchise Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where his team set a record by going winless in their first 26 games.
A sportswriter caught McKay right after a particularly ugly loss:
"Coach McKay, What do you think of your team's execution?"
He responded: "I'm in favor of it."