Eric Handler headshot Written by: Eric Handler

Leaders Execute!

One of the most significant hallmarks of leadership is the ability to execute.  People will always rally behind people who can get things done.  So what differentiates leaders that execute and those that don’t?

Much has been written about execution, but most of the concepts from this body of wisdom can be grouped into three basic practices: dialogue, accountability and follow-through.


Effective executioners engage in interactive planning sessions with their teams.  Robust dialog is the only way to surface the realities of the business and formulate practical plans of action.  Effective dialog requires a comprehensive understanding of the business and the ability to communicate concepts easily without jargon or presentations.


Leaders that execute hold people accountable.  They make sure the right people are in the right roles and they align people with specific goals.  They ensure that those in implementation roles accept responsibilities and own their part of the initiative.  They make sure people understand what is expected of them and reward top performers.


Leaders who execute build themselves into the architecture of the initiative to make themselves an essential component of success.  Engaging in the process as a resource ensures that everyone stays focused on their part in the execution and understands its importance to the organization.

Observations of leaders that don’t execute will often reveal a list of supporting “don’ts.”  They don’t measure and track progress.  They don’t reward and acknowledge performance.  And they don’t promote people who know how to get things done.

Focus on these three aspects of execution and you will see a dramatic impact on your ability to get things done!

Additional Resource:  A 4 minute video from Ram Charan on the topic of Execution

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