Execution is the Key

On the way to a movie today, I had a brief stop at a car showroom.

A small quote on a white board caught my attention. It was written possibly to serve as a motivator for the sales force.

It went something like this.

This quote has now been etched firmly in my memory.

It is all the more relevant in today's situation where India is dealing  with the Commonwealth Games fiasco.

The budget has overshot 17 times. There are allegations of corruption. The construction of the sporting venues is way behind schedule. The city does not seem to be ready to host the games. And all along, the leaders have been living in a state of denial - insisting that India was on track to host the Games.

These games were supposed to enhance India's "India Shining" image. But unless something magical happens in the next two months, India's image is bound to get a beating. 

Being chosen as a proud host of the Commonwealth Games, a sports event which is a congregation of 54 nations, was a proud moment for India. India won the bid to host the Games way back in 2003. New Delhi was chosen as the host city.

Then started the difficult task for building the city to host the games. 

A period of seven years is widely considered sufficient enough for this preparation. 

But that is on paper.

The real thing is execution on the ground. 

You have a certain target. You aim at it with the best of your abilities. But only two things would help you cross the bridge between the aim and the target - the planning and the execution of the planning.

Well, India did plan. But it looks like we have failed in the execution. And failed miserably. Lack of discipline during the execution of the plan could have been a critical factor in this failure.

In such situations, I always remember one quote about Indians. 

"Indians are considered to be good planners and poor executors". The author of this quote is unknown.

When I fail miserably in any task, I always look back at the reasons. 

And in 99 out of 100 times, as I introspect, I always come to one conclusion - The Plan that I had prepared was superb. But the Execution was poor. 

This poor execution is the single most vital factor in such failures.

This news article confirms my point.

A small excerpt is below

Countdown to chaos

A phase-wise approach was to be adopted after the event was awarded to New Delhi in 2003:
1st: Entire plan to be laid down (Jan 2004-May 2006)
2nd: Creation of infrastructure (May 2006-May 2008)
3rd: Delivery of completed projects to begin from May 2008

CAG audit report in August 2009:
"There was no evidence of the phase-wise approach being translated into action during the first phase years of 2004 and 2006, nor during a major part of phase two." 

Need I say more??

What are the factors which contribute towards the poor execution? Rather, let us think about a few factors which would take strong steps towards ensuring a successful execution.

A leader is a pivot in the execution of a task. He or She should be a strong willed individual who can set the target firmly in sight and take steps towards it. Needless to say, he should be a exemplary leader who can carry along the team and motivate them during the execution of the task.

Decisions are important in the execution of any task. All along, the leader and the executors will thrown with a set of choices. 

The skill lies in opting for the right choice. Most of the times it should be an informed or strategic decision. In some cases, it will be driven by a gut feeling. But decisions should be taken without any procrastination.

Execution also requires dividing the big, long tasks into smaller chunks. These chunks should be measurable and the team should work towards realization of these chunks.

Funding is important for the execution of tasks. The team should ensure that they are well equipped to complete the task. The tools which are supposed to equip the team towards achieving the goal should not become a bottleneck.

And finally, Periodical review of plans is a must. This is necessary to ensure to check whether the task is on the right path. If not, corrective actions need to be taken appropriately. The earlier the better.

So guys, next time that you drive towards a Chequered Flag, keep a few things in mind.
  • Have a strong start. Be the one to win the first corner.
  • Plan your race. And control its execution.
  • Talk to your team. They can tell you where you are flailing. I always believe that a view from the sidelines is one the best. 
  • Observe the weather. The surroundings can influence your race. And you should ensure that you don't let it affect you.
  • Change your tires once in a while. It is necessary to revitalize them.
  • And stay on the track. Racing on the gravel slows you down.
These fundamental things would ensure that you earn the tag of a good executor. And become a winner!!
Execution is the Key Execution is the Key Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Saturday, July 31, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. I would like to exchange links with your site vyanks.blogspot.com
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  2. Yes.

    Definitely it is possible.

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    It would also be great if you could login and leave a comment - for better tracking.