To help your team get things done, answer these five questions consistently.
In their well-known Fortune article, “Why CEOs Fail,” Ram Charan and Geoffrey Colvin explain the factor that they estimate trips up 70 percent of chief executives:
It’s bad execution. As simple as that: not getting things done, being indecisive, not delivering on commitments.
The concept of execution—just doing it—sounds simple enough. The reality is much more complex for CEOs, because they do little actual executing themselves. Instead, they have to find a way to help other people execute.
How do they do that?
For many CEOs, developing a strategy is the easy part. The tough part is communicating that strategy to the team and helping each employee see him- or herself in it.
Back when I was a novice CEO, I was shocked every time I ran up against this challenge. I’d explain a new plan or initiative and employees would often go right back to what they’d been doing before. I soon learned I couldn’t just announce our strategy once or twice and expect it to sink in. I had learned the secret to getting strategy executed: I had to communicate about it almost constantly.