If you were to ask me for my top tip to protect yourself against being laid off in this ever-changing, rapidly-moving and increasingly competitive working world it would be to ensure you have a reputation for getting things done. If you are known as someone who gets projects, assignments and tasks done, on time and on budget you can almost guarantee you’ll never be let go. Why would I say that? Well, organizations always need people who are executioners — people they can rely upon to get things done, as most people don’t.
My observation has been that many people get their identity from their busyness. They run from one meeting to another; they brag about the size of their inbox and always seem to be late; they’re always scrambling and running on fumes. Effective people on the other hand, get their identity from their consistent ability to get things done through and with others — we call that, the Art of Execution.
Mastering the science of the Art of Execution will help you navigate effectively through today’s whirlwind to consistently get things done, through and with people regardless of explicit or implicit authority.
So, if you want to have a reputation for getting things done we recommend you approach your projects, assignments and tasks by Clarifying the Win, Identifying the Milestones, Dealing with the Difficult and Staying Focused. Easy to say, hard to do. Here’s what we mean:
1. Clarify the Win: Highly effective organizations, teams and individuals stay laser-focused on who their customers are, and how everyone wins from the products and/or services they provide.
2. Identify the Milestones: Being clear on the timeline, the key players and anticipating different outcomes are of paramount importance to ensure projects, assignments and tasks are completed on time and on budget. Application:
3. Dealing with the Difficult: Roadblocks can stifle a project or key strategic initiative. Effective project management attempts to foresee any such issues and proactively solve them.
4. Staying Focused: Effective project management focuses on the few vitals that must be done .this week to keep on track.
We like to say that the science of the art of execution is common-sense organized — we’ve just observed sadly that common-sense is just not that commonly practiced.