Sitting across from your boss and receiving criticism for not quite nailing that supposedly easy goal can’t be easy or pleasant – it is an all-too-common experience. We get it; that moment when success slips through our fingers, and what we thought was a walk in the park makes us question our abilities. Those who genuinely reflect, learn and grow.
What’s even more daunting is the realization that the boardroom is not immune to this experience. Management meetings should be inherently challenging, especially in dynamic environments with aggressive growth goals led by ambitious leaders; we convene to dissect our performance, address challenges, and foster a space for creative problem-solving. However, the collaborative atmosphere takes a hit when the dialogue shifts from contributions to excuses. That one individual who consistently elaborates on problems – be it a lack of resources, time constraints, or unexpected emergencies – rather than discussing progress. While everyone else is engaged in moving forward, this person remains fixated on setbacks, leaving us to wonder why their narrative always revolves around problems rather than progress.
Our patience may run thin, and our enthusiasm for our once-eager colleague may diminish; however, it’s essential to recognize that there could be genuine reasons behind their extinguished contributions. Understanding these reasons can help us to help them get back on track.
“If it is not a gap in their expert knowledge, then it must be execution-oriented.”
Easy becoming Not so Easy.
Not everyone excels at executing goals; when execution is overlooked, it’s easy to lose control without realizing it. Effective execution is paramount, especially when striving to achieve ambitious growth and transformation goals, regardless of how seemingly simple or straightforward the activities may be.
It’s not uncommon for leaders less experienced in project management to confront challenges such as underestimating the time required to complete the goal or its activities, procrastinating to complete tasks until the last moment, or attempting to tackle incongruent tasks simultaneously. These difficulties are compounded by the demands of their busy day job, further exacerbating their struggles.
Easy becomes Not so Easy when either one of two things happens.
Discipline: Discipline is a pivotal element in goal execution, demanding consistent and persistent action to complete activities as planned. Being disciplined is even more crucial when goal attainment is not a top priority or when numerous urgent tasks compete for your attention. It’s advised not to rely solely on motivation but to establish a system that aids in staying on track.
Compounded Effect of Delay: The compounded effect of delay, stemming from practices such as procrastination, postponement, deprioritization, or last-minute adjustments, amplifies and complicates the consequences of inaction. This phenomenon is particularly pronounced in project management, extensively discussed under the topic of how to manage the critical path. While goals are typically designed to be completed within a longer timeframe than usual, complete with built-in buffers, the depletion of these buffers and oversight of dependent relationships can quickly transform the delay of activities spanning a few months into a crisis. Addressing such crises demands additional allocation of resources and effort to re-establish control to get back on track.
There exists a myriad of tools and systems that leaders can invest in to enhance their ability to manage goal execution effectively. These tools enable a meticulous breakdown of activities, relationships, start and end dates, and resource and budgetary requirements. However, even with these detailed insights, a crucial element is often overlooked, causing many leaders to fall short of successfully achieving their goals.
Easy does not have to become Not So Easy. Leaders can boost their goal execution strategically, strengthening their efforts and overcoming weaknesses. To make these strategic tools effective, they should include tracking progress, reviewing completed activities, problem-solving, critical thinking, and the flexibility to make timely adjustments.
Embolden their goal execution by strengthening the process of carrying out a plan or task. The right tool will strengthen your goal execution and boost goal achievement with confidence, determination, and a proactive mindset. Infuse energy, courage, and boldness into your actions to increase your chances of achieving your goal.
Managing Progress goes beyond managing your project plan. Goal attainment demands intentional management – the periodic and frequent reviews of activities, an assessment of the impact of actions, and an evaluation of forecasted activities. Only through this can you ensure nothing was missed or forgotten, empowering you to proactively address any budding issues threatening the smooth execution of your task. It demands a tool like the NMCS Strategic Management Journal. It is more than just a well-designed journal; it’s a system designed to elevate goal execution, a tool that spans any timeframe, can start at any time and is versatile, so you don’t lose any pages. Start, stop, or miss a month without having to skip over any section.
We make our products accessible regardless of your budget and preference. Choose our downloadable PDF or our bonded book version. We also created a premium hardcover with additional insight for the individual who treasures their creative ideas and periodically reflects on their journey.
or check out out published version on Amazon – Published Strategic Management Journal