Execution – Carrying Out A Course Of Action


This article was originally published FEBRUARY 2017, in the WorldWide Coaching Magazine.

Execution: the process of carrying out a course of action. It’s the way we, and our clients, get important tasks accomplished.

In this issue, you’ll find three tips on how to expertly put into effect a plan of action. In addition, as part of my commitment to include a snippet on Coaching Ethics into each edition of this year’s Toolkit, I’ve added a podcast intended as a useful reference.

To start, let me emphasize the importance of executing like a facilitator versus a dictator. In donning this wise form of leadership, one must be willing to know less than those they lead. In essence, you become a problem solver by finding the help you need when you need it. In the video below, Executive Coach Marshall Goldsmith and Sam Shriver analyze how Alan Mulally, former President and CEO of the Ford Motor Company, sets a fine example of leadership. They discuss how Alan engaged action through admitting to not having the answers and skillfully using facilitation as a problem-solving tool.

A Conversation with Marshall Goldsmith and Sam Shriver

Next, hit the hard stuff first so that avoidance and procrastination don’t trump execution. Avoidance and procrastination are the inverses of getting things done. Instead of letting anxiety bog you down, this clip reminds us to meet even the most difficult tasks and projects head-on.

Work Warrior

As a final insight, these six steps are part of a support system I offer my clients when they want to carry out a course of action to accomplish big goals, dreams, and projects. The statistics shared here come from the former American Society of Training and Development and can be found in an associated blog linked below:

Step 1: Consciously decide to take action.

Step 2: Assign a due date for the action to be completed.

Step 3: Plan out how to accomplish said action.

Step 4: Commit to someone else what you intend to accomplish.

Step 5: Schedule specific accountability appointments with another person to check in on your progress.

Step 6: Get going.

Simple Facts About Goal Setting

And as promised, let’s wrap up with a Coaching Ethics sound bite—just enough information to refresh your frame of reference on the topic.