Creating a plan is vital to the success of your business, but without execution, the plan is worthless.

Throughout many of the past letters I have lauded the value of planning. It is very important to know where you want to go, and why; and to revisit the plan regularly to make sure it is still relevant.

Yet, if we cannot turn our plans into action, they are of no help. Being able to execute must be a core competency of every entrepreneur.

Over the holidays I read the book The 4 Disciples of Execution and found the framework presented very practical, as it can be applied widely and isn’t too prescriptive. At a very high level, these disciplines are:

  1. Set one (or two) ambitious goals. This is based on your vision, and must be laser focused. As a startup especially, you can only do one or two things really well, so we often have to say no to many good ideas.
  2. Choose a few lead metrics that will influence the goal. Think hard about this. You want to focus your entire team on one or two metrics you can actually change, and which will have the biggest impact in your overall goal.
  3. Track your progress weekly and publicly. If you don’t know if the work you are doing is making a difference, it’s easy to give up too soon, or continue trying long after it makes sense.
  4. Commit to weekly action that will make a difference. Committing to doing, then being accountable to your team for what you did is so important. As a solo entrepreneur this can be a tricky one, as you need to actively seek out others who will regularly work with you on this.

There is no magic bullet for execution, but concepts like these can help us. I want to encourage you to really think about the work you are doing, and evaluate how you can focus on those things that will matter most.

~ Sean

Closed for now ... something new coming soon(ish).