Monday, December 14, 2009

Are You Making These Five Mistakes of Piss-Poor Execution?

My favorite scene in Steven King’s The Green Mile is when prisoner Eduard Delacroix and the Death Row guards rehearse their upcoming execution:

“Walking the Mile, walking the Green Mile ... I'm getting to my knees … I'm praying, praying … Lord is my shepherd and so forth and so on … I'm sorry for all the bad stuff I've done and people I've tramped on and I hope they forgive me ... and I'll never do it again, that's for sure …Walking the Mile … Walking the Green Mile … Still praying, still praying … Getting right with Jesus … Final requests … I want fried chicken with gravy on the taters, I want to take a dump in the warden’s hat … and I got to have Mae West sit on my lap because I'm one horny bastard! … Walking the Mile, Walking the Green Mile…


But today we’re going to talk about a different kind of execution.

Entrepreneurial Execution.

No electricity required.

Wait. I take that back. Electricity is exactly what is required.

I’ve identified the five most prominent purveyors of piss-poor execution. As you explore this list, consider what’s standing in your way of turning thoughts into things and things into money.

1. Hesitation hinders execution. He who hesitates isn’t just lost – he’s COST. As in, opportunity cost. My suggestion is simple: Be more impatient. Now, this is a challenging paradigm shift for most of us because we’ve been conditioned to believe that patience is a virtue. Which it is. Just keep in mind: Impatience, when applied consciously, creatively and cautiously, isn’t just a virtue – it’s a victory.

Just go. Just DO stuff. Don’t wait for permission. Don’t wait until you’re ready. Don’t wait until you’re old or smart enough. Don’t wait until you know HOW. If you wait too long, when the time comes to move, there will be no momentum left to execute. Ultimately, being impatient is about the willingness to look bad on the road to immortality. The courage to plunge forward planless. And the vulnerability to be an imperfectionist. How much money are you losing by being too patient?

2. Ambiguity assassinates execution. While a high tolerance for ambiguity IS necessary for entrepreneurial success, SOME clarity is helpful. Especially when you begin soliciting support and communicating your ideas to others. They won’t be able to help making your dream a reality if your ideas are ill thought out and scatterbrained.

Aristotle once said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” So, my next suggestion is to become an expert at entertaining your ideas. I’ve published a handy guide on how to entertain ideas for your reference. Remember: Ideas are your major source of income. Become a MASTER of entertaining those ideas.

Finally, remember this: All talkie and no walkie makes Jack a broke boy. That’s the epitome of piss-poor execution: Flappin’ them gums. And too many entrepreneurs use their mouths to murder their ability to execute. Be sure you balance your entertaining time with your DOING time. What is your conduit for creative clarity?

3. Inertia injures execution. The first step is to figure out what areas of your life are suffering from inertia. A crystal-clear window into this reality is to grab your list of New Years Resolutions … from two years ago. Honestly assess which ones have come to fruition, and which ones have fallen by the wayside.

Then, alter your trajectory by planting the seeds of movement. Here’s the easiest way how: Wake up one hour earlier. That’s it. ONE hour. Single greatest piece of advice I ever got. And I promise, you’ll be amazed at how much momentum that one hour activates for the rest of the day.

Next, figure out how you can you arrange your day so you become unstoppable. Continually ask yourself questions like, “Is what I’m doing right now consistent with my #1 goal?” and “Is this a highly valuable activity?” Finally, keep the momentum going by constantly asking, “What one step can I take (right now) to start moving forward to the execution of this idea?” These steps are surefire strategies for resisting injury by inertia. How will inertia emancipate your ability to execute?

4. Flub fights execution. Flub is one of my favorite words. It means, “to perform poorly or blunder.” Now, as fun as flub is to say, it’s also the purveyor of piss-poor execution. Here’s why: People assume flawlessness is possible. It’s not. Flawless execution doesn’t exist. Exquisite, yes; flawless, no.

And the problem is, once people fail, they freeze. Once people see a ghost, they’re always afraid of the dark. Little do they know that execution is like a motion-activated floodlight – the more you move, the clearer you see. Remember: Mistakes can be tranquilizers. Don’t become a prisoner of yesterday’s errors. Do you listen to the way you talk to yourself when you make mistakes?

5. Time tramples execution. You didn’t execute because you didn’t have enough time, right? Wrong. You didn’t execute because you didn’t have the right relationship WITH time. Check this out. In Gay Hendricks’ book, The Big Leap, he shares a profound insight about developing a healthier relationship with time:

“Get yourself in harmony with the reality that YOU are the source of time. Put yourself on a diet of complete abstinence of complaining about time. This takes you out of the victim position. Then, when you stop complaining about time, you cease perpetrating the destructive myth that time is the persecutor and you are its victim.”

Hendricks’ philosophy changed my life. Forever. Based on the truth that expectation determines outcome, it challenged me to stop thinking time was “out there.” To take ownership and acknowledge that I was where time came from. His book also taught me this:

“Time will stop owning you if you claim time as yours and it will release its claim on you. Stop using time (or the lack thereof) as an excuse. Stop engaging in an ongoing wrestling match with time. And stop viewing time as some big, threatening pressure that is always about to overwhelm you. Once you understand that YOU are where time comes from, you have the power to make as much of it as you want.”

Time is your friend because you ARE time. How much time do you REALLY have, and how much will you execute because of that?

REMEMBER: Ideas are free; execution is priceless.

Whether you’re walking the Green Mile, or looking to make the green million, be on the lookout for these warning signs.

And I promise you won’t become a purveyor of piss-poor execution.

Are you executing exquisitely?

For the list called, “45 Recession-Friendly Strategies for Entreprenerial Evolution,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!