The Fundamentals Of Execution

Basketball Tree 2

What do Larry Bird, Knute Rockne’s Notre Dame football teams, and Chik-Fil-A all have in common?

They all owe their success to the executing their jobs at a high level.

By learning about their approaches to fundamental performance, we can learn the value to performing at a much higher and consistent level. Execution is what separates the good from the great, and gives a solid foundation “point of differentiation” from the competition.

The best marketing plans, flashiest plays, and strategic plans will always fail and be wasted resources if the basic execution of the day to day tasks falls short.

Here’s some fundamental lessons from these examples.

As an individual, Larry Bird strove for mastery above his skills. He knew his athleticism was not as strong as many others, so he decided to train, and beat, everyone with a mastery of the fundamentals.

Knute Rockne, famous coach in the golden era of Notre Dame football, was so confident on the principle of excellence in execution, that he would give the opposing team a copy of their playbook for their upcoming game. He would even invite them to observe a practice of his team. Knute knew that no matter how prepared the other team was, he would out-prepare his team to execute during game day. This focus on mastering the plays kept his team sharper, knowing that the other team had the information necessary to beat them.

Chik-Fil-A has become a major force in the QSR restaurant industry. Their rise to a top concept is their execution of principles hiring, training, and operational practices. They worke hard to execute a culture of quality, service, and cleanliness that the industry has fallen away from. In so doing, they have grown revenues, build a solid brand, and outperformed most of the competition in a challenging industry segment.

The old saying “Practice doesn’t make perfect,  perfect practice makes perfect” holds true. Practice – training – is necessary. But if not done with a focus on mastering the fundamentals of execution, then it becomes a wasted exercise.

Execution is a point of differentiation that builds the brand, makes the revenue, and insulates your standing against any competitor. Keep the focus on the frontline execution, and much success will follow.

(For more reading on mastering the fundamentals, read Karin Hurt’s blog post “Focus on the Fundamentals” at Let’s Grow Leaders)

If you have a success story on performance and high-level execution, please share below!

About Paul LaRue

My goal - To encourage you to lead & influence others with positive impact.

Posted on July.28.2015, in Leadership. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Powerful post. Great examples. A strategy is only as good as the execution. THANKS for the link back.


  2. Excellent post. A strategy is only as strong as the execution. Thanks for the link back!


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