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Truly great companies do not tolerate mediocrity. They set clear, ambitious, yet realistic goals and high standards of performance, and then they hold people 100 percent accountable for meeting those standards and delivering on their commitments.

Refusing to accept mediocrity isn’t easy and takes a lot of discipline, but it is an indispensable part of building a highly successful organization. Because this is such a huge problem in most companies I work with, a large part of this chapter is devoted to giving specific examples and instructions on how to create a culture of disciplined execution.

Chapter Five lays out what it takes to build a performance-oriented culture that demands flawless execution.

Additional Resources

Ways to improve execution

A superb article on the Wharton School Publishing site:
Business Strategy: Execution Is the Key

Two great execution articles on bnet:
The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution
Creating an Execution Culture: A Leader’s Most Important Job

Business Execution Insights

A blog that focuses strictly on business execution:

Recommended Reading

Execution Premium

This very in-depth and detailed book covers everything from creating a strategy precisely what steps must be put in place to ensure effective execution. Like some of the other books I have recommended, this one is a tough read, even for the serious student of strategy, but well worth the effort.

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

Written by some immensely talented and experienced businessmen, this book does a very nice job of explaining why the ability to execute is one of the most important skills a leader must possess to create a successful organization. Lots of fun stories and great examples.

Flight of the Buffalo

A wonderful book about the major “managerial” barriers to empowering your people. Will help you understand how to create more of an “Ownership” mentality in your team and let them step up as leaders when needed.

Results Rule!

I just totally love this book, I think Pennington nailed it. This book is an easy and fun read that delivers truly useful information. It gets a strong recommendation from me!

Six Disciplines® Execution Revolution

An easy read, full of extremely useful ideas, tools and diagrams. The author covers a lot of topics all focused on creating a highly excellent organization that is superb at disciplined execution.

Tough Management

I listened to this book on audio and LOVED it. It is about accountability and execution, and delivers some great ideas and advice. It stresses that you don’t have to be a “tough guy” in order to be a “tough manager” that holds people accountable.

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