Leadership Solutions from Read Solutions Group: Linking Strategy to Personal Performance

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Linking Strategy to Personal Performance

In their Harvard Business Review article, Turning Great Strategy into Great Performance, Michael C. Mankins and Richard Steele give seven rules for successful strategy execution for an organization.

The same rules can be applied to a professional career to improve your personal performance.

1. Keep it simple.
  • Know who you are, where your contributions lie and be able to articulate them in a crafted and honed one minute "elevator speech.
2. Challenge assumptions.
  • Evaluate for yourself the prevailing thoughts on who is difficult to work with, on whether the idea was tried before and failed, on what the market needs, and build a compelling case for trying something new.
3. Speak the same language.
  • Define what success means to you and align your work with your goals; whether the work is a means to an income, a source of personal satisfaction, a place to grow and enjoy power.
4. Discuss resource deployments early.
  • Know what it will take to meet the goals you lay out for yourself and put a structure in place to ensure that your time and emotional commitment are allocated appropriately.
5. Identify priorities.
  • Meeting your objectives requires the identification and execution of key actions. Are you taking the steps every day that move you closer to your goal.
6. Continuously monitor performance.
  • Whether it's how many times you exercise a week, how many networking calls you make, how many customer problems you resolve or how many days you make quality time for your family, tracking your measures of personal performance will keep you on track to your personal success.
7. Develop execution ability.
  • Plans, goals, measures and "I shoulds" are easy to create. The challenge lies in developing the plans and structures one goal at a time, and then developing the habits that support achieving success.
Organizations require immense amounts of communication and coordination to meet their strategic objectives. While the referenced HBR article is based on the premise that companies deliver on average only 63% of their stated financial value, given the complexities, perhaps that is a testament to all of the employees who devote so much to their work.

My question is what could be achieved for the individual and the organizations if some of that commitment and those skills were turned toward developing individual success.

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