Leadership, Execution and the Power of Two “Simple” Tools

“Our vision has always been good, our strategy has always been solid but execution – that’s where we sometimes fall short….I’m still learning, but I do know that I’m not good at execution.  I’m a good visionary but execution has been our challenge for a long time.”

So says Nissen Isakov, Founder and President of LCR Electronics, whom I wrote about a few weeks ago.  He and his team adopted the Rockefeller Habits about a year and a half ago and have had a great deal of success with the system and best practices.

But what are his 2 major takeaways a year into the process?

#1?

“It forced me to delegate even more”, he shares. “My management style has definitely changed over the years from being a ‘control freak’ and needing to know everything to more of a delegator, although it took a while for me to develop that style.”  Now when Nissen brings someone on board, he uses the tools and best practices he learned in “the Habits”.

First, he sets up his new people for success by getting clear on what his expectations of an A Player are AND he holds them accountable to those standards of performance by having everyone fill out their own Column 7 of the plan.  “Having the One Page plan (Link does not work) with the Top 5 Rocks and Key Performance Indicators written out, not just for the company but also for the individual managers, is a critical part of what helps to make the people on our team successful.”

And #2?

“I now have a meeting schedule that supports good Execution.” Nissen and his team meet every Monday for their weekly tactical and they know, just like Verne Harnish teaches, “Every quarter is a 13 week race.”

So now when Nissen asks, “It’s the 10th week of the quarter and we have 3 weeks to go.  Where are we with the plan?  Where are you with your plan?”, his team comes prepared to answer those questions.  They also know that they need to bring up any roadblocks that they may need help with in a timely fashion, before those issues become the reason they ‘lose the race’.

The result of this careful application of a more disciplined approach?

“I’ve not only changed my leadership style significantly,” says Nissen, “but we had 28% growth last year with the same net income margin.  And since my management team went through the program with me last year, they understand why we’re doing this. They don’t argue with me.  They understand that we’re ‘in a race’. And they’re on board.”

What’s next for LCR? Well, continuing to develop their Leadership team is on their plan for 2011– but they’ve got the tools and the process to continue to build on their success.

And – if you’d like to get everyone in your business on the same page, develop your Leadership team AND win the Race, sign up for our Four Decisions Executive Workshop on May 18th – NOW!

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