Leadership – Only 8% of Leaders Are Good at Both Strategy and Execution

7a5d3-caesar2b3Good morning,

How’s your achievement in year 2015? Good or bad?

Its life, sometimes we’re in top and sometimes down.

Each experience would lead us to better person, and better leader.

In the beginning year 2016, most of us would continue to start to execute what we have plan in our New Year resolution.

Some of us would put the hardest portion in first semester, but some of us would keep in balance each quarter.

No matter how you create the strategy, execution is one of the greatest point for performance.

You can create so many strategy, change it every month, but still cannot achieve the target.

Remember, beside the external factors, we also have our culture and identity to keep it focus.

E.g. you want to expand new business but don’t have any capabilities and experience on it. Also, it escape from your future plan. At the end, you would find that just throw up your money for nothing.

As a person and leader, you need to focus on identity and future.


Let we come back to the basic.

Have you seen movie Star Wars – The Force Awakens? I bet you have.

I share a little:

30 years after the defeat of Darth Vader and the Empire, Rey, a scavenger from the planet Jakku, finds a BB-8 droid that knows the whereabouts of the long lost Luke Skywalker.

Rey, as well as a rogue stormtrooper and two smugglers, are thrown into the middle of a battle between the resistance and the daunting legions of the First Order

(source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2488496/).


This movie just release 18 December 2015. Within less than a month, got the total income more than half million dollar US.

Globally, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ranks as the sixth highest-grossing film in history, having earned $1.5 billion worldwide.

It should pass “Furious 7” and “Marvel’s The Avengers” to become the fourth-biggest film in the coming days.

The film will get a big shot in the arm next week when it premieres in China, the world’s second-biggest market for film.

Depending on how enthusiastically it is received in the People’s Republic, “The Force Awakens” could shoot past “Avatar’s” record $2.8 billion global haul


So, what did you learn?.

How come this movie always create one of the highest-grossing film on each premiers? All of this movie.

I also share some moral truth (source: http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Galleries/3-Moral-Truths-Hidden-In-Star-Wars.aspx?p=2).

  1. “Love is self-sacrifice.” The Jedi reflect true selflessness and the power of giving one’s life to ensure the care and protection of others. Jesus Christ says, “There’s no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” The greatest act of love is to sacrifice for someone else.
  2. “You are as strong as your greatest temptation.” Both Anakin and his son Luke were tested before given the opportunity to become a Jedi. Anakin, unfortunately, yielded to the temptation and joined the dark side. His rebellion, hunger for power and selfish ways darkened his heart and when tested those things surfaced. Temptation simply draws out whatever is within. Those being tested must have the strength to walk upright and choose the path that leads to life.
  3. “A good life lives on.” When Obi-Wan Kenobi battled Darth Vader he said, “If my blade find its mark, you will cease to exist. But if you can cut me down, I will become more powerful.” For the Jedi, death is not something to be feared because a righteous life continues to live on; however the wicked die and are soon forgotten.


I put another moral story of this movie

(source: https://themoralofthestory.wordpress.com/2008/01/29/star-wars-the-morals-of-the-story-2/)

  • There may be powers in the universe we can connect to that are larger than ourselves. (The Force)
  • “The Force is what gives the Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • “Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff. But I’ve never seen anything to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There’s no mystical energy field that controls my destiny.” – Han Solo
  • When you have lost everything, you should still consider helping others. (Luke Skywalker)
  • You should trust your feelings. (Obi-Wan Kenobi)
  • When someone is imminently threatening your life with a mortal weapon, you can use lethal force to stop them. (Han Solo and Greedo)



Okay, what is the magic word of this movie?


It’s a common language that show up, not only on the movie, but also on every person who watch and hear about.

Simple but memorable for years.

This simple statement is a key to make this movie profitable every premiers.

  1. As same as moral story of this movie, the statement of “Force” has become magic identity, powerful to sell. It’s a commitment to create next film by this magic word.
  2. The creator of this movie also create a strategy that translate into action in next movie. The detail of strategy is clearly can see, sense, and touch by every audience in the movie. They become huge fans since beginning. Some of them collect the Star Wars collector item since kids and move it to their kidsJ.
  3. As a great movie, it has a culture. The movie fans also support it into a great culture. These fans act as an owner of the movie’s culture.
  4. In other side, this movie always focus on their identity, and it will streamline unnecessary the cost. They use the time and attention for exact execution, to make it become best box office again in next premiers.
  5. Finally, as a movie leader, the movie build a strong team and developing the next generation of success movie person.


Okay, maybe I said too much on this movie.

Let’s see another example of another Leader.

Now, we come to Apple.

What you can see from this company?

It’s like a magic company isn’t it?

I mean, every product and service they create and sell, it always sold out and become one of the industry leader.

Based on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Inc. )

Apple is the world’s largest information technology company by revenue, the world’s largest technology company by total assets, and the world’s second-largest mobile phone manufacturer. On November 25, 2014, in addition to being the largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization, Apple became the first U.S. company to be valued at over US$700 billion. The company employs 115,000 permanent full-time employees as of July 2015 and maintains 453 retail stores in sixteen countries as of March 2015; it operates the online Apple Store and iTunes Store, the latter of which is the world’s largest music retailer.

Apple’s worldwide annual revenue totaled $233 billion for the fiscal year ending in September 2015. The company enjoys a high level of brand loyalty and, according to the 2014 edition of the Interbrand Best Global Brands report, is the world’s most valuable brand with a valuation of $118.9 billion. By the end of 2014, the corporation continued to receive significant criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors and its environmental and business practices, including the origins of source materials.

They have Mac, Iphone, Ipad, Ipod, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Software, Apple SIM, and electronic vehicles.

Jonathan Ive said to loyal customers that: What people are responding to is much bigger than the object. They are responding to something rare—a group of people who do more than simply make something work, they make the very best products they possibly can. It’s a demonstration against thoughtlessness and carelessness.

Okay, we can conclude of this company?

  1. Apple commit with their brand and identity. “Think Different” with pic of apple fruit, a symbolic figure, commitment.
  2. Their strategy can clearly see and show to others, fit the value that they offer to customers.
  3. They have a culture of work. The culture commit into a perfection of new product. This also support by loyal customers. Apple become primary champion of emotional commitment. They success because of the loyal customers.
  4. The focus on high quality product and only expand cost that related with that. Yes, they have many input and idea that really important, but still they focus on initial strategy and cost.
  5. Apple team has develop a strong team, and build a great next generation of leaders. That’s why, after Steve Jobs, Apple still can win the market.


I share you my fav book – Leading in Higher Level by Ken Blanchard.

In this book, leader must be a SERVANT.

He focus on 3 issues:

  1. Provider of choice – turn them into ravings fans.
  2. Employer of choice – employee must value and rewarded.
  3. Investment of choice – money would come to company that provide performance all the time.

In my opinion, these are aspects that need by leader to create a great strategy and can execute it properly.


In another book, called Execution by Larry Bossidy, it also stated the similar ideas.

  1. Successful company have an important ability to get things done (execute).
  2. Good leadership (people, clear goal, etc) is a prerequisite of execution.



To close this article, what can you conclude and make it execute for yours?

  1. Culture is a foundation that can lead you to exact long term plan.
  2. Commitment on identity.
  3. Strategy can translate into detail and daily work.
  4. Focus resources on the long term plan.
  5. Create a future and develop a success next generation of team.


You can read another full article from another author, as follow.



Only 8% of Leaders Are Good at Both Strategy and Execution

In a 2013 survey of nearly 700 executives across a variety of industries, our firm asked respondents to rate the effectiveness of the top leaders of their companies. How many excelled at strategy? How many excelled at execution? The results are shown in the chart below. These responses are sobering: Only 16% of top leaders were rated very effective at either strategy or execution. Only 8% were very effective at both, while 63% were rated neutral or worse on at least one dimension.


But there is heartening news in one finding. More than half of the leaders who are effective in either strategy or execution (that group of 16% in the top row and right-hand column) are skilled in both strategy and execution. This finding suggests that among the rest of us, those who become better strategists (those who can develop compelling answers to those fundamental strategic questions) will probably gain skill at execution as well, and vice versa.

In our research, we’ve found five leadership acts that help companies close the strategy-to-execution gap. The five acts of unconventional leadership also provide an opportunity for deep and powerful leadership development. Think of them as a chance to create an engine of growth for you personally and for the company:

Commit to an identity. As a leader, you can become a symbolic figure, a model of commitment. You have something powerful to sell: a message about identity and the need to stay with that identity over time. As you demonstrate the courage of those convictions, you develop the influence and impact needed to build an extraordinary company.

Translate the strategic into the everyday. Although you occupy a top executive position, you also “get your hands in the mud,” as Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz puts it in his book Pour Your Heart into It. You become the architect of the capabilities you need, the chief of builders. In these roles, you operate at a fine-grained level of detail so that you can see, sense, and touch the details of everyday activity. But you also raise your view high enough that you clearly see — and show others — how all your global capabilities fit the value you offer customers. You need two kinds of perspectives, nearsighted and farsighted, simultaneously, and you can only develop them this way.

Put your culture to work. As a leader, you are infused with your company’s culture. You are a primary champion of emotional commitment. You practice mutual accountability; everyone’s success is important to you. Through teaching and learning, you devote yourself to the cultivation of collective mastery. You do all this in a way that matches the unique cultural attributes of your company, which are grounded in its capabilities system. You don’t act like you come from a remote corner office; you act like you are one with the company’s culture.

Cut costs to grow stronger. Your company consistently allocates its resources with an eye toward strategic priorities. As a leader, you do the same with your personal resources, particularly your time and attention. Are you devoting enough to the most critical capabilities and the value proposition they support? Or are you squandering too much time and attention on immediate demands, responding to everybody else’s idea of what is important?

Shape the future. As a leader, you are one of the first to experience the constant challenge of external change. You can muster the fortitude (and humility) to recognize when change in yourself is required. You build an extremely capable team, knowing that ultimately the future will depend on developing the next generation of leaders.

Nearly every CEO we’ve met has great aspirations to change the game, move beyond the constraints that his or her organization faces, and build a legacy that leaves years and years of growth. Living these five acts of leadership can help. They build your confidence, and that of your company, and increase your ability to close the gap between strategy and execution.


Source: http://www.ceo.com/flink/?lnk=https%3A%2F%2Fhbr.org%2F2015%2F12%2Fonly-8-of-leaders-are-good-at-both-strategy-and-execution&id=331689

Author : Paul LeinwandCesare MainardiArt Kleiner

Date: December 30, 2015











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