Strategy Execution Skills Every Leader Should Have

execution skills

When your employees fail to deliver, they must face the business owners and answer all the critical questions. What went wrong? Why did you make certain choices? Why are we lagging? Who is to blame?

You may possess the world’s best strategy ideas, but if your people can’t implement them and get desired results, you may get out of business.

No one can teach you to be a better leader except yourself. Every business is different, and you learn to grow by following the right approach toward individual growth.

This article aims to lay out that learning approach so you can better execute strategies (a skill that is precious and highly demanded).


Strategy Execution Skills

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Essential strategy execution skills today’s business leaders should possess:

Strategic planning is not a yearly thing in the present. People must frequently reflect on the planning to keep their strategies effective and reach the right outcomes.

You don’t have to be the know-it-all for the team. Be the leader that enables the team to make the right decisions at the right time. Be their guide and show them the right direction to put their efforts.


1. Knowing the difference between essential and usual business

It’s a serious problem in organizational teams around the world. They think being an employee is to wake up, come to the office (or WFH), sit at the desk, and work on what your manager tells you to do.

This does not move the business forward; you must do things that take the game to the next level.

Business owners and team leaders have a huge role to play here. They have to identify the most important business priorities and goals and cascade them down effectively to the group.

They enable the team to differentiate between the usual business operations (the minimum) from the essential business objectives. For example, deciding an organization-level OKR (Objectives and key results) and aligning the team members toward it.

OKR methodology is an excellent way to implement the priority and outcomes-based approach among your people. Use OKR management software to implement them effectively.


2. Maintaining a balance between innovation and control of the organization

Your work is still incomplete when you enable the team to take charge of their work with a focused, outcomes-based approach. Today’s competitive landscape needs innovative ideas and an agile approach toward work and planning.

But it may lead the team to go off track. The leaders play a significant role here; in these confusing times, they guide the group to focus on meaningful things. For example, calling the group together and discussing already set OKRs.

You may need to assert control sometimes when it becomes necessary, for example, by giving specific directions to employees or making them follow a code of conduct.


3. Facilitating the alignment between job roles and business strategy

It does not work well when you get into micro-management with the team. It’s inefficient and does not add value to the work. You must enable your people to find meaning in their work.

Employees must know why they are doing what they are doing. You must involve the group, discuss their roles and ensure that their individual goals or OKRs align with the organizations.

You must also note that the job alignment process, like strategic planning, is not a one-time work; it’s an ongoing activity. To boost productivity, many teams do weekly check-ins; it helps them optimize their strategies and focus on the right things.


4. Help build a customer-centric product or service

Nearly 50% of the customers switch to a competitor company after a single bad experience, and the number moves up to 80% if there are multiple bad experiences.

You must understand your customers well and identify patterns that will help the team make a strategy that sells more of the product or service.

Make it a business priority to focus on making your product more buyer friendly. You can sit with the team and decide on certain OKRs that guide the team to achieve better customer satisfaction.

You should also ensure that other contributing factors stay relevant and get included in the strategy, like consistency in branding, audience nurturing, customer service, target audience, market research, etc.


5. Streamlining usual business functions and relations

The small business functions and processes that don’t directly impact the business and strategy but are essential for the smooth working of the organization may take up significant time and resources.

As a leader, you can make these things more efficient. For example, making the raw materials supply process more effective and swift by talking with the suppliers to fix specific issues like faster manufacturing.

Another thing that is essential for smooth working is employee satisfaction. Disengaged or exhausted employees directly influence the strategy execution. You can take necessary steps to improve employee recognition, engagement practices, compensation, work environment, culture, etc.


6. Building profitability

What good is the strategy if it cannot generate profits?

You may spend a billion dollars building your startup, but if you cannot generate profits, you will keep burning cash, bringing your team’s morale down.

Once you assign the right set of goals and OKRs aligning with the business revenue, you must try to build a strategy that progressively improves the sales revenue and customer retention rate.

Sit with the team, guide them to stay on track, and optimize the related strategies.

If you want to make your people more aligned toward the business priorities and need help with careful strategic planning and execution, reach out to us here! 

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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