A thread with 7 high value ideas & habits that took me more than a decade of my career (and dozens of costly mistakes) to learn:
Most Execution problems are really Strategy problems, Interpersonal problems, or Culture problems.
Good leaders execute well because they see this. They fix the root problem.
Bad leaders struggle because they have a habit of sticking Execution band-aids on very deep wounds.
In a high leverage role, you can think of doing your work at 3 levels
-The Impact level
-The Execution level
-The Optics level
Each level is important. But the level at which you think *by default* matters a lot. This default becomes your habit. You are now on autopilot.
Within an organization:
Owners fixate on the Impact level
Doers fixate on the Execution level
Politicians fixate on the Optics level
You don’t have to be the CEO/Founder to think like an Owner.
Owners may start slow, but with talent & hardwork, they tend to win big later on.
When you genuinely care about something, you focus much more on Impact than on Optics.
That is why people who genuinely care about Execution care a lot about their Strategy.
And people who genuinely care about Strategy care a lot about their Execution.
Impact = (Execution ^ Strategy) × Market
In complex environments, Problem Solving is a misnomer.
Solving one problem creates another set of problems.
Problem Solving is in reality Problem Trading.
A leader’s job is not to eliminate all problems. It is to wisely pick what problems we are willing to live with.
Be careful with “Under-Promise & Over-Deliver”
Under-Promise & Over-Deliver is a good policy for setting external expectations e.g. with customers, investors
It is a terrible practice for setting personal goals because it builds the habit of aiming lower than our potential.
When picking companies to work at or to invest in over the long-term, we overestimate short-term challenges and underestimate the effect of Market & Momentum.
Pay a lot of attention to Culture, People, Momentum, and Market. The rest, more often than not, is temporary noise.
To create outsized outcomes for your company & for yourself:
Stop doing work that simply provides a positive Return on Investment
Create a habit of focusing on work that minimizes Opportunity Cost
ROI thinking favors quick wins.
Opportunity Cost thinking favors big wins.