There is never an end to the creativity of marketing and sales professionals in coming up with new ideas or programs. Developing new strategies and new programs is exciting. We get to think about the future, we engage in exciting discussions about new ideas, we are involved in creating and innovating. It’s fun and invigorating.
Developing new strategies and programs is seldom a problem. The problem is committing to the execution of the programs. It’s no longer about powerful ideas, but it’s the tough work of making it happen. It’s no longer clean and theoretical, it’s rolling up your sleeves, getting into the muck and figuring things out.
The reality of execution seldom matches what we imagined in strategizing and planning. Things don’t work as anticipated, we may have overlooked some things, we encounter obstacles, problems and resistance–internally and with our customers. It’s never as easy as we thought.
Execution is sometimes about drudgery. Countless task and details, over and over. It’s not creative, often not fun. But it’s the stuff we have to do to produce results.
It always takes us longer than we thought. We want immediate results, but in reality, it takes time. Uncertainty sets in, we start doubting ourselves. Each obstacle creates second guessing. Maybe our strategy is wrong? Maybe we should do something different?
Commitment is about accountability. We execute and produce results, or we don’t. There are no excuses. It’s so much easier to avoid that accountability by not committing, by moving on to the next idea, the next strategy, doing some more planning.
Commitment requires courage and confidence. It’s easier to abandon the strategy or program. There’s always another idea, another approach. We are tempted to go back into planning and strategizing, it’s much more fun.
Commitment is about taking risk. We may find out we’re wrong. Our best planning and thinking hasn’t created the results we anticipated. We have to admit to ourselves, out management, and our people that we’ve made a mistake. Perhaps we can analyze and correct the situation. Perhaps we’ve learned that it just won’t work, we have to go back to the drawing boards.
In then end, though, it’s not our great ideas and strategies that create success. It’s committing to executing the strategies, learning from our experience, refining, reworking, until we achieve our desired results.
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