Create a Winning Sales Culture – Execute with Discipline
Without execution, ‘vision’ is just another word for hallucination. Thomas Edison
This is a continuation of the discussion regarding a framework for execution: Visibility, Accountability, and Consequences (VAC) this also includes discipline. In my career at AT&T, I had the privilege to work with a number of gifted leaders. These individuals served as mentors and coaches, providing valuable insights from a leader perspective. One of these brilliant maxims is as follows: “A plan is a job half done!” If brevity is the soul of wit, then this statement is the essence thereof. These concise words of wisdom did not fall on deaf ears; the admonition resonated as a powerful message to my colleagues and me. When you think about it, his comments make perfect sense. A corollary to his statement is that having a plan is essential; however, without proper execution, it will not attain the desired results. On the other hand, I have found that a solid plan, when executed well, is a beauty to behold; and it all but guarantees great results. The “VAC” framework offers a simple way to keep in mind critical factors that are important to success in building a foundation for sound execution. The first building block for our “VAC” framework is accountability, and it is bilateral in nature. That is, leadership is accountable to employees, and vice versa.
Accountability begins from a business leader’s perspective with the development of a strategic plan that addresses the goals of the business. Plans must be communicated and translated into individual job duties and associated performance expectations. Each employee must understand how her/his individual role will tie into the big picture. There must be complete alignment between each activity and business objectives. Moreover, to assure alignment in these activities, it logically follows that leadership is accountable to each employee so that every person is fully equipped and capable. To be more specific, this means providing coaching, training/development, performance management, support and resources as needed. Furthermore, to facilitate and enhance individual and team effectiveness in the implementation of goal-oriented activities, this means business leaders must create a positive environment for open communication, collaboration, mutual respect, and trust. And finally, from an employee standpoint, there must be a non-negotiable accountability for fulfilling the responsibilities for the one’s defined role in helping to achieve business goals.