Execution IS the Strategy

How Leaders Achieve Maximum Results in Minimum Time

Laura Stack (Author)

Publication date: 03/03/2014

Execution IS the Strategy

Shows how strategy and tactics are part of the same overarching process, requiring greater flexibility and more rapid implementation than ever before.

  • Shows how strategy and tactics are part of the same overarching process, requiring greater flexibility and more rapid implementation than ever before
  • Reveals how to create agile and resilient organizations, where execution continually modifies and adjusts the strategy to fit current realities
  • Includes the "Execution Quotient" leadership assessment and access to an online group reading guide and self-development resources

Once upon a time, executives would go to an off-site brainstorming session, come back with a multiyear strategic plan, and hand it off to their employees to dutifully execute. But in today's world of rapid, disruptive change, it's hard enough to come up with a five-month plan, let alone a five-year plan. As one executive interviewed by author Laura Stack put it, "You prepare a strategic plan and then put it on the shelf while the real world passes you by."

Nowadays, strategy can't be separate from execution-it has to emerge from execution. New technologies, sudden changes in global markets, and viral customer reactions to new products require quick, nimble responses-sometimes even a complete strategic 180. But if your organization isn't set up to be fast on its feet, you could easily go the way of Blockbuster or Borders.

Stack shows you how to make sure your organization is ready for on-the-spot strategic execution. Her LEAD formula explains how to Leverage the people and resources you need to create an agile organization, establish an Environment where your employees are confident and capable enough to take the initiative and make on-the-fly changes, ensure that your team is in Alignment with the organization's goals so they'll make the right strategic choices, and remove obstacles so they can Drive the organization forward quickly.

Of course, you'll still need to have a great strategy in place, but your goals must be subject to constant readjustment and revision. You have to work with your team to build effective business strategies in real time, not be bound by a plan that may be out of date as soon as it rolls off the printer. Execution really is the strategy that will propel your organization forward, and Laura Stack can help you build an organization ready to meet the challenge of constant change.

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Overview

Shows how strategy and tactics are part of the same overarching process, requiring greater flexibility and more rapid implementation than ever before.

  • Shows how strategy and tactics are part of the same overarching process, requiring greater flexibility and more rapid implementation than ever before
  • Reveals how to create agile and resilient organizations, where execution continually modifies and adjusts the strategy to fit current realities
  • Includes the "Execution Quotient" leadership assessment and access to an online group reading guide and self-development resources

Once upon a time, executives would go to an off-site brainstorming session, come back with a multiyear strategic plan, and hand it off to their employees to dutifully execute. But in today's world of rapid, disruptive change, it's hard enough to come up with a five-month plan, let alone a five-year plan. As one executive interviewed by author Laura Stack put it, "You prepare a strategic plan and then put it on the shelf while the real world passes you by."

Nowadays, strategy can't be separate from execution-it has to emerge from execution. New technologies, sudden changes in global markets, and viral customer reactions to new products require quick, nimble responses-sometimes even a complete strategic 180. But if your organization isn't set up to be fast on its feet, you could easily go the way of Blockbuster or Borders.

Stack shows you how to make sure your organization is ready for on-the-spot strategic execution. Her LEAD formula explains how to Leverage the people and resources you need to create an agile organization, establish an Environment where your employees are confident and capable enough to take the initiative and make on-the-fly changes, ensure that your team is in Alignment with the organization's goals so they'll make the right strategic choices, and remove obstacles so they can Drive the organization forward quickly.

Of course, you'll still need to have a great strategy in place, but your goals must be subject to constant readjustment and revision. You have to work with your team to build effective business strategies in real time, not be bound by a plan that may be out of date as soon as it rolls off the printer. Execution really is the strategy that will propel your organization forward, and Laura Stack can help you build an organization ready to meet the challenge of constant change.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Laura Stack

Laura Stack is an award-winning keynote speaker, bestselling author, and leading expert in the field of human performance and workplace issues. She is the president of The Productivity Pro, Inc., which specializes in productivity improvement in high-stress organizations.

Laura has authored numerous productivity books, which have been published in more than 20 countries. She writes on improving productivity, lowering stress, and saving time in her columns in The Business Journal, Huffington Post, Productive, and Time Management magazines. Laura holds the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association and was inducted into the exclusive Speaker Hall of Fame (CPAE). She was the 2011-2012 President of the National Speakers Association (NSA).

Laura has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, and Forbes magazine. She has been a spokesperson for Microsoft, Dannon, belVita, 3M, Skillsoft, Office Depot, Day-Timer, and Xerox. Her client list features top Fortune 500 companies including P&G, Cisco Systems, Toyota, Wal-Mart, Aramark, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Time Warner, plus government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Air Force Academy, the Census Bureau, and the U.S. Senate.

For 25 years, Laura’s keynote speeches and seminars have provided audiences with immediately actionable ideas on time and stress management, life balance, and execution. She uses both high energy and high content to educate, entertain, and motivate audiences to produce greater results in the workplace. Laura’s live presentations include:

What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do (burnout and life balance)

Doing the Right Things Right (leadership and time management)

Execution IS the Strategy (team and employee productivity)

Attack of the Productivity Suckers! (focus and productivity)

Managing Your Time, Tasks, and Email (workflow and Outlook)

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Table of Contents

Introduction

The Execution Quotient Assessment

KEY 1: LEVERAGE

1. Maximize Your Input Force

2. Strengthen the Beam

3. Improve the Fulcrum

KEY 2: ENVIRONMENT

4. Shape the Culture

5. Encourage Change Hardiness

6. Ensure Engaged, Empowered Employees

KEY 3: ALIGNMENT

7. Take Your Team on a Mission

8. Plan for Goal Achievement

9. Measure Your Progress

KEY 4: DRIVE

10. Remove Obstacles from the Path

11. Add Enablers to the Equation

12. Eliminate Time Wasters

Conclusion

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

About the Author

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Excerpt

Execution is the Strategy

INTRODUCTION
Strategic Planning Is So Yesterday, But Execution Is Always in Style

You did your off-site strategy session, enjoyed the golf outing, and then took off on vacation. You’re feeling well-rested, glowing with a sense of accomplishment. But it’s been four weeks, and you still haven’t briefed your directors and managers on your stellar strategy. So what do you actually have? No strategy. It’s a nice thought; it looks good; you crossed it off your list. But here’s the reality: You are General Custer, and five thousand Indian ponies are bearing down on you from all directions. Your troops don’t know what to do. Dust fills their eyes—and yours.

If you want to avoid a massacre, don’t put down this book. In it, you’ll learn how to arm your troops more effectively and execute strategy on the front lines—because you can’t fire their guns for them.

THE FOUR PREMISES OF STRATEGY

Like the old gray mare of legend, strategic execution just ain’t what it used to be—a point that hit home repeatedly as I conducted interviews with high-level executives in a number of industries.

John Alberto, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Combe, Inc., started our interview with this warning: “I’ll begin by telling you my bias on strategic plans: they’re a waste of time. You prepare a strategic plan and then put it on the shelf, while the real world passes you by. When you pull it out, everybody says, ‘We didn’t do any of that.’ ”

You may recognize Combe as the manufacturer of personal care products like Just for Men, Sea-Bond, Brylcreem, and Aqua Velva. Alberto said,

In the 1990s, we used to do five-year strategic plans all the way down to fairly detailed financial numbers. These would include a whole host of things related to the brands, the marketing of the brands, where we would go around the world with different brands, plus a five-year view of new products.

Frankly, if after a year or two the plan still had some validity, it would be surprising. Later, we shortened it to three-year strategic plans with less detailed financials. Then a funny thing happened, at least in the consumer products industry: the lifespan of a chief marketing officer became about eighteen months. The lifespan of CEOs tends to be about three years, so a three-year strategic plan didn’t work either.

Ideally, a strategic plan serves as a vehicle for continually reminding executives and other organizational leaders to evaluate the direction of their businesses according to their overall goals. But, as Alberto can attest, this doesn’t always happen. Why? Because there’s barely enough time to stop and take a breath anymore—much less implement a tool that may be stale before it’s a month old.

Today leaders lean on their team members—the troops on the front lines—to help them make solid, reliable decisions on how to best execute the objectives that advance the ultimate organizational strategy; hence the title of this book: Execution IS the Strategy. This strategy builds on four basic premises that I call interdependency, fluidity, speed, and validity.

I doubt anyone reading this book will disagree with these premises, because you’ve observed the truths in your business. Let’s take a closer look at them and see how they affect strategic execution.

THE FOUR PREMISES OF STRATEGY

1 Interdependency. strategy and tactics are part of the same over-arching process, with an inherent relationship.

2 Fluidity. Strategy must be more flexible in its tactics now than in the past.

3 Speed. Strategy must be executed more quickly than ever before to be effective.

4 Validity. Strategy must still be appropriate and strong, or none of the first three premises matters.

Interdependency

Understanding how goals, strategies, and tactics interrelate can be confusing, so let’s lay out some operational definitions.

A goal is something you want to accomplish within a specific time frame (sometimes interchangeably called a strategic objective or a strategic priority). Strategy is your long-term plan or alternative methods of accomplishing that goal. Tactics are the short-term actions required to fulfill a selected strategy. Execution is the process of moving from the statement of a goal to the completion of a tactic. In its most simplistic sense, I define execution as moving from a goal to a check mark. Efficient execution is the shortest distance between a goal and a check mark. Effective execution, then, is the most profitable outcome of the distance between a goal and a check mark. Efficiency and effectiveness aren’t always the same thing, as you know. In this book, you’ll note my bias toward efficiency, and in most cases I’ll assume you have an effective strategy. I am not a strategist; I am an efficiency expert.

Let’s say your goal is to get to your office safely and quickly. One strategy may be to “avoid traffic jams.” Potential tactics for accomplishing this strategy may include biking to work, leaving early to avoid traffic, checking the traffic on your GPS before setting out, taking the back streets, riding the bus, or hopping on the subway or light rail. Depending on the intersection of these tactics and a variety of other factors (road conditions, weather, distance, convenience, hassle, etc.), your tactics may vary daily.

A carpool might allow you to work during the commute (an efficient use of time), but you’re limited in your flexibility to leave early (and therefore not very effective). If you plan to head to the Great American Beer Festival in downtown Denver after work and enjoy a few beers while there, you may decide taking the light rail to and from downtown that day will be the best way to accomplish your goal. In addition, deciding a month in advance that you’ll take the local E-470 bypass to the airport won’t work if you wake up that day and find it under construction. You’ll need to implement an alternate tactic to execute your strategy in the moment. In other words, tactics can vary daily and, in fact, by the minute. This variation is the essential problem of trying to plan a strategy further ahead than a few months, because our environment changes so quickly.

During my tenure on the board of the National Speakers Association (I was the 2011–2012 NSA President), I participated in many “strategic planning” sessions. NSA board members would determine where the association should be in three years and give the staff its marching orders, all the way down to the tactical “to-do” plan. We would really get into the weeds with all the detail. The following year, NSA staff members reported what they actually did, which wasn’t what we board members (in our infinite wisdom) had dictated. The staff reacted to opportunities that often weren’t in the plan. They were the ones with their feet on the street and their ears to the ground, so this was perfectly appropriate. Telling them what to do from afar wasn’t the best strategy. We were paying them to think.

Perhaps in your organization, once upon a time, leadership considered strategy and operations to be separate functions, just as we did. Sometimes leadership still does. Senior executives conducted “Strategy” with outside consultants during week-long, cabin-in-the-woods retreats, and “Operations” was the downstream piece. The leaders would decide what to do going forward, and the troops would carry out their wishes.

Alberto explained Combe’s current process this way:

Today, the executive team meets to put together broad financial goals. We do a SWOT analysis—the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats—and then we take it down to our key categories. We look at gaps, and then, from those gaps, we come up with our strategic priorities. The process ends up taking fewer than two days. Most senior execs have been in the business a while, so they get it. The gaps are quite obvious.

The question then becomes, “How do we execute against the gaps?” Before, we’d go away for a week and sit around doing a lot of talking. We’d have a leader—sometimes an outside person—take us through the process. Now, it’s much shorter and much quicker. Things revolve around growth at the top-line level, which then flows through all the way to the bottom line. We have checkpoints about three times a year, which take around two hours.

When an organization sees an opportunity or realizes a threat, it can’t apply the same old change process that worked years ago. That process is no longer capable of winning in today’s fast-paced business environment. By the time you’ve written your strategic plan and the printer has cooled down, it’s already out of date. Goals, strategy, tactics, and execution should be part of the same dynamic process—implementing long-term priorities through short-term, daily operations.

Fluidity

As a leader, it’s important to articulate the organization’s strategy clearly—indeed, you must be specific in your definition of what constitutes “success.” That said, the strategy itself must be extremely fluid in its tactics, so that the frontline workers are encouraged to determine how best to achieve it. You’ll realize better results if you create an agile culture full of flexible, strategic thinkers who remain focused on the overall goals and the roles they play in achieving them. They must be willing to both entertain and implement new tactics for doing so, even with minimal warning.

In today’s business world, leaders usher in change by fostering risk-taking and creativity. Operations adjust to achieve strategic priorities dynamically, often creating the future in the moment. Company leaders lick a finger and stick it in the air to determine where the winds of change are blowing. From there, they quickly shift direction to catch the breeze and fill the sails. In an effective change process, leaders communicate the organization’s strategic priorities directly to all team members. They in turn share their ideas on how to make it happen, and the team drives it through.

I’ve had the privilege of working with Microsoft for many years as a productivity speaker, trainer, and coach. One of my clients is Mike Howard, Chief Security Officer for Microsoft, who recently explained how this shift occurred in his organization.

A decade ago, we were creating three- to five-year plans and trying to map those out top-down. In the last few years, we’ve moved toward a one-year plan. We map out our priorities, accountabilities, and the execution strategy year after year, regularly updating it to match reality and course-correct if necessary. It’s now all the same process.

Some multiyear projects may bleed over, certainly, into other years. For example, I challenged my team to drive a social media strategy for global security. One of my groups has been executing off that, and certainly, that’s a multiyear plan. I set the general parameters of where we should be going and get the buy-in from the leadership team.

Usually, we do that through a couple of off-site meetings a year, along with our monthly Strategy Sync meetings. We map out current and new strategic priorities and how to move forward at the same time. Then it’s up to team members to actually execute off this strategic vision. As they do, the strategy takes shape. We see opportunities and move quickly toward the best ones. The only time I would ever reengage in that process of their execution would be if I saw something going in the wrong direction. That’s rarely the case. I provide the overall vision; team members actually figure out how to get there.

Workers have actually been innovating in this way for many years, but leaders haven’t always been good at asking for it or realizing it. They’re now saying, “Wow, maybe I’ll just get out of their way and let them take me where we need to go.” As Mike Howard pointed out, there must still be a leader to articulate the vision—that is, leaders should set the priorities—and workers should tell them how to get there.

The Modern Business Leader’s Job

Listen to the folks who execute, make their work easier, and support them in continually finding and pursuing new strategies.

As leader, you’re the disturber, the cheerleader, the coach, and the #1 supporter of your team.

You enable your team to lead the charge.

As a leader, it’s up to you to design a culture in which your people are willing to step up and take that initiative. Most workplaces, no matter how enlightened, still require a great deal of work to create such a culture, and thereby instill the needed behaviors to make this change. But that work is necessary, even critical, because it all comes down to this: your team must be free to determine how to best achieve success. That means they need the tools, training, and guidance to achieve well-defined success criteria.

Speed

I hardly need to point out how much faster the business environment changes today than it did even a few years ago. In response to the speed of change, workplace strategy needs to evolve much faster now than in the past. Achieving maximum results requires faster goal-setting and organic strategic execution. Your commitment to fostering agile, adaptive execution will make it easier to reshape organizational priorities in the moment.

For example, my office manager, Becca, recently attended a webinar on online strategy for small businesses. In typical Becca fashion, she immediately shot me a memo with what she learned and what we should do. For example, the presenter pointed out a current trend of using photos to reflect brand and personality versus the old staid headshot. Instead of asking permission, Becca took the initiative and sent me a meeting invitation with an appointment with our photographer for a photo shoot. (“Is she trying to tell me something?” I wondered as I accepted.)

The webinar presenter also said our websites should be relationship-oriented, mobile, and commerce-ready for handheld devices. In our one-on-one meeting later that week, Becca briefed me on the changes we were making to our site, outlining her plan in ten minutes. She would direct our marketing consultant to work on the site map, ask our IT guy to outline the move to WordPress, and get three proofs from the designer to review. I asked her the price tag, blinked, and gave her the thumbs-up. And that was it.

From a tactical perspective, a new “eureka” opportunity may suddenly bubble up and alter the focus and time expenditure of your strategic plan. One of my strategic priorities is to “Build The Productivity Pro, Inc. brand.” I didn’t know our company’s website needed an overhaul to support that strategy, but boom, we’re executing Project Revamp Website. This didn’t happen because “it was time to do strategic planning.” Rather, a team member made the decision organically when it became obvious a tactical change was necessary to support the strategy. She came to me for resources and approval, and I got out of her way.

As a result, I had to push other tasks back in favor of this new project—that’s where your team often needs your support. Periodically, leaders get together for a reality check on direction based on the movement in their areas. They share what they’re working on, adjust the course if needed, and take off again.

Admittedly, because I head up a small firm, I can make decisions independently and turn on a dime, so my team can execute more quickly than a Fortune 500 company can. However, my clients in large corporations want to model this nimbleness, because it’s absolutely necessary for their success. Don’t just tell me, “That’s the way it is around here.” Nothing makes me crazier, and nothing fails faster.

Here’s what leaders must tell their team members: “When you think of a great idea or come face to face with a new opportunity, don’t wait three weeks to tell me about it in our next meeting. Get on the phone with me now.” If you do a good job communicating the vision, their thoughts and actions begin to align with your organization’s strategic objectives. Empower your team to act quickly! Never be too busy to hear about an idea or an improvement.

Validity

The best leaders have a vision for the future, which arrives daily. To quickly implement great ideas, you must do these two things well:

1. Identify the strategic priorities that will drive the business forward.

2. Take action on them quickly by leveraging your people and resources.

A huge caveat: You still must have a viable strategy, one that can actually achieve quantifiable goals within your constraints of time and cost. You also need to keep an eye on how well it’s working, so you can refine your course as needed.

For example, as an author, the demise of Borders bookstores in late 2011 saddened me. What happened? Unlike its competitor Barnes & Noble, Borders failed to properly account for the risks presented by online book distribution. It’s not that Borders didn’t have a strategy; its strategy just didn’t work well. The changes were coming, the writing was on the wall, and its leaders recognized the need for a strategic shift. However, they chose a bad strategy. No amount of fast action will get you out of trouble if you’re speeding in the wrong direction. Clearly, Borders simply couldn’t react fast enough. It stood by watching as other companies nibbled on the edges of its market and ultimately shut it down.

The Bottom Line Is Simple

There is no shortage of good ideas.

It’s not about who has the best ideas.

It’s about who executes their good ideas best.

FOUR KEYS TO EFFICIENT STRATEGIC EXECUTION

THE L-E-A-D FORMULATM

L = LEVERAGE

Do you have the right people and drivers in place to achieve your strategic priorities—ones that allow you to execute your strategy when the rubber hits the road? If not, you have a talent/resource issue.

E = ENVIRONMENT

Do you have the organizational atmosphere, practices, and culture that will allow your employees to easily support your strategic priorities? If not, you have a cultural/engagement issue.

A = ALIGNMENT

Do your team members’ daily activities move them toward the accomplishment of the organization’s ultimate goals? If not, you have a communication/productivity issue.

D = DRIVE

Are your organization’s leaders, teams, and employees agile enough to move quickly once the first three pieces of this list are in place? If not, you have a speed/agility issue.

FOUR KEYS TO EFFICIENT STRATEGIC EXECUTION

After more than twenty years of helping leaders create high-performance cultures and accelerate growth, I’ve identified four crucial factors that must be in place for a leader to execute strategy efficiently. Without these elements, execution can fail—even when you base it on a mature, effective strategy. The four keys to efficient strategic execution—Leverage, Environment, Alignment, and Drive—represent solutions to these failures and form the L-E-A-D Formula outlined in this book.

The L-E-A-D Formula represents the real-world implementation of interdependency, fluidity, speed, and strategy (the four premises outlined at the beginning of this introduction) as they relate to on-the-spot, flexible strategic execution.

Most leaders find their organization is weak in one or two areas. The Execution Quotient Assessment that follows this introduction will help you determine which of the four keys you need to strengthen in your own individual business. The assessment shows you where to find the information in this book. When I’m invited to speak at a corporate meeting, I ask the audience members to take the assessment online, so I can compile the cumulative scores. When the audience sees the perceptions of the overall group, its leaders can take action as a whole.

LEADERSHIP ROLES AND DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Each of the four keys to efficient strategic execution has a corresponding leadership role and development opportunity that can be seen in the following chart.

image

ORGANIZATION OF THIS BOOK

The L-E-A-D Formula’s four keys correspond with the four sections of this book, to help you readily identify which key might represent your biggest leadership challenge. Each section has three chapters, so if you hosted a book club with your team, you could discuss the book in three months (see www.ExecutionIsTheStrategy.com for complimentary discussion and leader guides).

Key 1: Leverage explores how to employ the concept of leverage to apply a stronger force as a leader, strengthen your “levers” (employees), and improve your “fulcrum.”

Key 2: Environment explores the importance of shaping an agile, responsive organizational culture, encouraging change hardiness in your team members, and engaging employees.

Key 3: Alignment shows you how to convince team members to care about your goals, define what those goals will be, and determine how to get there.

Key 4: Drive focuses on your team’s path to productivity. It includes how to remove obstacles from their paths, speed things up, and remove time wasters.

Keep this in mind: Leaders should work with their people to build effective business strategies in real time. You may not have time for strategic planning as such, but you should always make time to build an organizational culture that’s adept at strategic execution.

By the time you finish reviewing each of the four keys, you’ll see that execution really is the strategy that will propel your organization forward in today’s fast-paced business arena.

image Visit www.ExecutionIsTheStrategy.com to receive complimentary bonus material, videos, articles for reprint, worksheets, and book club materials. image

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Endorsements

Execution IS the Strategy is a powerful formula to crack the code and turn the table on strategic planning.”
 
—Alan J. Maxwell, Head of Global HR Transformation, Lockheed Martin

“I'm glad to see that even as Laura Stack emphasizes her key message of execution and results, she continuously brings readers back to the importance of people—teamwork, collaboration, empowerment, trust. Why? Because she knows that without your people, you're nothing.”
 —Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager and Trust Works!

“Borrow from Laura Stack's twenty-two years of execution excellence to create your culture of high performance and
big results.”
—Darren Hardy, Publisher and Founding Editor, Success magazine, and New York Times bestselling author of The Compound Effect

“Laura Stack's great book addresses every leader's unique execution challenges!”
—Jennifer Colosimo, Vice President of Wisdom, DaVita Healthcare Partners, and coauthor of Great Work, Great Career (with Stephen R. Covey)

Execution IS the Strategy is the handbook for leaders to diagnose and execute with exceptional results. I recommend this book to all leaders who want to develop the ability to turn at the speed of now.”
—Jeff Bettinger, Director, Leadership and Organizational Development, Petco

“A fresh take from Laura Stack on how to blow up obstacles to efficient execution. If you want your employees and teams to be more productive, read this book!”
 
—Randy Gage, author of the New York Times bestseller Risky Is the New Safe

“This book is chock-full of helpful ideas to assist leaders in ongoing efforts to get things done more effectively. I encourage you to take two major steps toward enhanced execution today—first buy, then read
Execution IS the Strategy.”
—Phillip Van Hooser, speaker, trainer, and author of Leaders Ought to Know

“Laura's all about saving time, and she makes a convincing case that long-term strategic plans don't work well with today's business conditions. Read
Execution IS the Strategy, and you'll learn how to seize opportunities, act on ideas, and be ready for anything.”
—Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do before Breakfast

“Laura Stack not only inspires action but gives us incredibly practical guidelines for the effective execution of ideas that will drive positive results.”
—Joe Calloway, author of Be the Best at What Matters Most

“This book encourages you to re-evaluate your way of thinking to achieve goals in an efficient and effective manner. Maximize your execution efforts through these proven strategies!”
—Dr. Nido Qubein, President, High Point University, and Chairman, Great Harvest Bread Co.

“Laura Stack's newest book elevates her concepts to the leadership level and shows you how to empower your team members to efficiently execute your strategic priorities. Don't just read this book—execute the ideas inside this book. You will be glad you did!”
—Shep Hyken, New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Amazement Revolution

Execution IS the Strategy shows leaders how to shift strategic course quickly and turn on a dime. Learn to lean on your team members and make solid, reliable decisions to best execute your priorities and get things done.”
—Eric Chester, author of On Fire at Work

“Laura Stack's approaches to maximizing your productivity are tangible and easy to implement. Anything she writes is a must-read!”
—Laurie McDonald, Director, Sales Effectiveness, Kronos Incorporated

“Laura Stack shows you how to throw out the strategies of old and get focused on the things that will drive your business forward.”
—Rory Vaden, cofounder of Southwestern Consulting and New York Times bestselling author of Take the Stairs

“This powerful, practical book gives you a set of proven tools to equip your leaders with the knowledge, skills, and inspiration to turn your strategy into performance. When you apply these simple principles, your employees and teams can start getting more done, faster, than ever before.”
—Brian Tracy, author of No Excuses!

“The #1 Productivity Pro
offers practical and effective tips to ensure competitive success. Her book is a road map to gain the best outcomes. I wouldn't want to navigate without it.”
—Tim Jackson, CMP, CAE, President/CEO, Colorado Automobile Dealers Association

“After reading
Execution IS the Strategy, you'll have all the tools and techniques you need to execute your ideas quickly and benefit from the results. The only question is, what are you waiting for?”
—Bruce Turkel, CEO/ Executive Creative Director, Turkel Brands

Execution IS the Strategy is a must-read for leaders who want to learn how to create agile organizational cultures that can drive initiatives forward.”
—Daniel Burrus, author of the New York Times bestseller Flash Foresight 

“Laura Stack has demystified strategy to be accessible, actionable, urgent, and even fun. She shows us how to apply it to work and life and understand that it is ultimately about taking action despite uncertainty.”
—G. Shawn Hunter, author of Out Think

“Laura Stack provides a simple yet powerful blueprint for bringing ideas to fruition. Anyone in a leadership position who does not read
Execution IS the Strategy should be immediately executed!”
—Stephen Shapiro, innovation evangelist and author of Best Practices Are Stupid

“Laura Stack goes beyond the to-do list and good intentions to a strategic approach for execution. If you follow her advice, you will have no excuses not to move forward on needed changes, and it will make you a more successful leader.”
—Lisa Ford, author and speaker on helping companies create customer-focused cultures

Execution IS the Strategy is packed full of relevant, real-world, actionable tactics that will elevate your performance as a leader and deliver results that count.”
—Lt. Col. Rob "Waldo" Waldman, author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Never Fly Solo 

“Laura Stack does a masterful job of weaving together elements of leadership, program, change, and her famous time management techniques in a simple, easy-to-implement format. She is my shortcut to excellence.”
—Eva J. Milko, Senior Director, Global Procurement, Molson Coors Brewing Company, and author of 10 Steps to Effective Execution in Strategic Sourcing

Execution IS the Strategy is a must-read for leaders in any industry. This step by step guide can help you manufacture the one thing you need the most—time!”
—Anthony DiBlasi, Director, Merrill Lynch

Execution IS the Strategy puts the final nail in the coffin of micromanaging, overplanning, and control-freakism. Simply put, it's brilliant. Do yourself, your team, and your organization a favor—buy it, download it, and share it. I have, and the results are amazing.” 
—Simon T. Bailey, leadership catalyst and author of Release Your Brilliance

“Laura Stack provides practical, easy-to-implement techniques to ensure your team is equipped to properly execute your core business objectives with precision and speed. Highly recommended.”
—Matt Schupp, Vice President of Human Resources, The Sherwin-Williams Company, Southeastern Division

“Laura Stack's new book is easy to understand, remember, and implement. There is always something to learn on every page—including the table of contents!”
—Hervé Borensztejn, Managing Partner, Karistem Corporate Consulting, speaker, trainer, and author of Growing Talents

“This book will give you the tools you need as a leader to get more done yourself and through others. Laura Stack really is ‘the Productivity Pro.'”
—Mark Sanborn, President, Sanborn & Associates, Inc., and author of You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader

“Stack has captured in this book what those select few great leaders know: you cannot strategize your way to greatness. You execute your way there! A must-read for anyone who wants better results!”
—Peter Sheahan, President, ChangeLabs

“A how-to for leaders who are serious about results. Make time to read this book—then thank Laura for all the time you save on future projects!”
—Harvey Mackay, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Swim with the Sharks without Being Eaten Alive

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