categories:, leadership, staff
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July 17th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

6 comments (+ Add)

Failure to Execute

Failing to execute is one type of failure that should be completely avoided. While I recognize that we all make mistakes, the failure to execute in my opinion is one of the worst. Especially when it is repeated.

It does not come as the result of taking a risk, or trying something new. It doesn’t provide profound lessons…the main thing that is learned when you fail to execute is that you need to execute next time :)

I’ve seen pastors and church leaders excuse poor execution with a lack of resources. Things do not bring execution, people do. Excellence in execution is far more important than excellence in equipment, buildings, or technology. Execution takes tenacious, committed, hard-working people, and they will do more for your church than money ever could.

As leaders, we can help our teams (whether staff or volunteers) bypass the failure to execute in a few ways:

  • Set clear expectations up front. Work with your team to determine the desired outcome for this project, including deadlines, results, budget, etc.
  • Encourage them to identify roadblocks and be a resource in helping your team move past them.
  • Define priorities clearly. If you’re throwing projects at your team in rapid-fire succession, make sure they know to tell you when an incoming idea jeopardizes a previous deadline.
  • Communicate early and often. The more you are in touch with your team, the easier it is to make small adjustments along the way.

How do you and your teams avoid the failure to execute?

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there are a total of6
  1. Jul 17, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Bobby - Just want to say - thanks heaps for sharing your leadership insights. Its been great to hear your technology stuff, but it’s also fantastic to hear you share on leadership.

  2. Jul 17, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    I would add just one more thing:

    - Celebrate a Win (success). This is for two reasons. Momentum is built from a consistent succession of little wins. You need to help your team see the momentum building, and have that help continue to drive them forward. And people need rhythms of release and tension. The pressure of execution is amazing for productivity, but if that is all there ever is then that pressure will turn to stress and break down community. Celebration recognizes those wins, releases the tension and helps to build a community that spurs each other on.

  3. Jul 17, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    1. Make a plan
    2. Implement the plan
    3. Review the plan
    People fail to exicute usually due to uncertainty. Planning eliminates uncertainty. I think you just said this in a different way Bobby. Sorry for any redundance.

  4. Jul 17, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    I think it is important to have a written plan. But the biggest thing we focus on is accountability. Without accountability, things won’t always get done on time or possibly done at all.

  5. Jul 17, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    It’s also good for team members to understand these points, too. It helps underlings going back up the leadership chain to know that leaders are open to input. Unfortunately, that’s not always a luxury available to some staffers.

  6. Jul 21, 2008 at 6:06 am

    [...] had a great series on failure this week: “failure to try“, “failure to execute“, and “failure to [...]