Many people regard execution as detail work that’s beneath the dignity of a business leader. That’s wrong. It’s a leader’s most important job.[*]
This chapter is about understanding execution. To understand real job needs, it’s important to remember the following four key points:
Everyone wants to hire superior people. Yet the criteria most people use to define work, write ads, filter resumes, and interview candidates is based on a misleading job description that describes qualifications and requirements. In the majority of cases, these job descriptions don’t define the job at all, they define the person who will ultimately take the job. Traditional job descriptions that list skills, experience, academics, and competencies are misleading, and are the primary reason companies can’t find enough top people.
If you want to hire superior people, first define superior performance. Performance is about results, not about skills and qualifications. This is the execution part of the job. If someone can do the work, he or she obviously has the skills. Here’s a historical example demonstrating the importance of results over specifications. When Teddy Roosevelt was Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy, he purchased a used Brazilian merchant ship, the Nictheroy for $500,000, under the proviso that it must arrive under its own power within a very short ...