You Have an Execution Problem

I’m in a Mastermind group. You might think that a Mastermind group is comprised of villains who are hatching fiendish plans of world domination, or even superheroes planning to thwart them, but you would be wrong. In fact, it’s much cooler than that.

No capes!

No capes!

Mastermind groups have been around for a long time, and are small groups of peers who come together to hold each other accountable toward their respective objectives and help members solve problems.

Recently, our group has been discussing and (imperfectly) practicing the concepts found in the book The 12 Week Year – a concept where annual objectives are tossed out the window in favor of 12 week objectives. I’ll be writing more about this concept in a later blog post.

There’s more to the 12 week year than compressed time horizons. I won’t cover it all here, but obviously recommend you check it out. However let’s focus on just one aspect from the book, and what I like and don’t like about this powerful quote:

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In effect, most of us don’t have knowledge problems – we have execution problems. This can be either liberating or intimidating, depending upon how you look at it. It certainly puts the spotlight on us. The reality is that we know enough to be more effective right now. No excuses.

Since there’s so much information out there, it stands to reason that we lack most of it. This can paralyze us. But when it comes to getting enough inputs for decision making, perfect can indeed be the enemy of the good.

What I don’t like about the quote is something I see a lot in success literature, namely the use of the word “income”, and framing excellence in terms of big income leaps.

I think this comes from the fact that much of the success literature audience are entrepreneurs, individual contractors, and commission-based professionals, where a lack of motivation one month can mean you won’t have enough money for next month’s rent. I also think it’s meant to grab the reader’s attention, to get them to envision some amazing, tangible result.

But the concepts of increased effectiveness apply to all sorts of professionals who lack the ability to “double or triple” their income by becoming more effective. For instance it’s good to be a more effective high school math teacher, but let’s face it – the school district isn’t going to double your income if you do.

But it’s worth doing anyhow. Good work is always worth doing for the work itself.

Good luck!