The Discipline of Getting Things Done
Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan with Charles Burck
“Execution shows how to link together people, strategy, and operations, the three core processes of every business. Leading these processes is the real job of running a business, not formulating a “vision” and leaving the work of carrying it out to others. Bossidy and Charan show the importance of being deeply and passionately engaged in an organization and why robust dialogues about people, strategy, and operations result in a business based on intellectual honesty and realism.”
I couldn’t shake the feeling that this book is showing its age. It’s clearly targeted at those super high-level corporate giants, which might not sit well with folks from smaller or less traditional companies. If you’re not in a place where you can delegate tasks to an army of direct reports, you might feel a bit left out.
My biggest gripe is that the book remains stubbornly high-level throughout. It’s a bit like listening to a long-winded lecturer who uses too many big words without giving you much actionable advice. I even found myself skipping over some parts because they felt like they were going around in circles. And sadly, “Execution” doesn’t bring anything particularly groundbreaking to the table – it feels like business textbook material.
The central theme revolves around setting expectations and holding people accountable, which is a solid concept. The book is a broken record on scrutinizing business plans and making sure people are doing what they said they would. It lacks clear, practical steps on how to do this effectively.
As I trudged into Part 3, I was hoping for more detailed examples to illustrate the execution process. But, to my disappointment, there were only a few of these, and they didn’t provide the guidance I was looking for.
I felt like I didn’t get much out of “Execution.” I had read another business book recently that blew me away (Twelve and a Half), so maybe my expectations were a tad too high. Given my experience, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this one. On a different day, I might give it three stars, but for now, it’s a two-star read for me.