Surround Yourself With People Like This

I have a tremendous amount of respect for great executors. 

In fact, one of the most important things that leaders can do and something that I’ve aimed to do is surround myself with people who are masters of execution. 

When you do that, life just becomes so much easier, better, and more exciting. 

On the converse, there’s nothing more frustrating than being around a bunch of people who just have a bunch of ideas and nothing can move forward. There’s no progress being made. Everything becomes a brainstorming session of ‘Wouldn’t it be nice?’ or ‘Wouldn’t it be cool?’ Then you’re frustrated because at the end of the day, no progress was made. Then a week goes by, a month goes by, a quarter goes by, and you’re like, ‘But we had all these great ideas. Why can’t we move things forward?’ 

Not everybody is a great executor. But if you can surround yourself with people who are, your growth accelerates tenfold.

An example of this is our Crisp COO Alex. She runs the day-to-day of the organization. We meet a few times a week to go through all of our company initiatives: the status of those, any company rocks, any progress on any campaigns, projects, and those sorts of things. 

We sit down and go through my vision for an initiative, and then from there, she maps out the execution plan, including every single deliverable that must be met, who’s going to be accountable for what, what the timelines look like, and what the milestones look like. Then we meet on a consistent cadence, and she provides me with updates. 

Now, it’s not always even her doing every step of it. Sometimes she’s delegating that to our Director of Operations who’s delegating to somebody else. It just moves through the chain of command to really expand our capacity and execute multiple projects at the same time.

The key to working with great executors, though, is to have good rhythms and consistent updates to know how things are progressing and if they’re stuck so we can go through those and address any challenges or any problems. 

Here’s an example. Right now we’re working on a major expansion of our ecosystem, and we’ve gone through questions like: 

  • What are the success criteria?
  • What does it look like? 
  • What time investment will it require?
  • What financial investment will it require?
  • What impact will it make on the business?

Plus, we have probably hundreds of milestones for this one expansion: all the standard operating procedures that must be created, all the hiring needs, all the training and development needs, how we’re going to position it, how we’re going to market it, what it’s going to look like, the impact that it will make, internal checks and balances, the data and analytics, and so on. 

All of that has been mapped out — probably a thousand things that must be done in order for something to really get off the ground and have great execution. 

The same is true anytime we conduct a workshop or host a conference. 

If people only knew the behind-the-scenes of what goes into a Crisp Game Changers Summit! They see the speakers on stage and experience the energy, but if there was a list of items (and I’m confident there is one somewhere; the good news is I just don’t ever have to see it), there are probably thousands of items that must be checked off every single time one of these events comes together — from the mailers to the gift bags to catering to A/V to everything that’s happening in the production process, every single video that goes live, even the check-in process itself would be a hundred step plus process. 

If you add all this up, it’s thousands of things that have to be executed on, and none of this will happen if you don’t have a team that’s focusing on execution.

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