The Great Exec/ution Newsletter

Your weekly guide to impact.

Every Saturday morning, you’ll get insight and practical tips to improve your leadership and execution. In less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee. Best of all, it’s free.

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While you are waiting to receive your first email, check out the archive from previous editions of the newsletter below.

Newsletter Archive

A Fair Shake

Hard conversations are not easy, but they are an essential part of leadership. Handling them effectively requires preparation, a bit of courage, and some reflection. Leadership inherently involves making tough decisions and having tougher discussions, but with practice and the right approach, you can master this crucial skill.

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Hard Conversations

Hard conversations are not easy, but they are an essential part of leadership. Handling them effectively requires preparation, a bit of courage, and some reflection. Leadership inherently involves making tough decisions and having tougher discussions, but with practice and the right approach, you can master this crucial skill.

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Nurturing and Developing Talent

Building for the future is always fraught with risk. Building takes time away from the present. It also presumes that the investments you make now will still be relevant. And yet, if you don’t build for the future, you will find yourself forever treading water and unable to react. So it is with talent as well.

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Forcing Change

Navigating change as a leader requires clarity, a relentless drive to execute, and swift troubleshooting. And sometimes a bit of brute force.

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Handling Highly Sensitive Situations

Leadership often calls for handling a range of highly sensitive situations that can arise within the workplace. The more senior you are, the more people will look to you for guidance and action. While the substance of the issue may vary, the process you can follow to address these issues doesn’t—nor do the pressures you will face.

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The Things We Can (and Can’t) Control

Much of leadership revolves around matters of control. Leaders are in positions where they have an outsized influence on the performance of a company. Our decisions impact large groups of people and can even determine the fate of the company. Yet the reality is that most of the control we exert is indirect in nature.

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Falling Behind with Your Goals?

We’re about three weeks into the second quarter. For those who began 2024 with the intention of executing a new strategy or transforming your business, you should, by now, have a pretty good sense as to whether you’re on track. If you are, congratulations—that’s great news! If you’re even mildly behind where you want to be, read on…

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Internal Hires and Promotions: Are They Right for the Role?

One of the interesting and enjoyable things about fast-growing businesses is that they present almost limitless opportunities for internal movement, be they promotions or new roles in different functions. These opportunities are appealing to everyone, yet they are not without their challenges.

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Tapping into Discretionary Energy

In a recent newsletter, I talked in broad terms about the importance of process for achieving scale. This week, we’re zooming in on the finer details—the “small stuff” that, when neglected, can make your work on process for naught.

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Learning to Iron

In a recent newsletter, I talked in broad terms about the importance of process for achieving scale. This week, we’re zooming in on the finer details—the “small stuff” that, when neglected, can make your work on process for naught.

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The Hardest Thing

We embrace strong processes not merely for operational efficiency, but as a cornerstone for growth and scalability. They ensure that quality remains high, costs are low, and that the business remains agile and responsive to market changes. Without them, businesses risk stagnation and eroded margins. The challenges—be they flexibility fears, complexity, or change management—are hurdles that, when overcome, unlock significant value. Strong processes, therefore, are not just operational necessities; they are strategic assets that drive competitive advantage and long-term success.

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boiling the ocean

Boiling the Ocean

Nearly every business I am working with now is involved in a significant transformation. Several of them are focused on their Go To Market (GTM), with new or revamped products and services that they are hoping will deliver significant value. This work is inherently large in scope, and for that reason has the potential to get bogged down for any number of reasons. This week’s newsletter shares thoughts on how to manage projects of this nature, so we reduce the ocean to a manageable kettle.

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The Value of Process for Scale

We embrace strong processes not merely for operational efficiency, but as a cornerstone for growth and scalability. They ensure that quality remains high, costs are low, and that the business remains agile and responsive to market changes. Without them, businesses risk stagnation and eroded margins. The challenges—be they flexibility fears, complexity, or change management—are hurdles that, when overcome, unlock significant value. Strong processes, therefore, are not just operational necessities; they are strategic assets that drive competitive advantage and long-term success.

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Trusted Deputies

There are two great-yet-entirely-avoidable failings I see in executives. One is not taking time to speak one-to-one with people across the team, especially in the lower part of the organization. The other is that they become so distanced from the “coal face”, the day-to-day work that people do, that they develop a blind spot to this critical element of effectiveness, profitability, and scale. Here’s how to avoid it.

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Get in the Weeds

There are two great-yet-entirely-avoidable failings I see in executives. One is not taking time to speak one-to-one with people across the team, especially in the lower part of the organization. The other is that they become so distanced from the “coal face”, the day-to-day work that people do, that they develop a blind spot to this critical element of effectiveness, profitability, and scale. Here’s how to avoid it.

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Setting Goals that Lead to Success

We are approaching the time of year when people begin talking about New Year’s Resolutions. I am not a resolutions guy, but I am a goal setter across every single aspect of my life.

Why?

Because the older I get, the more complex my goals are to achieve and the longer it takes to achieve them. Gone are the days when hard graft and a little bit of luck will pull me through. In my teens and early 20s, goals were more straightforward—like securing a summer job or finding a date—and happened in a matter of weeks or months. These days, most of the things I want to achieve require multiple steps and focus across timeframes that are measured in years.

With that thought, here is how I approach goal-setting at work and in my personal life, with some examples of how you might integrate the approach for your own goals.

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What is Authentic Leadership Anyway?

Few things have a greater impact on performance than company culture. And yet, too often companies resort to superficial (albeit fun and well-intended) activities like themed lunches as their sole efforts to build culture or express a commitment to diversity. This short, light-hearted look at the topic belies two important themes. One of them is that culture has a huge impact on performance. The other is that culture comes from the top. Both mean that it is essential for leaders to do more than fill their employees’ bellies with empty calories.

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