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How Do You Achieve Flawless Execution?

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Or Why That’s a Flawed Question…

Four years down my own path of facilitating and speaking on topics laddering up to #Activating talent, I still [full disclosure] get excited when a new prospect reaches out with a request. Inspiring and empowering leaders to, in turn, do the same for their teams is what ignites me. And every opportunity to do so lights me up.

But when the meeting with the prospect transpires, and it is revealed that the theme of the day in question is called “Flawless Execution,” my heart does a little sad dance.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not naive. I know flawlessness feels great – it delights our customers and it gives us permission to pop some bubbly. There is nothing wrong, per se, with execution that happens to show up sans flaw.

But for me there’s a marathon of distance between the poles of (a) celebrating the serendipity of a flawless experience, and (b) designing an entire day-long program that clearly articulates to our teams an expectation of a flaw-free zone.

Related: The Four Critical Words in Experience Crafting: Look Down. Not Up.

Related: Career Advice for All the Wayfinders; Time To Be #SorryNotSorry

To me, such an expectation creates an atmosphere of fear, of risk-aversion, of unwillingness to ask a “dumb” (or flawed) question. It enhances the likelihood that we’ll micromanage (I can’t trust anyone else to execute), we’ll do things the old trusted way.

Just because our work is flawless, doesn’t mean it’s the best it can be. It just means it’s unbroken.

Just because our work is flawless, doesn’t mean it’s the best it can be. It just means it’s unbroken.

Is that really the expectation we want to set?

Maybe I’m overthinking this one. But ultimately, I want to support and empower teams that understand how to make time and space for flaws – learn and grow from them.

Maybe my day would best be called Thoughtful Execution.

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