The subject came up again. Bi-weekly, I facilitate an entrepreneurs’ online mastermind group, and during last night’s session, I took them through an exercise I call a Celebration and Checkpoint Review. I asked them to think about and write down their answers to these four questions:
- What are 3 things you’ve learned since we started?
- 3 things you’ve implemented?
- 3 things you still need to improve on?
- 3 groups you would like to influence or target to help?
From the answers shared, I noticed a pattern I’ve heard from many people I’ve spoken to or done trainings for. It either comes as a complaint or a confession. What is this commonality?
The lack of execution for creative concepts, opportunities, or commitments. As I often remind those I interact with, “You can know a lot, have the greatest amount of knowledge, or become privy to important information, but if you do nothing with what you know, it means nothing. The difference between knowledge and wisdom is execution.”
Let me give you a positive and inspiring example of a great executor. Her name is Gina. Everyone who meets her says they want a Gina. I want a Gina!
What I know of Gina’s story is that she has worked her way up from volunteer, to part-time helper, to administrative assistant, to titles like Director of Operations and now in her current role as Executive Pastor at her church, CLC Rolla. But there is no secret to her success.
Gina excels at execution. She follows through on every task, and she does so with the best of attitudes. She may not always feel happy (especially when she has to clean up after those who don’t execute—again), but you will not know it by her tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, or verbiage.
She presents herself calmly, respectfully, professionally, and maturely, but this does not mean she shies away from dealing with hard truths or difficult issues. You never want to misinterpret Gina’s kindness as weakness—she’s one of the strongest young women I know.
Does she get frustrated, disappointed, and maybe even angry sometimes? Of course, she’s human. But she handles herself with the utmost dignity, committed to not letting her emotions rule her choices, she gets the job done despite challenges. Gina decides daily to exercise execution to the best of her ability. When I think of excellent executors, Gina always comes to mind.
Gina is the epitome of the kind of person I described in my book, First Hired, Last Fired: How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market. She’s the person that though someone else might step in to do her job, things would never quite be the same. She is truly irreplaceable. I cannot imagine anyone else fulfilling Gina’s role or making her impact, as well as she does.
So let’s talk about the traits that have led to Gina’s success, and how her example can help you become a solid executor for tending your dreams.
Defining Excellent Execution:
- Acting with integrity—doing the same things whether you believe anyone else can see or hear you or not. An excellent executor holds themselves accountable and makes good use of their time when no one else is around.
- Being a promise-keeper versus a promise-breaker. (We’ve talked about this on previous shows.) An excellent executor is someone others can trust and count on to follow through.
- Focus on what you can—not on what you cannot. An excellent executor does not wallow in self-pity or negative self-talk, instead, they work out of their strengths and are teachable and willing to learn in areas of weakness.
- Choosing to do any job with the heart of a servant leader. An excellent executor has a motive to care for others, and to do so with compassion along with a drive to give more than receive.
- Treating your clients, customers, or audiences as if their needs are truly important. Saying is not the same as doing. An excellent executor makes statements they mean and means the statements they make.
- Working their way up. An excellent executor doesn’t waste energy grumbling or complaining, they simply dig in and get what needs to be done finished, gaining credibility and opportunities for growth along the way.
- Honestly assess yourself right now—would the people who know you, work with you, and need your help say you are an excellent executor?
- Where could you improve in order to become an excellent executor for the benefit of others and the tending of your dreams?
- Are you willing to commit to a life of excellent execution? If so, write it down, sign and date your resolution, and then, keep your word.
What have you allowed to get in the way of your execution efforts up to this point?
This episode’s Dream Tending Tips:
- Pick three things this week that you will commit to executing on when it comes to tending your dreams. Remember, dreams don’t just happen by themselves—you have to partner your efforts with God and tend until you make them happen.
- If someone owes you money, don’t procrastinate—execute. Create an invoice and send it to them. Many dream tenders struggle with this in the early days of making their dreams come true.
- Track your time—in black and white. Don’t kid yourself about time management or productivity, measure for accuracy, and then work to improve when you identify areas of weakness. Tending your dreams successfully means having solid information to work with.
- Consider the Zaccheaus Zeal challenge from my book, First Hired, Last Fired. Resolve to give back four times what you take: in time, energy, resources, and value. Try it dream tender, and I promise, you will receive more than you pour out.
- Don’t take on more than you are capable of executing. Delegate, teamwork, collaborate—these are terms wise executors and dream tenders know. Excellent execution is not about doing it all yourself.
- In order to become irreplaceable, a difference must be evident. And becoming an excellent executor is a difference others are looking to work with and support.
- Execute support and celebration for other dream tenders. As I shared in my new book, Exceedingly: Spiritual Strategies for Living on Purpose, with Purpose, and for an Abundant Purpose, when we authentically and selflessly lift others up, our dreams get a boost, too.
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You can also get autographed copies of any of my books from my website.
Until next time, remember, your dreams are waiting for you to grab and tend:
Never stop believing.
Dare to dream bigger.
Host Anita Agers Brooks can be found on various social media platforms, and you can discover additional dream tending tips at tendyourdreams.com.