Knowing versus Doing – Execution In The Workplace

Have you ever worked with someone who always seemed to have the answers? who always seemed to know what to do; Who can always rely on expert opinion on a given situation, but for some reason just can’t perform as expected? Working with a client last month, I was struck by the fact that my client was already very knowledgeable about the issue we were dealing with. to quarrel. As we discussed the situation, I realized that my client knew a lot about the subject. He also told me about several situations in which his colleagues had similar problems and exactly how they dealt with them. While many of my clients are either new to management or have recently been promoted to a new and more challenging position, this was not the case for this individual.

This was an experienced leader; an experienced manager who has been in her current position for several years. It knows what to do. He knew why he had to do it. He knew what would happen if he didn’t act. However, we’ve discussed a fairly commonplace topic here that I should have covered without further thought.

I had no problems with what I had to do. Rather, he struggled to actually do it. He was afraid of the consequences of his actions. I was afraid of confrontation. He was afraid of action and struggled to do what he knew he had to do.

More surprisingly, he didn’t recognize the fight right away. During our first conversation on this topic, we talked about how the situation was and how it could be better managed. We agree on the steps to be followed and the deadlines for action. . A few weeks later the same problem resurfaced and I was surprised to find that I hadn’t taken the agreed steps. In fact, I was very interested in discussing the theories of what should be done and the expected results.

You could see and hear that he was stimulated by the discussion and took pride in his knowledge and ability to understand and articulate concepts. But he could not or would not act. A leader who doesn’t act is like a watchdog that growls but doesn’t bite. The growl may fool the thief for a while, but eventually it will just ignore the dog.

It should come as no surprise that there is a huge difference between understanding what to do and actually doing it. Whether in life, sport or business, we often know what to do and how to do it. But actually doing it can be something else entirely. Especially when what to do is uncomfortable. Good managers and leaders know that doing unpleasant things and making unpopular decisions is part of their responsibility.