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Book Review: Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

October 27, 2002

ExecutionExecution is recommended by my CEO Roundtable, so we’re in to it now! According to the dust jacket: “Larry Bossidy is one of the world’s most acclaimed CEOs, a man with few peers who has a track record for delivering results. Ram Charan is a legendary advisor to senior executives and boards of directors, a man with unparalleled insight into why some companies are successful and others are not. Together, they’ve pooled their knowledge and experience into the one book on how to close the gap between results promised and results delivered that people in business need today.”

We will undoubtedly pull this book apart by the paragraph and page in the CEO Roundtable, but I couldn’t wait to finish it between meetings. Bossidy and Charan give us great insight into how we can transform our business culture to be one of continual execution. Practical examples and case studies are provided, along with pithy sayings that will help us get the point across to our peers, managers, and employees. Bossidy states that: “Here is the fundamental problem: people think of execution as the tactical side of the business, something leaders delegate while they focus on the perceived ‘bigger’ issues. This idea is completely wrong. Execution is not just tacticsâ?”it is a discipline and a system.”

The layout of the book, and its progress is logical and very helpful. The first part is dedicated to why execution is needed, the second to the building blocks of execution and the third part is dedicated to the three core processes of execution. This last and perhaps most practical section of the book defines the three core processes as people, strategy and operations. The integration of these processes into a coherent set of business processes is key to the success of an organization. “The discipline of execution based on the three core processes is the new theory of leadership and organization distilled from practice and abbreviation.”

Clear and concise writing, a few well placed graphics, and an obvious passion for the subject make this an excellent book for the Management Library. It will be among my reference volumes for some time to come.

Click to see it at Amazon.

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