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Execution

Disciplines like strategy, leadership development and innovation are the sexier aspects of being at the helm of a successful business; actually getting things done never seems quite as glamorous. But as Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan demonstrate in Execution, the ultimate difference between a company and its competitor is, in fact, the ability to execute. Execution is “the missing link between aspirations and results,” and as such, making it happen is the business leader’s most important job. Bossidy and Charan point out that without it, breakthrough thinking on managing change breaks down, and they emphasize the fact that execution is a discipline to learn, not merely the tactical side of business. Supporting this with stories of the “execution difference” being won (EDS) and lost (Xerox and Lucent), the authors describe the building blocks that need to be in place to manage the three core business processes of people, strategy, and operations. Both Bossidy, CEO of Honeywell International Inc., and Charan, adviser to corporate executives, present experience-tested insight into how the smooth linking of these three processes can differentiate one company from the rest. Developing the discipline of execution isn’t made out to be simple. Bossidy and Charan offer good advice on a neglected topic, making Execution a smart business leader’s guide to enacting success rather than permitting demise.