“A lot of people “know” what they need to do to make their organization more successful… but it is a precious few that possess the discipline to take those great ideas… and turn them into positive action on a daily basis.” – John Spence
It seems as though many people I encounter within the realm of Higher Education, have great ideas. In fact, many of them seem to be full of great ideas. But if I could have a dollar for every time someone shared a great idea and then it never materialized into anything, I would be a lot wealthier. The truth is, it comes down to execution.
A great idea is just an idea without the hard work and effort of putting it into place. We hear colleagues all the time talk about a program they would like to run, or a collaboration they want to work on but often the plans fall through or never start to begin with. A sound organization cannot function this way, and in order to create a sound organization, we have to be leaders who excel at (or at least pay attention to) execution.
Now, when I am talking about execution I don’t just mean event planning. I mean executing your values, your mission, strategies, right down to the hiring and training of your employees. In order to execute these well, and execute well in all areas, they have to be clearly defined and understood. We have to set expectations for each member of our team and work to ensure that everyone is meeting those expectations – as well as their deadlines.
Sometimes, in our field, we feel like we are babysitting our students. And sure, to some extent, we are following up too regularly or walking them through the steps that should not need a walk through. Because if we didn’t, our people would not execute effectively and things would probably fall apart.
So how can we be sure we are setting up our programs, staff, and organizations up for exceptional success? John Spence wrote a great article that lays out 9 steps of successful execution that apply to all organizational settings.
“Do not stop until you are proud”
What is hustle?
Ideas are the foundation of change. They are just ideas until they are brought to fruition through hustle. Hustle is grinding every day with a vision. Hustle is the confidence to learn and grow from your mistakes and keep going. There are four parts to cultivating an effective and unshakable hustle.
This fire pushes you toward your end goals and helps you recognize your dreams. Your drive could ebb and flow as you are hit with failures, but it is 100% necessary to keep your nose to the grindstone and stay your course.
This element creates change. Through determination, you recognize and overcome roadblocks and adversity. Determination helps shape and creates confidence in what you are doing and why you are doing it. Having a high level of determination pushes you to think outside of the confines given to you. No budget? No problem! No staff? No problem! If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else?
This element is vital to personal growth and development. What do you do after your drive and determination push outside of your comfort zone and your ideas do not work? Are you crushed? Do you give up? NOPE! You look at what worked, what did not, and change it up for next time.
The final element is the most important of the hustle flow. If you are unable to recognize the need for personal and professional growth, you are stuck. Quality of work will stay the same or go down and you will not be able to adapt to new situations. Comfort breeds complacency. Growth occurs through exposure to new ideas, self-reflection, and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.