Do you have to be a chef to start cooking? A note of Strategy Execution and ‘starting’ 

Habits are crucial for driving execution excellence. Four things contribute to forming better habits:

  1. Being deliberate – be clear on what you want
  2. Being consistent – commit to keep going
  3. Looking down now – start as soon as possible
  4. Looking up often – learn and iterate as you go

Here’s number 3.

Get started

“Well done is better than well said”

Benjamin Franklin

This is probably where the modern-day mantra “done is better than perfect” originated from.

Not starting gets you nowhere. You have no product to sell, no process to test, no purpose to get behind, no legacy to leave behind.

If you wait to be perfect before you start, you also make fewer mistakes. Which is necessary, if you’re a surgeon or a pilot.

But for us normal folk – who are trying to create better products and a better world – that strategy will probably not work.

Why not?

  • Because perfect is seldom “perfect enough”.
  • When perfect is “perfect enough”, it wants to be protected, not used.
  • Because done is still better than the status quo (it should be).

When it’s done, it doesn’t mean it’s over.

A case study

I saw a client last week. He’s launched a “perfect” business, looking at it retrospectively – it made an impact, it created fairness in our financial system, and it made good money. And now, it can be “more perfect” – by increasing closing ratios, increasing market share, increasing impact, etc. Or he can create the next “well done”, the next venture, the next business.

So let me rephrase: He didn’t create a “perfect” business. He created a “done” business. He launched before everyone else could. And then he was relentless in his pursuit (see point 2 above), it wasn’t “over” just because it’s “done”. And because of this, he’ll do it again. And again.

Looking down

Instead of working to get to perfect, why not put your head down, look at what you have, and get started.

Just start cooking; don’t wait to become a chef.

Just start creating a regular cadence of strategy execution; it’s not going to be perfect, but it’s going to be done.

“Initiating a conversation is half the battle.” From the movie Big Daddy.

Just start.

Two questions from me: 

  1. Name one thing in your business that you’ve been talking about changing or launching for several months?
  2. What prevents you from doing it?
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