Execution is being able to take on the different tasks that are necessary in order for a great idea to become a successful product, business or service. Without execution, it doesn't matter how good an idea is — it won't make money. It doesn't matter whether people like your product or not — again, you won't make money from it. Execution provides results—or profits—from a good idea.
As a young graduate, your first job is to sell yourself and your skills. So, it is important that you can convince the recruiter/employer that you have the ability to carry out key responsibilities of the job. You need to be able to demonstrate that you are going to be able to execute the tasks which are listed in the job posting. A great deal of emphasis is put on the ability of an individual in terms of how he or she can perform the job during an interview.
What is the ability to execute?
A person's ability to effectively implement ideas and carry out a particular task. The ability to creatively and effectively implement ideas to reach desired outcomes that results in profit or a quality product/service.
It also involves business skills such as getting things done, setting goals, working within time constraints, and being able to manage projects properly. It also involves having passion for what you do and being perseverant against all odds in order to achieve success even though you have limited resources available with which to work with.
Understanding The Ability to Execute from a recruiters perspective
Gartner's Magic Quadrant is a powerful concept where the ability to execute is explained quite effectively in terms of setting a vision and having the ability to execute that vision. It is important that you are able to communicate to the interviewer, or recruiter, how you will be able to develop and work on an almost infinite number of possible ways of carrying out a task.
It is important that your creativity, intelligence and communication skills are demonstrated in an interview so that the interviewer can be convinced that you have all the qualities necessary for accomplishing tasks. You need to impress your interviewer not just with your technical skills, but with everything else as well.
“Things like attitude and appearance are often overlooked in a job interview, but these things can make or break a candidate. Even if the job seeker is overqualified for the job on paper, details like running late, being on a cell phone or forgetting basic manners can ruin their chances.”
Gartner's Magic Quadrant has been widely used by recruiters and employers today as a tool in order to employ people who they believe have good ideas but are also able to carry out those ideas well.
As an employee with such skill, you are quite valuable to any company with high-level quality and performance goals for the products and services it offers.
Consider that to be a good employee, it is important that you can manage your time effectively, set reasonable goals and follow through with the tasks associated with achieving those goals.
"A vision and a strategy aren't enough. The long term key to success is execution. Each day. Everyday. The employees of your company continue to execute very well. Our success has nothing to do with planning, it has to do with execution." ~ Richard M. Kovacevich (Former CEO, Wells Fargo)
How to improve your ‘ability to execute’
When recruiters are looking for a person to fill a job, they look for specific skills in order to find out if someone has what it takes to work in that position. A passion for what you do is considered as an important skill, because the best employers know that having passion and drive will lead to higher productivity and better quality of work.
So how can you improve your ability to execute:
1) The first thing you can do is to be clear about your plans & goals. Without a sight in mind, even the most experienced captains fail to steer the ship, just as new captains find themselves caught up in being able to ‘go with the flow’.
2) You need to know when it is time to move from a dead-end task and make a change. The most successful people accept the challenge of making an unusual decision....taking the risk of leaving behind their comfort zone.
3) In order to improve your ability to execute, you must be open-minded and receptive. There are no limits to the possibilities, and if you allow yourself to see them, your mind will volunteer itself to the task of thinking about a variety of solutions.
4) The ability to execute is not just about being proactive, but also being able to be reactive...to act on assignments/suggestions/initiatives given by others. So try to understand what is told, and ask questions when in doubt.
5) You must understand that, when it comes down to executing tasks, there are all kinds of people who are good at doing certain things (and not good at doing others). Focus on what you are good at, and delegate what you think others could do better for you.
If you execute everything you've learned in this article, then your 'execution capabilities' ala 'the ability to execute' will go through the roof. Rather than seeing an opportunity as a risk, you will find ways to make it work in your favor.
As Martin Zwiling writes in his 2016 Entrepreneur article, “A good execution requires a plan and the right people, combined to create operational excellence and exceptional customer value. Companies that do this best become market leaders. Google, for example, was not the first Internet search provider (think Yahoo!, AltaVista, InfoSeek and others), but according to Investopedia, Google was the first to really monetize search.”