Execution- It’s About Results

I was reminded yesterday of a major turning point in my life.  It was sixteen years ago and I was the Marketing Director at Infobases, Inc.   Paul Allan and Dan Taggart were the two founders and they had recruited me away from my Sales Manager position at Computers Made Easy, the Novell Platinum reseller in the Provo Area.  They went on to start Ancestry.com and MyFamily.com and now Paul Allen has launched FamilyLink.com.

I think they recruited me because I had lots of cool ideas for marketing, even though all of my career and background was in sales.  My hobby, love, and background from the military was strategy and marketing was the purest form of strategic thinking I could find in the business world.

A close friend of mine, Jon Heaps, was the VP Sales and was selling up a storm.  I was over Marketing and Dan Taggart, in his customary direct approach asked me a very pointed question in front of the whole team, “When are you going to start bringing in sales?”

That question brought me up short.  I thought I had been doing lots of things, and I had.  But doing lots of things and bringing results are often two very different things.  I learned something that day:

Results are all that really matter.  It’s about execution.

My course correction to that pointed question has changed my career and many others.  Dan probably doesn’t even remember that little event, but I do.

Chet Holmes in one of my favorite books, “The Ultimate Sales Machine,” says that there are three kinds of executives in the marketplace.  90% of them tactical and get things done.  9% are strategic, and know the right things to do.  1% are both strategic and tactical, and get the right things done.  The 1% accomplish more than all the others combined.

Now I have seen people who are very effective at getting things done, but never take the time to make sure what they are doing will make any appreciable difference at all.  I’ve seen some who are addicted to staying busy, or keeping their people busy.

Troy Fullmer, one of my dear friends and a master at getting things done, taught me the value of ‘hoeing till the end of the row,’ with this great poem about a boy named Bill Brown.

Hoe to the End of the Row!

Bill Brown made a million,
Bill Brown, think of that.
That boy you remember,
As poor as a rat.

He hoed for the neighbors,
Did jobs by the day.
And Bill made a million,
Or near it they say.

He worked for my father,
You’ll maybe recall.
He wasn’t a wonder,
Not that, not at all.

He couldn’t out-hoe me,
Or cover more ground,
Or hoe any faster,
Or beat me around.

In fact, I was better
In one way that I know.
One toot from the kitchen
And home I would go.

But Bill Brown always hoed
To the end of the row.

We used to get hungry
Out there in the corn.
You talk about music,
What equals a horn?

A horn yellin’ dinner,
And tomatoes and beans,
And pork and potatoes,
And gravy and greens.

I ain’t blamin’ no one
For quittin’ on time.
To quit with the whistle,
That ain’t any crime.

But as for the million,
Well, this much I know.
Bill Brown always hoed
To the end of the row.

– Anonymous

Author: Ken Krogue |
Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes articles

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