Sell, Execute, Grow, Iterate

Sell the vision well and the doors will open. Very few good ideas get to happen without someone selling the idea to someone. It is the vision of it. The story that is told. The belief in something better that greases wheels. As a recent boss loved to say:

You can do anything you can justify

One of my favorite things to say is: execution is all that actually matters. Say what you will do (sell it) then do it. An inability to move from point #1 to point #2 in my personal belief is the greatest skill gap in technology today. It is one thing to think of great ideas. It is more important to think of realistic ways to make that idea become reality. It is interesting to see how experience matters here. Sometimes those with experience in the pain of execution not happening are wise enough to be ready the next time around. Specialized skills in organizing others, communicating across disciplines, translating the vision to implementors, and the ability to persistently push to deliver are what make amazing executors.

The tail end of sell and execute is ownership. Breaking the ice on a new idea and making the impossible possible comes down to awareness that everything changes. The same skills that are awesome for selling and execution may not translate to supporting and growing. In the execution phase the pain of missing skills or missed concerns can be smoothed over with super-heroic effort. But long-term growth and stability comes from feeling pain. You cannot properly fill a hole in the armor if you do not know it exists. Growth is the addition of people, pieces, and process that make something small and shiny evolve into something large and powerful. Growth happens out of pain. In sell and execute we focus on what is possible and ignore the pain. With growth we focus on the reality of now and the steps needed to permanently solve pain and allow for so much more.

Growth can lead to stagnation. Laying down roots and becoming a tree people can depend on is important. But a tree cannot change location easily. Changes will be required and some of these changes require large effort. They will look scary to the big tree that has grown up. Which means someone needs to sell the reason why change is important and set a vision for where to go next.

Do not attempt to execute before you sell. Do not grow before you execute. The grower looks to the seller. The seller to the executor. The executor to the grower. And so we iterate towards the impossible again.

.nick

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