3 Keys to Successful Leadership Execution


Execution continues to be one of the top concerns facing executives today.

Over the past few months, many of my executive-level clients have asked how they can better executive from the top of organizational chain. So it seems good (Luke 1:3, Acts 15:25, 28) that I share this brief overview of effective leadership execution.

And there is no better example of executive execution excellence than Nehemiah.

Nehemiah's 3 Keys to Execution

Here are the three keys to Nehemiah's great executive execution.

1. Nehemiah guided the execution.

Finally, I said to them, "You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem is devastated and its gates are burned with fire. Come, and let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no more be a reproach." Then I told them that the hand of my God had been good to me and also about the king's words that he had spoken to me.

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And they said, "Let us rise up and build!" So they strengthened their hands for the good work (Neh. 2:17-18).

Nehemiah could not complete the overwhelming task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem by the mere force of his personality or skills. Instead, he guided the execution of a good plan (Neh. 3:1-32) with a real sense of urgency for completion.

2. Nehemiah inspected the execution.

"I went out by night ... because I was inspecting the broken-down walls of Jerusalem and its burned gates. ... By going up along the riverbed at night, I inspected the wall" (Neh. 2:13-15a).

Before and during the rebuilding of the walls, Nehemiah personally inspected the work. His on-site leadership presence reassured his team that he was connected, informed and in touch with the actual work progress and roadblocks.

His personal inspection set the tone for the third key of leadership execution.

3. Nehemiah redirected the execution.

When our enemies heard that it was known to us and that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each to his work. From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, who were building on the wall" (Neh. 4:15-17a, ESV).

Nehemiah effectively redirected specific aspects of the team's work without hampering the overall objectives or work flow. He did not take back power or responsibility. Without his redirection, the project would most certainly have failed.

ROI on Great Execution

Through Nehemiah's leadership execution, the walls of the city were rebuilt in only 52 days—a remarkable number even if he had had access to today's massive construction equipment.

What did his opposition (competition) think?

"When all our enemies heard it and all the surrounding nations saw it, they were tremendously humbled. They perceived that, because of our God, this work had been accomplished" (Neh. 6:16).

Nehemiah is a great example of the role of a transformational leader in execution.

Nehemiah practiced the three keys to great leadership execution: to guide, inspect and redirect.

You can execute as well as Nehemiah. Just follow these simple principles, and rebuild your walls in record time!

Dr. Jim Harris is an executive coach, adviser and author of 14 award-winning business books. Download his free "31 Power Prayers to Prosper Your Business." Connect with Dr. Jim on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

This article originally appeared at drjimharris.com.

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