Leadership is leadership and execution is execution

Professor Vijay Govindarajan of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and ranked in the “Thinkers 50” , a list of supposed top business thinkers said, “Leaders place too much emphasis on ideas, not nearly enough emphasis on execution. Leadership is mostly about innovation execution.”


A leader’s job is about ideas. It’s about painting pictures. It’s about communicating those ideas and images and through that to get high levels of commitment from there “followers.”

Leadership is NOT about execution PERIOD.

Now, do companies put too much emphasis on leadership? No, that’s ridiculous. No sane business observer is claiming (at least publicly) that companies are suffering from too much leadership. Now, do companies focus enough on execution. No, they don’t, he is absolutely correct there. Execution, whether it is executing a strategy or executing/commercializing an invention ( i.e., innovation), is hard work. People generally don’t like hard work and companies are made up of people.

Govindarajan is correct in that there is a lack of execution; however, the solution is 1. better management, 2. better operational systems and procedures and 3. better organizational environments (culture), but certainly NOT fewer ideas.

Stay tune for more on this.

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