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.
“Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.” Nehemiah 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 (Nehemiah 3:1-32) with a real sense of urgency for completion.
2. Nehemiah INSPECTED the execution.
“I went out by night …and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall.” Nehemiah 2:14,15a
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.” Nehemiah 4:15-17a
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 rebuild 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 about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.” Nehemiah 6:16
Nehemiah is a great example of the role of a transformational leader in execution.
Nehemiah practiced the 3 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!