Rise Performance Group

To Improve Execution, Focus on What You Can Control


According to recent studies by the Gallop Organization, lack of employee engagement is costing many companies anywhere from 15% to 50% of payroll. That means while employees are paid 100% of their pay and benefits, anywhere from 15% to 50% of that money can be considered as wasted from an employer point of view.  Why?  Because employees are not giving the organization 100% of what they are capable of producing.

This lack of execution impacts your team’s performance in two distinct areas:

  • Lost Time – This is time that passed that was not applied to executing the plan. Primary causes of lost time include lack of training, focus, tools, information or parts necessary to be effective.
  • Rework – This is time that is spent doing the same work a second or third time because it was not done right the first time. Causes of rework primarily include poor effort, instruction, and communication.

A leader’s job is to maximize available resources.

There are many factors that go into creating an engaged and productive workforce.  However, the one that is often overlooked is the amount of energy spent in three key areas:  things that are in your control, things within your influence, and things that are out of your control.

Success is found in your daily routine!

In our control
These are activities an individual is 100% in control of executing.  The individual can control both quantity and quality.  Lack of execution on these items is oftentimes associated with a lack of discipline.

In a sales environment, these activities include making calls and executing calls according to plan. In product development, it is executing the design process with attention to detail.

Activities that are in our control are predictive in nature.  When these items are performed, milestone achievement follows.

In our influence
Items that are in our influence include achieving milestones or small goals.  You cannot guarantee these things will happen, however, if you execute the items that are in your control the odds of meeting milestones dramatically improve.

In sales, winning a new customer falls into this category.  In product development, delivery of a working product falls into this category.

Outcomes that are in our influence are typically lagging indicators.  They are often expressed as milestones en route to a bigger goal.

[bctt tweet=”A leader’s job is to maximize available resources.” username=”markatrisepg”]

Out of our control
These issues can gain a lot of attention and yield little benefit.  The time spent on these issues can be categorized as lost time.  Competition, peers and the economy are common culprits in the “out of control” category.

While a leader needs to anticipate and plan for things that might be out of their control, they must make sure the majority of their energy is focused on items that are within their control.

The art is in:

  • Focusing on what is in our control
  • Trusting what is in our influence
  • Avoiding distractions from what is out of our control

When you increase the amount of time and energy spent mastering activities that are within your control, your influence grows and the impact of things that are out of your control diminishes.

[bctt tweet=”The art of execution is in focusing on what is in our control, trusting what is in our influence, and avoiding distractions from what is out of our control.” username=”markatrisepg”]


Make a list of the activities your team encounters that are in their control, in their influence and out of their control.

Then check the amount of time that is spent in your meetings talking about items from each category.  You can assign someone to keep track.  A good rule of thumb is to spend 60% of your meeting time on the items in your control, 30% on items you can influence and only 10% on the things that are out of your control.

Adjust the balance and you’ll shift your performance.

Download a copy of our Execution Checklist to evaluate your execution in 10 key areas.

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