Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

Unabridged Audiobook

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Book Rating (116)

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Date: June 2002

Duration: 8 hours 14 minutes


The book that shows how to get the job done and deliver results . . . whether you’re running an entire company or in your first management job

Larry Bossidy is one of the world’s most acclaimed CEOs, a man with few peers who has a track record for delivering results. Ram Charan is a legendary advisor to senior executives and boards of directors, a man with unparalleled insight into why some companies are successful and others are not. Together they’ve pooled their knowledge and experience into the one book on how to close the gap between results promised and results delivered that people in business need today.

After a long, stellar career with General Electric, Larry Bossidy transformed AlliedSignal into one of the world’s most admired companies and was named CEO of the year in 1998 by Chief Executive magazine. Accomplishments such as 31 consecutive quarters of earnings-per-share growth of 13 percent or more didn’t just happen; they resulted from the consistent practice of the discipline of execution: understanding how to link together people, strategy, and operations, the three core processes of every business.

Leading these processes is the real job of running a business, not formulating a “vision” and leaving the work of carrying it out to others. Bossidy and Charan show the importance of being deeply and passionately engaged in an organization and why robust dialogues about people, strategy, and operations result in a business based on intellectual honesty and realism.

The leader’s most important job—selecting and appraising people—is one that should never be delegated. As a CEO, Larry Bossidy personally makes the calls to check references for key hires. Why? With the right people in the right jobs, there’s a leadership gene pool that conceives and selects strategies that can be executed. People then work together to create a strategy building block by building block, a strategy in sync with the realities of the marketplace, the economy, and the competition. Once the right people and strategy are in place, they are then linked to an operating process that results in the implementation of specific programs and actions and that assigns accountability. This kind of effective operating process goes way beyond the typical budget exercise that looks into a rearview mirror to set its goals. It puts reality behind the numbers and is where the rubber meets the road.

Putting an execution culture in place is hard, but losing it is easy. In July 2001 Larry Bossidy was asked by the board of directors of Honeywell International (it had merged with AlliedSignal) to return and get the company back on track. He’s been putting the ideas he writes about in Execution to work in real time.


  • Anonymous

    If you are looking for practical advice on how to better get things done, use your time for something else. This was a high-level dissertation not a how-to guide. It did not hold my attention and I gave up on the 2nd CD.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Joshua C.

    Just a poor bland book . Nothing here that really is eye catching also the title is deceiving a better approach to the execution topic I recommend “the dichotomy of leadership” by jocko willink keeps you engaged and breaks down topics without over repeating itself like this book does ... not a fan

  • Beth Pederson

    fantastic for business owner to read. good information with examples. the focus is in bigger businesses but applicable to small business

  • Mark Kaplan

    Beyond the simple concept of executing, this is a valualbe & detailed review on what it takes to be an effective Top Level Leaders. Great concepts and real world examples. But may be tedious & inefficient for mid-level manages. It is what it is!

  • Anonymous

    Definitely a worthwhile investment of commuting hours - not as exciting as some of the recent business books, but some very solid advice that fills a gap in the market - what's the point of a great plan if no one has the focus on executing it?

  • Daniel Taibi

    If you're looking for a book that has case-study type analysis of CEO performance and action, this is the book for you. Not being an executive, I couldn't appreciate all of the information. But maybe you are an executive or a manager ... at the very least it is full of interesting stories.

  • Dave Paulson

    I'm rating this three stars based on pure content. The book is rife with points of importance for readers interested in improving their understanding of what it takes to successfully operate a business unit. It does make it's point that "execution" is at the heart of success, but the impact of the point is diminished because of the structure and flow of the writing. The structure is somewhat confusing. Points are made more in passing than emphasized through structure and iteration. Because of this structure, the text is probably much more conducive to print media than audio.

  • Anonymous

    This book was too long, too boring, and for the most part, not full of useful information. Don't waste your time.

  • Anonymous

    This book is a wealth of organizational ideas. It also has many insights to great leadership. Although the use of many readers is usually a way to hold your attention, the use of a reader with an accent was a distraction and hard to follow.

  • Anonymous

    This book does not present real ways to enhance execution. It simply makes blanket, generic comments about past events that conveniently reinforce the author's premise. This book is being touted as such a great business book but I didn't get any actionable items from it.

  • Anonymous

    This is a good book in terms of ideas. It was enjoyable to listen to and I higly recomend it

  • kk2again

    This rental involves many readers, keeping it from becoming a monotonous diatribe. However, by the end, the weight of the discussions start to drag on. This is a book to have on your shelf, and pick at it, from the table of contents and index, but the CDs give you that once over. Read and review the book after listening.

  • Anonymous

    The premise of this work is getting the right people in the right jobs to manage the three core business processes of people, strategy, and operations. As Larry Bossidy says, "The leader's most important job is selecting and appraising people." With the right people in the right jobs, there's a gene pool of leadership that creates strategies that can be executed. Also when strategies are in sync with the realities of the marketplace, the economy, and the competition, they're much more likely to be executed and produce great results. Other great reads (listens) 1. Good to Great by Jim Collins 2. Lean Thinking by James P. Womack

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

by Ram Charan, Larry Bossidy

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Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, Ram Charan, Larry Bossidy
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, Ram Charan, Larry Bossidy
This title is due for release on June 11, 2002.

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