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I used to work for a CEO who got terribly excited every time someone presented a new idea. He’d say things like, “That’s great! Let’s give it a try.” Or, “That’s a terrific idea. Can you move this forward by Monday?”

His enthusiasm was contagious, which meant that his direct reports did the same thing.

You can imagine the chaos that resulted. We’d all scurry like mice to work on the next potentially game-changing idea. As you might have guessed, eventually we tired. In a nutshell, we were exhausted. We had no focus.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for coming up with new ways to do business. However, there needs to be some control and focus on innovation.

A process needs to be in place to vet each idea. Then, we must do something that many companies aren’t great at doing. We have to execute.

Yeah, I know. Execution isn’t nearly as sexy as new ideas. Think about it.

The people who come up with the new ideas are the ones who receive a pat on the back or recognition at the annual company meeting. Awards like “Difference Maker of the Year” abound. You rarely hear of a company award for “Best Implementer of the Year.”

We have to change the paradigm here. Otherwise, we’ll continue to drive employees into a constant state of frenzy, with no results (except exhaustion) to show for their efforts. Or worse. We’ll see a massive number of employees fleeing their organizations for a less stressful work environment.

Execution is about focus. It’s about moving one thing forward a mile, rather than ten things forward an inch.

It’s about saying “no” when someone comes along with another great idea before you’ve finished implementing current initiatives. It’s about keeping your eye on the prize, even if it appears that a bigger prize has come along.

And the bonus?

When you execute and succeed, you wind up increasing the excitement in the organization. People feel like their efforts matter. They see what is possible and get excited about their company’s future.

When employees feel good about the future of their company, they are less apt to leave. That’s an exciting thought for any leader who is worried about staffing jobs in what is basically a zero-unemployment environment!