THE most cardinal lesson of the history is: Life is competition and, that; the intelligence is ingrained, not in genes, but in education, opportunity and experience. Therefore, every one of us stands good chance not only to perform but to outperform, in our respective fields of interest, right from earning educational excellence in a school, University, to building great nations and great companies. This reminds us of plethora of great inspirational quotes from great people in the history of mankind, mostly attributing success to DREAMS  and power of dreams, in addition to building character of an individual, companies, society , nations and humanity at large.

Here pops up a Question. Why such dreams become castles in the air? Why carefully crafted “Vision and Mission statements “wither away? Why billions of people on the earth live in slums?  Why people like Mahatma Gandhi, John. F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt, Bill Clinton Excelled and made great contributions in History? Why Martin Luther King, Madam Teresa and Barrack Obama, despite being from humble backgrounds, become stars in their own right?

Why Alums’ from great universities’ business schools’ fail to deliver?  Why Bill Gates, Steven Jobs, Mark Zukerberg and scores of others, who drop out, work wonders?  Why people like Jack Welch, chemistry Major, unarguably becomes the most successful CEO of the 20th Century?  The answer is:  they are doers, they are, in the words of Jack Walsh, “Stars “and “right people” in the words of Jim Collins, one of the world’s distinguished management consultant.

The answer is: These “STARS” have one thing in common, EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE – The art of getting things done. Please make no mistake that this trait, attitude or discipline is not to be seen in isolation. This is not, simply, a tactic. This is a system of interwoven elements of positive personality and strong character and distinct aptitudes. Core elements required are: critical thinking, assignment of Tasks to on- self and to set of people working- with and their follow through and self assessment and adaption. This, in other words, is an art and science of alignment of one’s own self and people; we are working with, to achievable goals in a realistic manner.

The above characteristics and set of interrelated skills look simple. Isn’t it so? But you will be amazed to observe that lack of Execution and Executive intelligence is the most pervasive problem in our lives, right from people in individual capacities to governments, nations and corporate world.   The world is replete with such examples of failure.   Just look around with a critical eye and you will surely observe failure of execution at every nook and corner, in our own lives, our own schools, our own cities, our own companies, our own nations and our very own world.

Why to look at others? Just let us look at ourselves. Don’t we feel inspired from Inspirational quotes, funneled in our “Inboxes” daily? Don’t we say “AWE” when we see ordinary people becoming great? Didn’t we drop our jaw when we saw” Instagaram” ( a company just toddler by standards of age) acquired by Facebook for a whooping price tag of over one billion dollars? Don’t we dream to be in the company of such stars performers? Don’t we dream to make our contributions to ourselves, to our societies, to our companies we are working with? Don’t we dream of great Ideas, but just shun them away because we lack that courage to put them on the rack for the fear of failure? Don’t we dream of laying the foundations of a great company like Apple?

Surely we are all inspired, awed and do dream. But do we, with all honesty, do something concrete to achieve the beauty of our dreams or just wait for lady luck to knock our doors.  The only way forward is: to rise from sleep and slumber, to get out of the drag of status quo and arm yourself with right skills set of Execution and adopt to Executive intelligence, which has now become a discipline in itself.

In my next article, I will discuss what are the ingredients of the right recipe to make you Intelligent in Execution? Believe me, this does not require you to be very high in IQ, but surely requires an attitude to altitude.


About Ayaz Gajani

Ayaz Gajani is a former civil servant, entrepenuer and an academic.