Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done” as Want to Read:
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  24,279 ratings  ·  440 reviews

"Execution may very well be the best business book of the year, and one of the most useful to have come around in a long time. This smart and pithy book focuses on a simple though vexing challenge: How can the leaders of an organization exhort their people to deliver on the most important goals?....It's rare to find a book like this that blends smart practice with intellig

Hardcover, 278 pages
Published 2002 by Currency
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Execution, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Execution

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,279 ratings  ·  440 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Execution: The discipline of Getting Things Done: Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

Central Truths:

1. Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing hows and whats, questioning, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability.
2. No company can deliver on its commitments or adapt well to change unless all leaders practice the discipline of execution at all levels.
3. You need robust dialogue to surface the realities of the business.
4. How people talk to each other absolutely dete
May 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
What a completely over-rated book. I suspect this made the top 20 best-ever booklist that led me to it on the basis that the title sounds good, like something a knowledgeable business person should advocate. Bossidy has earned the right to write on this topic, but the story lacks any sense of instructive meat. It's really more suited to a motivational speech or a Tom Peters interview. Reading 250+ pages was painful. Some business books are thoughtful; others make me really dislike business cultu ...more
A bit lengthy written with two main messages:

1. As a CEO or a leader at the top level management, it is wrong to only focus on the planning or big pictures. The 'modern'
style of managing is to also make sure how to get the things done. Do not blame the staffs if execution goes wrong.

2. To do point 1 above, make sure you hire good people that are entitled to get things done. To do so, you have to use all channels of reference checking, contact people that know your candidates closely.

Very inspir
David Lau
Oct 20, 2010 rated it liked it
A former manager of mine once told me to read this book. That was back in 2007. It took me until now to read it, but now I understand why he had such high praise for the book.

Execution in it's simplest sense is to: get things done. Period. But it's more complex than those 3 words might suggest. It's about getting the right people in place, building a strategy around the resources available, and finally implementing the strategy, linking the strategy with people.

As with many other books on manag
CV Rick
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
It's not you, it's me.

Well . . . that's what I think at least.

So many business books read like a rehash of a boring seminar and this is no exception. Every page could be a power point. Every line could be a bullet point. Everything is crafted for presentation with very little background, substance or reference. Anecdote is not evidence, yet anecdote is ever-present.

You know, it reminds me of sitting through talks and speeches in church when I was a kid. All Mormon talks are exactly like this
Paul Bard
Feb 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-to-be-read
It's not worth reading, in my opinion, because it's full of jargon and puffery. Who knows if the wall of corporate verbiage has any meaning or not? Apparently many are convinced it does. I am not.

As to the puffery, the book makes out plain prudence to be some great new discovery. This is not even marketing, but simply spin, as far as I can see. Because the authors are corporate leaders, this book is treated better than it deserves. It deserves to be treated as an marketing addition to the author
The Angry Lawn Gnome
Feb 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
A rambling mess that seemed to have never crossed an editor's desk, this book read as though it was literally spoken into a tape recorder, transcribed and then published. As to its subject matter: I cannot think of one bromide the "authors" managed to leave out, particularly of the tautological sort. You hire good people by....hiring good people, you build good products by....building good products. Wow.

I finally tossed this sucker aside after about the 84,000th mention of Jack Welch, in such s
Robert Chapman
I gave this 3 stars not because it was a bad book, but rather because I think other books better convey a similar but more concise message. Those books would be The Oz Principle and The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals .

The idea that many people intellectualize, philosophize and cannot actually implement or execute is so very true, I have seen it over and over again in my career.

Leaders show up and get into the weeds, it builds dignity in subordinates. Forty perc
Tim Andersen
Mar 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
There were some good things to think about as far as open and honest feedback from reviews and assessment. There were also some good points on when to take coaching opportunities. Most of the book was about setting expectations and following through by holding people accountable. There is a lot of emphasis on scrutinizing the business plans of underlings and driving out the specific actions to see if they have actually thought about it or just made up numbers to meet their performance objectives ...more
Thomas Andersen
May 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, business
I might have missed the point of this book, but what I came away with was:
- This is a book based in a different time and while execution is as fundamental to business success the "incarnation" in this book and its implementation is obsolete.
- It's hard to take it too seriously when statements that are key to the message of the book are based upon bad data.
- Most of what's usable in this book is just "re-branded" common sense. While they are good reminders they do not inspire nor impress.
- Stop t
Maureen Ennis
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I was lucky enough to work at AlliedSignal and participate as Larry Bossidy ran the Execution machine he describes in this book. I have found it invaluable in transforming organizations of all sizes.
Aug 09, 2008 rated it liked it
This book is valuable to individuals and is even more value to senior leadership in organizations. I enjoyed considering the key difference between what behaviors successful companies exude. Also, I strongly agree that a culture of execution normally separates industry leaders from other companies. Here is my personal review of this book.

“Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing hows and whats, questioning, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability. It include
diddier gil
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
2014: Excelent book.

I learned a lot of things from Bossidy and Charan, specially that execution is not something you delegate, it is the direct responsibility of the leader. I also learned that business plans have to be so detailed, they become daily guides.

The only thing I didn't like is that they wrote the book from the perspective of huge company, in the billions of dollars of sales category. I understan that is the primary area of expertise of the author, but I would like to read a book thi
Mark Hanson
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business, american, work
A few interesting and helpful suggestions, but for the most part it was a lot of verbiage without much actionable content. Geared for much larger organizations with a larger hierarchical structure of authority where one can push off the actual process of doing to many direct reports.
Zaher Alhaj
I think the book is overrated.

Although it includes some useful tips, however it lacks the deep thoughts that one can expect form such an over-hyped book.
S James Bysouth
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a must read for anyone working in a corporate office, small business, or hot dog stand. In the 5 or 6 years since reading, time and time again I have thought about the things I learned here.
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can't wait to read this one again ...more
Li Li
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
3 Building Blocks of Execution

#A – The leaders 7 essential behavior
1. Know your people and business
a. Master the art of questioning and take questions – you intuitively know the culture and how well the managers normally communicates w/ the workforce.
b. Build personal connection – absent that personal connection, you are just a name.
c. Conduct business reviews – show up as a way of your appreciation and a reward for their extensive preparation. It’s not an interrogation, but take the form of a
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: productivity
All along I've taken pride that I'm an "ideas guy". I am not an "implementer". This book made it abundantly clear that if there were an extra Beautitude in the bible it would be: "the implementers shall inherit the Earth".

It's not enough to be think strategically and fashion an exception strategic plan. A plan is only as good as it execution. So often leaders are changed out under the guise of having a poor strategy. When in actuality it was poor execution that doomed them to failure.

The book
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one of the better leadership/management books that I have come across. Like most books of the genre, it stresses goals and visions as essential to moving forward, but this book takes it in a different direction: at some point, you need to stop dreaming and start doing something.

Execution stresses a more hands-on approach to leadership. It's not enough to simply sit back and be the idea guy hoping that someone else is taking care of the work. The book is generally written for the CEO leve
James Pritchert
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Business leaders
This is a vintage read from the early 2000s. It is directed towards CEOs and those who want to be CEOs. All that aside, I enjoyed it and I have retrieved some useful nuggets of information that I am able to apply in my current position which is far from the CEO suite. It is a good thing to view the world of work from the top level instead of the trenches. It tends to help put things into perspective for us working guys.
Bill Hennessy
Mar 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: escape-fiction
If you see this book on the shelf of the guy interviewing you for your next job, leave.

Terrible book by reckless and mean managers who give corporations a bad name. Some useful lessons in the first 60 pages devolve into a tirade against responsible management. The authors believe that the only purpose of a manager is to maximize profits in the next quarter.

Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Started off very strong and somehow became less impressive towards the end. For some reason, it felt less precise, even though it was describing the operations and strategy processes. Nonetheless, I wholeheartedly support its core premise that you have be specific about how to get things done.
Sushant Sharma
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Tends to get repetitive and loses its luster as it moves ahead. It does provide good use cases and a certain direction but too many times just gives mixed signals and foggy discussions.
Good one time read and should be used as a milestone to move to sterner literature on execution frameworks.
Nirav Goswami
Aug 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: th
this is a good book for all management people.
Apr 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Not an easy read, but great stuff. Must be read several times.
Tõnu Vahtra
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had very high expectations when starting this book due to the praise it has received from multiple angles, even the Goodreads book description is written in superlative. It's definitely a good book but I have to say that I was not impressed, mainly due to two reasons:
1) Most of the recommendations were familiar from somewhere else there was little completely new material that I had not encountered before.
2) I did not like that most of the examples were impersonal (company A, project Y, person
Bert van der Vaart
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I almost threw this book away after the first 50 pages--it seemed like a typical business book which explains a relatively simplistic common sense idea in business speak and using 10 pages for every one thought--and dated to boot. But being stuck in the Newark airport for 12 hours and having read everything else on me led me to gradually getting deeper into the book--and by the time I had finished it, I was convinced this is a really helpful book to leaders/managers. The authors' basic idea is t ...more
Jay Rain
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Rating - 7
Has some solid points, especially on how people, operations, and strategy are all tied to execution but at the end it became too preachy and example-specific that I started skimming through

The passage on meeting deliverables is something that I will start using, but when I compare the epiphanies of the Five Fables, I have no choice but to give this one a lower rating

Interesting Thoughts
Most strategies fail because they are not executed well. Gap is in what the organization wants to ach
Sumti Bhadani
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Execution is an important step in getting things done as per the plan and this books tells exactly what you need to do in getting better in execution. The way 3 core process (People, strategy & Operations) and their linkage is explained very well. Often in the business we see majority of people focus on strategy but what is always missed or given less focus is people and operations which is the reason for not achieving the plans as intended. The purpose of the books is to explain the same and th ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong published date 2 11 Jun 10, 2018 03:48PM  
Does execution trump empowerment? 2 21 Jun 15, 2014 10:36PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Winning
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
  • First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently
  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You
  • The One Minute Manager
  • Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
  • Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors
  • The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
  • The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization
  • Leading Change
  • Principle-Centered Leadership
  • Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
  • Developing the Leader Within You
  • Know-How: The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don't
  • Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All
  • The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less
  • First Things First
See similar books…
See top shelves…

News & Interviews

Believe it or not, we're halfway through 2021! As is our tradition, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial team burrows into our data to...
97 likes · 76 comments
“But if you have to choose between someone with a staggering IQ and an elite education who’s gliding along, and someone with a lower IQ but who is absolutely determined to succeed, you’ll always do better with the second person.” 6 likes
“The foundation of changing behavior is linking rewards to performance and making the linkages transparent.” 5 likes
More quotes…