Source: Harvard Business Review

In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Paul Leinwand, Cesare Mainardi and Art Kleiner report that in a 2013 survey of 700 executives from a variety of industries, respondents rated only 8% of top leaders as effective at both strategy and execution. Only 16% were rated effective at either strategy or execution and 63% were rated neutral or worse in at least one area.

The writers suggest that the following 5 leadership practices can help leaders close the gap between strategy and execution.

1. Commit to an identity.

Demonstrating commitment to your convictions can help a leader develop the influence necessary to build a company.

2. Translate the strategic into the everyday.

Good leaders need to have two perspectives simultaneously, nearsighted and farsighted. This allows leaders to see the fine grain details of day-to-day operations while enabling them to see and share the bigger picture.

3. Put your culture to work.

The trio writes that leaders need to be one with their company culture and devote themselves to the collective mastery of their employees.

4. Cut cost to grow stronger.

Leaders need to allocate their time and attention with an eye toward strategic priorities. Paying too much attention to immediate demands or everyone else’s idea of what is important disables leaders from planning for the bigger picture.

5. Shape the future.

Effective leaders need to build a capable team with recognition that the future depends on the next generation of leaders.