A Good Idea Not Executed Well

A good idea not executed well always gives me pause. Poor execution is the bane of most good ideas and I know about this from my personal experiences. 

I received the following text message this morning from the Hilton Garden Inn where I will be staying tonight.

The strategy behind sending this text is excellent. Where it falls down is in the execution. And that happens so many times it’s mind-boggling to me. 

I don’t write this in a judgemental way; more of an, “I can relate” way.  In my experience, it’s the last 5-10% of execution that is the hardest and yields the greatest output. 

I know this is true because my life is filled with 90-95% completed projects. Just ask my wife, she’ll show you the lists!
Where Kentrell fell down in the above text is failing to use data at his disposal. I am a Hilton Honors member and my profile shows if I am a “Mr.” or a “Ms.”  

His generic greeting obviates most of the goodwill his text potentially generates. This is unfortunate because Kentrell only had to go the last step and look more deeply at my profile. 

He had to be in my file to get my cell phone number to send me a text. Nike said it a long time ago, “Just do it.”

Perhaps Hilton believes they train their team members to look for this extra step and sadly, most won’t.  Hilton is a terrific training organization and if they can’t do it, who can?

I believe we all can, it must come from the inside. 

The desire to “go the extra mile” is consistent with a belief in service to others. When actions are part of a larger belief in service, wonderful things happen. 100% execution is the logical product of this equation. 

The next time you want to move on to the next thing because you think,  “it’s checked-off-the-list” or “at least I did something,” take the last step and punch through the barrier. You’ll be grateful you did!


  1. Greg Wenthe on September 7, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Very true Joel. It’s reminiscent of the Avis “We try harder” tag line or Sprint’s recent “We’re almost as good Verizon” ad.

    I appreciate people’s effort to try and do a good job. However, when I get to the airport, I don’t want them “trying” to find me a car. I want the car I reserved so I can get on my way. Avis finally retired the tag line after 50 years. It seems trying harder didn’t work as they dropped from #2 to #3.

    Sprint now uses the Verizon “Can you hear me now” guy to claim they’re almost as reliable as the other guys. Oh boy!!

    Execution is the name of the game. Have my car clean, gassed and ready for me when I land. And, don’t drop calls when I’m talking to someone.

    As you noted, the last mile of delivering on the implied promise is the hardest.

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