Many of us have no shortage of great ideas. On the contrary, we in fact often have an abundance of them! Where things tend to fall apart, however, is the actual execution of turning these ideas into realities. Staggeringly, research has shown only 2% of leaders feel confident they will achieve 80-100% of their strategy’s objectives.

As part of my own quest to play a bigger game, I began researching high performance habits and execution strategies. What started as an interest soon grew into an obsession which has eventually led me to the launch of The Execution Zone – a community focused on business education with a bias for action.

Along my travels I’ve noticed a bit of a theme during the process of turning ideas into reality. There seems to be a predominant focus on building a strategy, but when it comes to execution…crickets! If this sounds familiar, fear not! I’ve got you covered with some tactics on how to execute on your biggest goals and ideas – the big, hairy, audacious ones as Jim Collins says! So let’s launch straight into it!

What The One-Percenters Do: 

PRACTICE GRIT!                                                                                                                                                                                BE AT YOUR BEST WHEN YOU’RE AT YOUR WORST

When I started digging into high performance habits, I came across a surprising practice the “one-percenters” carry out that separates them from the top 5%. Steven Kotler, who is undoubtedly one of the world’s leading experts on peak performance, has shared that top performers all practice this one thing: GRIT! The one-percenter separation though is that they don’t just practice grit; they practice six types of grit. But that’s not all! In addition, one -percenters also practice having the grit to be at their best when they’re at their worst. 

Steven’s own example is that after a bad night’s sleep, followed by a 12-hour workday and a bloody tough gym session, he’ll get home and challenge himself to practice his keynote. Steven sounds a bit off in the head, right? But it actually makes a lot of sense. Preparing conditions such as these – when he’s exhausted and probably mentally at his worst – will prepare him for when he gets off an international flight, jet-lagged to his eyeballs and has to step up to the podium for his keynote speech.


With thanks to my young son who laughs in the face of sleep, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to put this theory to practice! While I’ve personally found it to be quite difficult, my new mantra «this is a challenge and exciting» is a really powerful tool that pushes me to step up to the plate. Give it a go yourself!

Stay tuned, next time we dive head first into the 4 Disciplines of Execution!

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