How to Execute With Enthusiasm & Edge

The Tom Cruise featured in the role of secret agent Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible is embedded in each of us. Present, talented, highly trained this pro is a master of execution regardless of circumstances. Do you allow your inner-pro to emerge during your mission?

Based on my experience, the answer for most people is no. Despite their inherent capability, I observe people daily who, personally and professionally, struggle to stay focused and do what needs to get done. They deem their mission to be impossible, as it feels that way to them. Strategic plans compile dust on an office shelf instead of being transformed into timely actions.

How do you turn mission impossible to mission possible and especially mission accomplished?

Based on my experience working with successful executives and entrepreneurs, I have identified seven success factors that enable them to accomplish their missions:

    1. Cause. Personal cause matters: the more personal it is, the more likely you are going to take action. So why does the mission before you matter? Why is it important? What does it mean to you?
    2. Clarity. Clarity must precede action. Ideally what are you trying to accomplish? What is the game plan? If you are part of a team, what is your role/contribution? Do your thinking on paper so you can refine your thinking and get everyone on the same page.
    3. Commitment. The more your reasons are aligned with your hierarchy of values, the more you commit to the mission, and the greater your execution success rate.
    4. Competence. Strong will and good intent are not enough for performance excellence. The closer the alignment between your strengths, gifts, and talents (i.e., your competence) and the necessary skills for mission accomplishment, the greater your ability to execute with enthusiasm and edge.
    5. Confidence. Growth requires moving out of your comfort zone. Though most people don’t like discomfort, in most professions, a mistake rarely is fatal. If you challenge yourself by focusing on your strengths, you will find that your limits are further away than you had imagined. The one who acts with the most confidence wins!
    6. Capital. Mission execution requires resources like money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by you or your business to function effectively and/or achieve growth goals. Fill your fuel tank before embarking on the journey.
    7. Action. Carry out your plan with presence, precision, and speed. Make adjustments as necessary. Action is king: nothing gets done without it.


These seven success factors are essential for execution excellence. Though I haven’t worked with Tom Cruise yet, I can’t imagine his character would overlook any of the above success factors. Why would you?

Invest a few minutes in assessing your status based on these factors, and take action as necessary to ensure that you can execute your plan with enthusiasm and edge. The more factors you employ, the faster and better you’ll turn mission impossible to mission possible, and even mission accomplished.


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