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“Distilling complexity into simplicity”: Moving from Vision to Execution & Achievement

Episode #1086: In this episode of the Arete Coach Podcast, Jim Alampi, an Executive Coach, award-winning Vistage speaker, Founder and Chairman of Execution Accelerator, and Founder and Owner of Alampi and Associates, LLC, shares his journey from the C-Suite to executive coaching, the inspiration for his two books Great to Excellent, It’s the Execution and Strategic Execution Accelerator, and his learnings as a coach, CEO, and speaker. During the conversation, we discuss the importance of finding talent, the benefits of being a giver, Jim’s insight from years of experience, and his powerful mission of “distilling complexity into simplicity.”

About Jim Alampi

Jim Alampi is an Executive Coach, award-winning Vistage speaker, Founder and Chairman of Execution Accelerator, and Founder and Owner of Alampi and Associates, LLC. Before investing his time in the executive coaching industry, Jim was the CEO of three public companies ranging from $325 million to $1.5 billion. Today, Jim works with CEOs, executives, and boards of directors, teaching them how to execute on their vision and achieve impactful results. Through his work, Jim has received TEC and Vistage Speaker of the Year awards in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Jim focuses his expertise in strategic leadership, organizational development, and executive management. Most recently, he developed a proprietary process that maximizes business results, called the Strategic Execution Roadmap and the Strategic Execution Accelerator or SEA. With his vast experience, Jim has shared his knowledge through the release of two books: Great to Excellent, It’s the Execution and Strategic Execution Accelerator.

Using his passion for helping leaders reach their goals, execute on their vision, and accomplish desirable results, Jim is a highly impactful speaker, coach, advisor, and writer.

Key highlights

Identifying talent

Timestamp 04:41

When asked what he wishes he had learned through training or experience prior to his career as a CEO, Jim shares the importance of “recognizing talent.” Knowing how to (i) identify the A and B players within an organization, and (ii) how to be an A player are important sources of knowledge for CEOs and executive leaders. Severin shares insight from a young manager who focused solely on skills as opposed to both skills and culture.

Here to win the war, not each battle

Timestamp 10:04

Early in his career, a mentor of Jim’s gave him the following advice: “you're the smartest guy in the room and you could win any battle we get into or any argument, but we're in this to win the war, not each battle. So back off occasionally and don't prove that you are the smartest guy in the room." Jim has carried this insight throughout his career. He explains that this advice has made him more sensitive to others and reminds him of the importance of holding back when necessary. Severin agrees and explains that “one of the great signs of emotional intelligence is the self-regulation that can be shown when you may have the ability to either take the upper hand, but realize to play the larger game we all have to win.”

“Distilling complexity into simplicity”

Timestamp 11:34

Jim’s personal mantra is “distilling complexity into simplicity.” Jim has a passion for helping business leaders simplify and apply complex insights to their businesses. Embracing simplicity has helped Jim’s clients move from vision to execution. Jim also states, “vision without execution is hallucination” and that “execution trumps vision every day of the week. You gotta have both, but the more important of the two is being able to execute it.”

Applying insights from SWOT analyses

Timestamp 27:02

In their discussion, Jim shares that while many businesses do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), they don’t apply any of the insights gained from their analysis. In his coaching program, Jim advocates for asking questions about the application of the SWOT analysis such as “Which of our strengths are we gonna have to leverage? Which of our weaknesses do we have to fix? Which of the opportunities should we pursue and which of the threats do we need to guard against?”

Having a “stop doing list”

Timestamp 35:58

Early in his career, Jim shares that he “spread himself too thin.” Today he teaches his coaching clients “the stop doing methodology” and asks them “when was the last time you stopped doing something?” He explains that there has to be a “stop doing list” to avoid being spread too thin. He even did this as a business leader and released a “stop doing list” every 6 to 9 months. Severin in response shares insight from Peter Drucker who stated "we should have our priorities and our post-iorities" or those things that are on the back burner.

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