Archive for November, 2013

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about the type of “execution” related to death sentences.  Last week’s blog mentioned the idea of infrastructure, and how important it is in pretty much everything we do.  The discussion was vague, as I intend this discussion of “execution” to be.   Sort of.

It is so neat to see perfect execution.  It is usually something specific, but I really enjoy watching people do things well.  Construction workers come to mind–the freeway exit ramp that I use for work was recently expanded, and in the ensuing traffic backups as a result of lane closures, I had plenty of opportunity to see them work in their element.  And I understand that my lack of experience with construction means that someone who is only doing their job reasonably well, or even poorly, wouldn’t look that much different than someone who truly excelled at what they did.  At least in part, I think that’s because I’ve always been intrigued at how so many different stories and experiences can be so close together, like a tightly packed exit ramp with dozens of people going to different places to work, while the construction crew works to make that ramp not so packed.  Same argument for sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic–lots of stories, not much space.

But then there’s the other side–imperfect execution.  The “math” in me says that’s a majority of execution…but at least for this purpose, I’m talking about poor execution.  Because let’s be honest–when you go to Jimmy John’s and order a sandwich, or you go to an AT&T store for a new phone, or you you go to a football game, what you experience is usually either perfect execution or poor execution (at least in your own mind).

Last night, we took the kids out to dinner at a new restaurant (new to us, anyway) that had an awesome-looking menu when we checked it out online.  The prices were a bit higher than we liked, but if the food was good we figured it was worth a try.  And, we have been pretty good about eating out this month so a splurge was in order.  Any, at time of order, we were told the specials, one of which was an appetizer: stuffed mushrooms.  For a quick aside here, let me just say that I love stuffed mushrooms; it is definitely in the top 10 of my “favorite things to eat” list.  Anyway, I was tempted, and I gave in and ordered them.  Fortunately my wife and kids are insane and don’t like mushrooms, so they were mine for the eating.  I found out quickly that they were far from special; most of them were lukewarm and filled with some sort of breadcrumb mix (no seafood, no meat, no veggies–it was mostly made of breadcrumbs); the whole order had some melted cheese over top which was good, but they were extremely underwhelming and not worth the $9 I payed for them.  It was very poor execution.  And for those who think, “well, you’re just a foodie so you have high expectations,” let me clarify: my being a foodie means I have pretty low expectations, because I’ll eat nearly anything and enjoy it a majority of the time.  Anyway, the service was sub-standard too, so it was an overall crappy experience…kind of a letdown, but well within expectation when you try a new restaurant.

Two quick football references here: First, Aaron Rodgers.  The guy is a stud.  And I know he’s injured right now, but watching games from last year, how the Packers offense could march down the field so easily: execution is something he excels at.  And even though I’m not a Cheesehead, it is really enjoyable to watch a football game that displays high levels of control and maturity.  Maybe the Broncos this year would be another example, as Peyton Manning has been playing at a high level as well (what can you expect, though–it’s Peyton Manning).

Second: Cleveland’s 41-20 loss to Cincinnati last week is a great example of imperfect execution.  There were a lot of issues with that game, and I don’t want to get into the details here, but what’s interesting about poor execution in a football game is how it makes me feel.  As a Browns fan, I watched that whole freakin’ game (except for the last 90 seconds) even though I assumed the outcome wasn’t going to be favorable for Cleveland.  And even if there was some really good food to eat to help pass the time, it wouldn’t make me feel that much better.  It is severely disappointing to see imperfect execution executed so perfectly.  (Quick aside here, too: hopefully we have a good bounce back against Pittsburgh tomorrow!)

It’s somewhat comical that I was talking earlier about death sentences, because the last type of execution I want to talk about is marriage. Today is my 6th wedding anniversary with Janine, and boy oh boy have we been through a lot together: our marriage has not been perfectly executed. That’s ok, though, because I couldn’t be happier with how things are at this moment, and I think that (when it comes to marriage) the closest you can get to perfect execution is to be able to say that a majority of the days you’ve been married. I’m glad to say that I can. Still, we have friends and family members who have been married so much longer, and one in particular comes to mind when I think of perfect execution in marriage. Needless to say, it is an honor to have so many people close to us that have such solid relationships, and I can only hope that someday someone can think of us the same way. Check out this post that has gone viral recently; I found it particularly motivating.

As the Holiday approaches, I wish you and yours the best, and hope you make some good memories this week.  Thanks as always for reading, stay tuned and be well.