In the late 90s, I was fortunate enough to be part of the Washington, D.C. area's Netpreneur program, a structured effort created and funded by one of the most brilliant businessmen I've met, Mario Morino. Netpreneur brought together entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists and scores of technical and marketing talent to foster the growth of Internet companies in the DC area.

I remember on a few occasions Mario giving a talk about the value of ideas vs. execution. You guessed it: execution wins hands down. For every amazingly clever idea you have for a new business, there are probably 100 others with the same or similar idea. It's the execution that separates the winners from the rest.

With the end of the year coming up on a few weeks, think about scheduling your planning session for 2008. Jot down the key things you would like to see happen with your business in the next 12 months. Use these as discussion points with your executive team to shape and focus the tactics you will use to accomplish your goals. Lay out a plan of who will do what.

By identifying the details, you stand a much better chance on executing your strategy. And that will lead you to the winner's circle.