Back in the spring, while golfing with my son, I successfully landed a golf ball on an island green in Ponte Verde, Florida. I was nervous facing that green across all that water, but I knew what I had to do to execute and I made it happen. I’ve been thinking about what it would have been like to take the same shot the way the professionals do, with thousands of spectators lining the fairways, millions watching at home and a huge cash prize on the line. I’m not sure I would have done quite as well. But the pros do it week in and week out. The spectators and cameras disappear. They get in the zone. They focus. They execute. That’s how all the greats do it – and not just golfers or sports heroes, scientists and drug developers too.

Focused execution is vital if we at Agios hope to achieve our vision.

The idea stage is highly valued – that brainstorming time when ideas are churned out rapid fire and anything seems possible. But those great ideas don’t magically turn into drugs that help patients. Once we make a decision to act at Agios, we have to let go of the fear of failure or the sense that something is just too hard, and have faith that we and our esteemed colleagues can make it happen. That belief and confidence will allow us to approach our goal with a focus that is targeted, precise and flawless.

Focused execution is core to achieving what we call “the other side of possible.” It’s what allows us to set challenging (sometimes frightening) goals and then achieve them despite the odds, distractions and competition. It’s what propels ordinary people into extraordinary realms.

And it’s what turns good companies into great companies. Companies like Agios.