The 4 Disciplines of Execution:
Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals (April 2012)
Authors: Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling
Reviewer: Bob Moore, CMC
Are you a leader who is attempting to get people to do something different?
In just the past few weeks since I read it, The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) has already become an essential component of the next generation of my coaching and consulting processes. As you read further, I believe you will discover the reasons for my enthusiasm and the high regard I have for the authors contribution to one of the greatest challenge we all face, getting done what is really—what they call your Wildly Important Goals (WIGs).
Before we jump in, I want to warn you that a Google search will also reveal critical comments from readers who were expecting something else. However, I discovered that The 4 Disciplines of Execution is an “Operating System” of precise rules for translating strategy into action at all levels of an organization. When applied, the 4 Disciplines can produce extraordinary results by tapping the desire to win that exists in every individual.
That said, consider buying the book (for less than $12.00 from Amazon) and read the first section (about 100 pages). I highlighted noteworthy portions of about 25 of those pages. If you are not convinced of the value, send it back for a refund.
Here’s a brief summary:
1. Discipline 1 – The discipline of focus. Extraordinary results can only be achieved when you are clear about what matters most. As simple as this principle may sound, few leaders ever master it. 4DX teaches why focus is so critical and how to overcome your biggest source of resistance.
2. Discipline 2 – The discipline of leverage. With unlimited time and resources, you could accomplish anything. Unfortunately, your challenge is usually the opposite: accomplish more with less. 4DX shows leaders where they can find real leverage and how to use it to produce extraordinary results.
3. Discipline 3 – The discipline of engagement. You have the authority to make things happen, but you want more than that – you want the performance that only passion and engagement can produce. 4DX enables leaders to rise from authority-driven compliance to passion-driven commitment in themselves and the people they lead.
4. Discipline 4 – The discipline of accountability. No matter how brilliant your plan or how important your goal, nothing will happen until you follow through with consistent action. 4DX brings the practices that drive accountability and follow through, despite a whirlwind of competing priorities.
Ultimately, Discipline 4 is the most crucial, since it’s the discipline where the actual “game” is played. But remember, Discipline 4 can only happen because Disciplines 1 through 3 set up a winnable game.
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About the Authors
Chris McChesney is the Global Practice Leader of Execution for FranklinCovey and one of the primary developers of The 4 Disciplines of Execution. For more than a decade, he has led FranklinCovey’s ongoing design and development of these principles, as well as the consulting organization that has achieved extraordinary growth in many countries around the globe and impacted hundreds of organizations.
Sean Covey is the Executive Vice President of Global Solutions and Partnerships for Franklin Covey and also serves as the Leader for Franklin Covey’s Education Practice, which is transforming education throughout the world by developing teachers and students as principle-centered leaders. He is the author of bestselling books, including The 7 habits of Highly Effective Teens and The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.
Jim Huling is the Managing Consultant for FranklinCovey’s 4 Disciplines of Execution. He’s responsible for the on-going development of the methods and practices, as well as training new consultants. Jim’s career spans more than three decades of corporate leadership, from Fortune 500 organizations to privately held companies, including serving as CEO of a company recognized as one of the “25 Best Companies to Work for in America.” Prior to joining FranklinCovey, Jim was one of the first leaders to adopt The 4 Disciplines of Execution.