Concept: The 4 disciplines of execution.
Book: The 4 disciplines of execution.
Author: Sean Covey, Jim Huling, Chris McChesney
Category: Leadership & Self Development
Rating of the concept: 8/10

Concept: The 4 disciplines of execution.
In any organization there is always a struggle to match long term goals (strategies) with the urgent daily goals (whirlwind). What most MBA students learn is to put in place thorough strategies. However, as stated by renowned Ram Charan, 70% of all strategic failures are due to poor execution of leaders.
The 4 disciplines of execution helps you to put your strategy into practice, taking into account the urgency of the day.

Discipline 1: Focus on the Wildly Important
Formulate 1 Wildly Important Goal (WIG), a goal that makes all the difference. Make sure you get only 1 to 3 WIGs for the same team at the same time; ensure that sub-WIGs contribute to the success of the Parent-WIGs; be clear on the change and the time line (from X to Y by When).Eg. (JF Kennedy): We will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and return him safely home.

Discipline 2: Act on the Lead Measures
The key to execution is to provide clarity on how you can achieve the goals. To do that use ‘lead measures’ instead of only ‘lag measure’. Using these metrics will focus on behavior and will serve as a lever for your goal.
Lag measure: weight loss
Lead measure: number of work outs or number of calories burned.

Discipline 3: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
Like in a sports game, people get engaged when they can see the scores. A compelling scoreboard can create passion-driven commitment. Scoreboards need to be simple, have the right lead and lag measures, be visible for the player and have the ability to show us directly if we are winning or losing.

Discipline 4: Create a Cadence of Accountability
No matter how brilliant your plan or how important your goal, nothing will happen until you follow through with consistent action. A short (eg 10 minutes) weekly WIG meeting will you help you to keep on focusing on your goals despite the urgent whirlwind of the day.

Books in business comment: The 4 disciplines of execution.
Like each new start of the year, people and companies set new goals for the coming year(s). At the beginning of last year, I blogged about the five rules of personal goal setting based on Anthony Robbins Unlimited Power. Robbins stresses a lot the process of developing your goal and the sensory aspect. Although Robbins’ rules are written from a personal point of view, it is useful to match some of these techniques with the practices of the 4 disciplines.
During our yearly incentive weekend the PetreConsultants team will implement the 4 Disciplines methodology for the coming year. I’m very curious to see how it works out.

These are the five rules to follow when you set your goals:

  1. State your outcome in positive terms: say what you want to happen not the other way around.
  2. Be as specific as possible: How does your outcome look, sound, feel, smell? Sensory thoughts empower your brain to create desire.
  3. Have an evidence procedure: Know how you will look, feel, see and hear when you’ve achieved your goal.
  4. Be in control: the positive outcome must be independent from other people’s behavior.
  5. Verify that your outcome is ecologically sound and desirable: your outcomes must benefit you and other people.

Watch how the real wolf of Wall Street (Jordan Belfort) talks about himself and the excellence of execution of Leonardo di Caprio, a particular story about goal setting and about mirroring.