Do you remember your last important initiative that launched well and then died? How did the end come? Was it with a loud crash and a tremendous explosion? Or did it go down quietly over time, suffocated by the constant distraction of competing priorities.
We’ve asked thousands of leaders this question and we always get the same answer: “Slow suffocation!” If this has been your experience, I have good news. The problem likely wasn’t your strategy, it was your execution.
You see, the real enemy of execution is your day job! We call it the whirlwind. The 4 Disciplines of Execution aren’t designed for managing your whirlwind. The 4 Disciplines are rules for executing your most critical strategy in the midst of your whirlwind.
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. The first discipline is to narrow the number of goals to only one to two per team.
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. The second discipline, is to put energy against lead measures that are predictive of goal achievement
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. The third discipline is to create a compelling (players) scoreboard.
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. The fourth discipline is to drive weekly accountability and follow through, despite a whirlwind of competing priorities.
We’ll go into much greater detail about how you can follow each discipline in the next blog posts. But first, here’s a video that will help you see why your initiatives may have failed in the past, and what you can do differently to execute in the midst of your whirlwind.
About the Author
Chris McChesney is a Wall Street Journal #1 National Best Selling Author – The 4 Disciplines of Execution. In his current role of Global Practice Leader of Execution for Franklin Covey, Chris is one of the primary developers of the 4 Disciplines of Execution. For more than a decade, he has led FranklinCovey’s design and development of these principles, as well as the consulting organization that has become the fastest growing area of the company.Follow on Twitter More Content by Chris McChesney