Execution Overview

There are two things that a leader can influence when trying to achieve results. There's the strategy or the plan, and then there's the ability to execute that strategy. When you ask leaders what they will struggle with more, it will almost always be execution.

Two Opposing Forces

Within every organization, there is a clash between two forces. One is called ‘The Whirlwind’ or the day job. And the second is your new goals. Both are absolutely necessary, and they do not get along.

You must ask yourself this question, “Would the people in your organization still be busy even if you didn’t have any goals for moving the organization forward?”

Urgent vs. Important

The primary characteristic of the whirlwind is urgency; it acts on you. The goals for moving the organization forward are important, but they never have the same immediacy or urgency as the whirlwind; you have to act on them. When urgent and important clash, urgent wins.

The 4 Disciplines

Even though The 4 Disciplines of Execution® are logical and straightforward, they are not easy to implement. Whether you are in a simple organization or a complex one, the good news is these disciplines always work.

Discipline 1: Focus on the Wildly Important

The discipline of focus requires you to go against your basic wiring as a leader and focus on less so your team can achieve more.

Discipline 2: Act on The Lead Measures

The discipline of leverage requires you to identify and act on the measures that are predictive of reaching your goal and that can be influenced by you and the team.

Discipline 3: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard

The discipline of engagement requires you to create a players' scoreboard so that members of the team can easily tell whether they are winning or losing. 

Discipline 4: Create a Cadence of Accountability

The discipline of commitment requires you to hold regularly scheduled team meetings where members make and keep commitments to each other to execute on the wildly important goal. 


Gain a deeper understanding of the disciplines required to achieve your most important goals in the midst of daily urgencies. Register to attend a complimentary 4 Disciplines of Execution webcast. 

About the Author

Chris McChesney

Chris McChesney is a Wall Street Journal #1 National Bestselling Author – The 4 Disciplines of Execution. In his current role of Global Practice Leader of Execution for FranklinCovey, 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.

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