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The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals

By Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling
15-minute read
Audio available
The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (2012) is a manual for CEOs and managers, showing leaders how to execute their strategic goals by getting their staff to behave differently. By introducing the four disciplines of execution, you’ll help motivate your team to achieve broader company goals.

  • CEOs, managers and company leaders who want to execute their strategic goals
  • Students of economics and management
  • Anyone who wants to see their organization achieve its goals

Chris McChesney and Jim Huling are leaders at FranklinCovey, a company that helps individuals and businesses to improve their performance.

Sean Covey is an author, speaker and publishing executive. His work centers on time management and business leadership.

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The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals

By Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling
Synopsis

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (2012) is a manual for CEOs and managers, showing leaders how to execute their strategic goals by getting their staff to behave differently. By introducing the four disciplines of execution, you’ll help motivate your team to achieve broader company goals.

Key idea 1 of 9

Getting people to change is the real challenge of executing strategic goals.

Change is good, especially from a business standpoint. Why? Well, look at it this way: If you aren’t always improving, you’re creating an opportunity for your competition to swoop in. Preventing that is a big challenge. And here’s why:

Even though there are an infinite number of possible growth strategies, there are only two ways to execute those strategies: with the stroke of a pen or by changing human behavior.

Of course, stroke-of-the-pen actions are easy for executives. All they have to do is sign a paper and then someone, somewhere, will take care of the rest.

But these are normally quick-fix actions. Lasting change, on the other hand, requires people to alter their behavior. That’s where most executives come up short – and not surprisingly. Anyone who’s ever stopped smoking or gone on a diet will concur: change is hard. And these examples only involve changing yourself. Changing others is even harder!

After all, your staffers might not understand the company goal or have a clear sense of how changing their behavior will help achieve that goal. Alternatively, they might simply not care.

At first glance, it may seem like there are easy fixes to these problems. You could just hand out detailed descriptions of company goals, be precise about each team member’s responsibilities and fire anyone who doesn’t care. But the heart of the problem is far more complex.

All of these problems and decisions are called the whirlwind – a term the authors use to describe the daily tasks that take up your time and drain your creative energy. The whirlwind is the biggest foe of change. Imagine you spend an hour persuading someone to make certain changes; meanwhile, they’re busy thinking about the ten urgent things that need to be taken care of ASAP.

Although it’s difficult, you can achieve major strategic goals despite the whirlwind. Mastering the four disciplines of execution makes it easier. And we’ll explain those to you in the upcoming blinks.

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