Book Reviews

The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing on your most important strategic priorities. By following these below 4DX, leaders can produce breakthrough results.

1- Focusing on the wildly important – focus on one or two goals that will make all the difference, instead of giving mediocre effort to dozen of goals. This is Focus.

2- Act on the lead measures – apply disproportionate energy to the activities that drive your lead measures, the measures of the activities most connected to achieving the goal. The lead measures provides the leverage for achieving the lag measures. This is Leverage and Clarity.

3- Keep a compelling scoreboard – make sure everyone know the score at all times, so that they can tell whether or not they’re winning. This is Engagement.

4- Create a cadence of accountability – create a frequently recurring cycle of accounting for past performance and planning to move the score forward. This is Accountability, ensuring that the goal is achieved.

Knowing is one thing; taking action is another. The book goes on to explain in details how we install each Discipline of the 4DX in the team or organization with steps to follow.

Discipline 1 and 2: step1- consider the possibilities (use both Top Down and Bottom Up), step2- tank by impact, step3- test top ideas, step4- define the wildly important goals (WIGs) for D1, lead measures for D2.

Discipline 3: step1- choose a theme (trend lines, speedometer, bar chart, etc), step2- design the scoreboard, step3- build the scoreboard, step4- keep it updated.

Discipline 4: hold a WIG session regularly to 1) review report on last commitment, 2) to review scoreboard to learn from success and failure, and 3) to plan, clear the path and make more commitments.

The authors explain not only the ‘what’ but also ‘how’ effective execution is achieved. They also share best practices from numerous companies that have implemented the 4DX repeatedly for their success. This is a book that every leader should read and have as a reference book!

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