The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals

I planned to read this book since Cal Newport referenced it in Deep Work. I finally did so in preparation to teach Productivity 101. It’s fantastic. If you’re a business leader or entrepreneur I think you’ll particularly enjoy it. Big Ideas we cover include the 4DX, the whirlwind, your Wildly Important Goals, Lag vs. Lead measures, the power of keeping score, and avoiding the blackhole of the magnificently trivial.


“There are two principle things a leader can influence when it comes to producing results: your strategy (or plan) and your ability to execute that strategy.

Stop for a moment and ask yourself this question: Which of these do leaders struggle with more? Is it creating a strategy, or executing the strategy? Every time we post this question to leaders anywhere in the world, their answer is immediate: ‘Execution!’

Now, ask yourself a second question: If you have an MBA or have taken business classes, what did you study more—execution or strategy?

When we ask leaders this question, the response, once again, is immediate, ‘Strategy!’ It’s perhaps not surprising that the area with which leaders struggle most is also the one in which they have the least education.

After working with thousands of leaders and teams in every kind of industry, and in schools and government agencies worldwide, this is what we have learned: once you’ve decided what to do, your biggest challenge is in getting people to execute it at the level of excellence you need. …

The book you are reading represents the most actionable and impactful insights from all that we’ve learned. In it, you will discover a set of disciplines that have been embraced by thousands of leaders and hundreds of thousands of front-line workers, enabling them to produce extraordinary results.”

~ Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling from The 4 Disciplines of Execution

The 4 Disciplines of Execution.

I’ve planned to read this book since Cal Newport referenced it in Deep Work. I finally did so in preparation to teach Productivity 101. It’s fantastic.

If you’re a business leader or entrepreneur I think you’ll particularly enjoy it. The basic idea: It’s *all* about execution. Specifically, it’s all about what the authors call the “4 Disciplines” of execution. Emphasis on “discipline.” They’re not easy.

The book is a product of the geniuses at FranklinCovey who have been working for decades on optimizing performance at both an individual and organizational level. (FranklinCovey was cofounded by Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. One of his sons, Sean Covey, is a coauthor.)

We’re going to focus on the high-level ideas and, as always, see if we can find ways to apply them to our personal lives. Get the book (here) for more details.

I’m excited to share some of my favorite Big Ideas so let’s jump straight in!

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About the authors

Authors

Chris McChesney

Co-author of The 4 Disciplines of Execution. Global Practice Leader of Execution at FranklinCovey.
Authors

Sean Covey

Executive Vice President of Global Solutions and Partnerships for FranklinCovey.
Authors

Jim Huling

Speaker, Coach, Author and Global Managing Consultant at FranklinCovey.