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The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals Hardcover – April 24, 2012
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“The 4 Disciplines of Execution offers more than theories for making strategic organizational change. The authors explain not only the ‘what’ but also ‘how’ effective execution is achieved. They share numerous examples of companies that have done just that, not once, but over and over again. This is a book that every leader should read!”
—Clayton Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School, and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma
“What Six Sigma and Lean are to manufacturing, The 4 Disciplines of Execution is to executing your strategy. 4DX is a practical methodology that can solve every leader’s #1 challenge: execution.” (Ram Charan Co-Author of the Best Selling Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done and the au)
“Many of the foundational values of Marriott are embodied within The 4 Disciplines of Execution. By utilizing this process inside our organization, our leaders and teams have been able to set and achieve extraordinary goals, which have had a significant impact on making 'Our Guests’ Experience' truly remarkable. Any organization can create these same kinds of breakthrough results if they apply the principles and processes taught in this book!” (J.W. Marriott, Jr Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, Inc.)
“The State of Georgia had unprecedented success as a result of implementing the principles outlined in The 4 Disciplines of Execution. We certified hundreds of leaders to take the disciplines to every department, achieving unprecedented results in customer service, quality improvement, and cost reduction. These execution principles are a must for any government agency that is seeking to be world class.” (The Honorable Sonny Perdue Governor of Georgia, 2003-2011)
“Customers are loyal to a brand when they can trust it to deliver a consistently outstanding experience. This requires the commitment of everyone up and down the organization to innovate new ways to economically delight customers, so they become promoters. The 4 Disciplines of Execution offers a proven process for engaging the hearts and minds of every employee toward this vital goal. I highly recommend this book to any leader committed to making customer loyalty a mission-critical goal.” (Fred Reichheld Bain Fellow, Inventor of the Net Promoter® System and author of: The Ultimate Question 2.0)
“In a business world where the essence of leadership centers around strategy, this book highlights the true requirements of any organization to focus on the principles of execution. At The Ritz-Carlton, I believe the only way to strengthen operational excellence is through flawless execution. The application of Focus, Leverage, Engagement and Accountability, as discussed in The 4 Disciplines of Execution, are key to our success and make exceptional reading for today's business leaders.” (Herve Humler President and Chief Operations Officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company)
“The 4 Disciplines of Execution book contains principles and processes that do indeed work. I do believe that 'execution excellence' is the ultimate competitive differential of this decade. As we have partnered with FranklinCovey to apply the methodology and process globally throughout our organization, it has not only had a significant impact on our organization’s business results, but it has been transformational for me as a leader, both personally and professionally.” (Jeff Simmons President, Elanco Animal Health, Eli Lilly and Company)
“We believe that The 4 Disciplines of Execution are the keys to growth and success. For years we have struggled with creating focus for our people. We have used priority sheets, standards of performance measures, and others. We have fallen in love with the concepts of “whirlwinds and WIG!” When you read this book you will never look at work, or life, the same!” (Danny Wegman Chief Executive Officer, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., #1 on Fortune magazine’s 2005 list)
“The 4 Disciplines’ practical guidance on goal-setting and measurement resonates with groups of all levels in our organization. Many teams have applied this intuitive approach to build engagement and increase execution and accountability.” (Dave Dillon Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Kroger Co.)
“The 4 Disciplines of Execution helps leaders, teams, and front line employees to narrow their focus and spend their time executing those things that will bring the highest return for their organization and customers. This book is a must read for any leader who wants to achieve that which is extraordinary in their company!” (Diana Thomas US Vice President of Training and Learning Development, Hamburger University, McDonalds Corporation)
About the Author
Chris McChesney is the Global Practice Leader of Execution for FranklinCovey and one of the primary developers of The 4 Disciplines of Execution. For more than a decade, he has led FranklinCovey's ongoing design and development of these principles, as well as the consulting organization that has achieved extraordinary growth in many countries around the globe and impacted hundreds of organizations.
Sean Covey is Executive Vice President of Global Solutions and Partnerships for FranklinCovey and oversees FranklinCovey's international operations in 141 countries around the globe. As the Chief Product Architect for FranklinCovey, Sean organized and directed the original teams that conceived and created The 4 Disciplines of Execution and has been an avid practitioner and promoter of the methodology ever since.
Jim Huling is the Managing Consultant for FranklinCovey's The 4 Disciplines of Execution. Jim's career spans more than three decades of corporate leadership, from Fortune 500 organizations to privately held companies, including serving as CEO of a company recognized as one of the "25 Best Companies to Work for in America." Prior to joining FranklinCovey, Jim was one of the first leaders to adopt The 4 Disciplines of Execution.
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Top Customer Reviews
Although I already implement many of the methods outlined in the book in my work, I found that the book summarized the methods very succinctly. Of particular importance were the discussions on lead and lag measures (measures we want to ultimately change versus measures we have the power to directly influence), periodic reporting and limiting those meetings to short intervals, encouraging buy-in from employees, and allowing employees to see how their contributions are contributing to the overall goals of the organization.
My enthusiasm for the 4 disciplines content began to wane over time as the authors rehashed it over, and over, and over again. I found myself asking "didn't I read this point 3 times already?" I began to wonder if the book couldn't have been 1/2 the length. Overall, it wasn't extraordinarily frustrating, but I did find it very redundant.
I purchased the Kindle version which is peppered with links to the 4DX paid-membership website. I recognize that FranklinCovey is a business, but as just an ebook reader I found this to be very distracting and self-promotional. I would have favored either the links to be removed or to receive a 1-month complimentary membership so that I could see what the links were referring to.
This book is the first/only book I have read that clearly shows one how to devise and implement a plan to improve the functioning of your organization, and to make it happen with more action than fuss. While other books talk about plans and actions as well, if you distill those all down to the necessary elements, I'm sure you'd find the 4 Disciplines of Execution.
This book does three things well:
* it gives you criteria to identify and select which activities, that you are probably suck at, to focus on improving that will have the most impact on improving your job, department or business
* it shows you how to elevate the importance of this activity/goal and focus your (and your team's) action so you can achieve these goals despite the "whirlwind" or day-to-day of running your section of the business
* it demonstrates a clear, uncomplicated structure to keep this priority present and in-focus throughout the organization and shows you how to get people engaged (have them create their own commitments instead of assigning work) and keep them accountable (for their own commitments)
Though it does those three things well, the real nugget of the book, I thought, was the differentiation between lead and lag measures. Lag measures are about things that happened in the past, sales reports, inventory loss, etc. Lead measures measure the daily behavior that each individual does to contribute to a goal that is both predictable (if I do X, Y is predictable) and influence-able (under the control of the person making a commitment to perform some activity). This distinction is worth the price of the book alone. As a bonus, they show you how to set up useful and sometimes entertaining scoreboards to track these measures. And by tracking lead measures, what's happening with your lag measures makes sense (we made more/less calls-sales, we had more/less people wearing hardhats-safety violations and accidents, we had more/less people on the line-manufacturing-productivity and utilization, etc)
Granted, this book covers a lot of the same ground as Execution by Bossidy, Charam and Buck, this book stands apart due to its more practical focus on leadership below the C-level, aiming at showing the reader how to implement these things at the supervisor and lower-management level, where the real work happens.
And, as it is a Stephen Covey branded book, I would also like to say that if you wanted a book that expanded on the 7th Habit: Sharpening the Saw, this is that book. Though the language is definitely organizationally focused, there is a chapter at the end of 4DX translates these principles to your personal life.
Our Executive Committee is applying these simple principles and already, within only a few weeks, we have seen remarkable and sustainable results. We are enthusiastic about it and the four disciplines are actually becoming ingrained in our organizational culture. You can't say that about many business books or training programs!