#GLS16: The 4 Disciplines of Execution

In my third and final post on the 2016 Global Leadership Summit, I’ve saved my favorite for last. Chris McChesney’s session was the most practical, impactful and memorable of them all. Chris spoke on a book he co-authored called The 4 Disciplines of Execution

In all organizations, there are things that work on you and things you work on. The things that work on you are the urgent but not always important things. This is the Whirlwind. The important things are the things we need to intentionally choose to work on. These are our goals.

The Whirlwind brings complexity, and goals bring simplicity. @@Anyone can do complex. Simple takes discipline.@@

Here are those 4 Disciplines:

1. Focus on the wildly important.

You can do this with a W.I.G. (Wildly Important Goal). This is a goal that makes all the difference. Failure to achieve this goal renders any other achievements inconsequential.

  • There is only 1 per team.
  • It must be a “battle that wins the war."
  • It must follow the "X to Y by when?" format (here to there by a certain date).

2. Act on Lead Measures.

We tend to act on lag measures because they are typically easier to track. When we want to lose weight, we look at the scale (lag measure). But the scale doesn’t influence your weight loss. Calories-in versus calories-out (lead measure) determines your weight. 

  • Lead measures are influenceable.
  • Lead measures are predictable.

3. Keep a compelling scoreboard.

Team members (and teams as a whole) need to know they are winning at their job. Their is no greater job satisfaction than to know you are winning. You do this by keeping a scoreboard that is:

  • Highly visible
  • Focused on Lead Measures
  • Temporary

4. Keep a cadence of accountability

If a team has goals and a team has meetings, teams should be meeting to review the achievement of goals. Chris says that at the very minimum, a team must discuss the W.I.G. and Lead Measures 20 minutes per week. 

How do you need to discipline yourself to achieve your wildly important goals?