Book Review: The 4 Disciplines Of Execution - A Guide To Putting Plans Into Action
Book Title and Edition: The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals
Author: Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling
Condensed Review/Thesis: 70% of strategic failures are caused by poor execution by leaders: you can do better...and you need to start now.
Author's Background: Chris McChesney, seasoned executive with training and consulting firm FranklinCovey helped develop - and teach - the 4 Disciplines of Execution. Sean Covey is a publishing executive and bestselling author (titles include The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens). Jim Huling is an award-winning CEO, FranklinCovey managing consultant, and sought-after keynote speaker.
Intended Audience: Business leaders looking to achieve wildly important goals - and avoid getting caught up in the whirlwind that prevents successful execution.
Larry's Two Cents: Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase once said, "I'd rather have a first-rate execution and second-rate strategy any time than a brilliant idea and mediocre management." Business students are educated and trained in strategy, in planning. Yet, when they enter the "real" world, they struggle most with execution. In fact, most failures occur in the execution phase. Why? Because we get caught in the "whirlwind."
McChesney, Covey, and Huling describe the whirlwind as the "day job." It's the day-to-day activity that consumes us as we try to run the organization. It's the distractions. The challenge is focusing and executing the plan in the middle of this whirlwind. To help you do just that, the authors guide you through their 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) and explain how to install them in your company. It isn't theory; it's a proven, repeatable set of principles that have empowered executives and owners to achieve "first-rate execution."
Execution is simple - but it is not easy. The 4 Disciplines of Execution is the single best system for implementation/execution that I have encountered in all my working years. It takes focus and discipline, but results have been spectacular for those who work at it. One of my Vistage members, with whom I've worked for 20 years, has grown his organization by double digits, every year, during this time. He credits 4DX as the most impactful initiative he has ever undertaken during his tenure. A strong endorsement from a highly successful CEO!
While simple, changing these behaviors and integrating 4DX won't be easy. But the payoff is well worth it.
When You Should Read This Book:Get started. Strategy has been proven to be easier than effective execution. How many plans have not resulted in the desired effect due to sloppy or nonexistent execution?