Execution Gap – Four Disciplines

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. ” — Jim Rohn

Even when we develop solid action plans, with support from all stakeholders, we must implement those ideas.  Otherwise, our plans are only dreams.  In this regard, Steven Covey described four execution disciplines; namely:

1. FOCUS ON A WILDLY IMPORTANT GOAL: Select a single overarching goal. Define the finish line. What does success look like? What are the steps? Goals motivate people.  Deadlines create urgency.  (When you reach that goal, move to another.)

2. ACT ON THE LEAD MEASURES: Identify lead measures (levers) you will use to achieve the goal. What tools will we use?  For example, if someone wanted to lose weight, he would adopt specific exercise and diet programs.  We select lead measures, and they propel us towards our goal.

3. KEEP A COMPELLING SCOREBOARD: It must be simple and visual. The scoreboard shows the lead measures you will use to attain your goal. Team mates can see if they are winning, or losing, by consulting the score board. It is compelling to win. Moreover, people are always more effective when they keep score.

4. CREATE A CADENCE OF ACCOUNTABILITY: Create a weekly rhythm of accountability. The project manager must report to someone (mentor or coach) every week, even if it is for a few minutes. Reporting includes an accounting of what was done the previous week, the progress, and what will be done going forward.

Finally, the leader and his team must have SMART goals.  These goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

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