The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing on your most important strategic priorities in the midst of the whirlwind. 4DX includes:
- Discipline #1 – Focus on the wildly important
- Discipline #2 – Act on the lead measure.
- Discipline #3 – Create a compelling scoreboard.
- Discipline #4 – Create a cadence of accountability.
There will always be more good ideas than there is capacity to execute.
As Stephen R. Covey says, “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, unapologetically—to say no to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.”
Goals help us focus on important and strategic things and move beyond the whirlwind of day-to-day activities that consume most of our time and energy.
Recognize the difference between urgent and important things:
- Whirlwind – The urgency of the day to day.
Urgent – It acts on you.
- Goals – Important, new activities
Important – You act on them.
Spend 80% of your time on the whirlwind and focus 20% of your time on your goals.
Battles Win the War
Ask the question: What do you need to focus on above all else?
The 4 Disciplines of Execution gives further clarity:
“The battles you choose must win the war. Whether it’s a military conflict, or the war on hunger, cancer, or poverty, there’s a relationship between battles and wars. The only reason you fight a battle is to win the war. The sole purpose of WIGs at lower levels in the organization is to help achieve the WIGs at higher levels. It isn’t enough that the lower-level WIGs support or align with the higher WIGs. The lower-level WIGs must ensure the success of the higher WIGs.”
The moon shot is a great example. NASA focused on three major priorities (or battles) in its quest to land a man on the moon (the war). The lesson? Fight the right battles to win the war.