An insightful new work from the multimillion-copy best-selling author Sean Covey and the FranklinCovey organization, based on their work with hundreds of thousands of employees and large companies to unveil the essential disciplines proven to help businesses and individuals realize their most important goals.
A publishing phenomenon, Sean Covey and the FranklinCovey organization have become one of the most respected brands in the highly competitive world of thought leadership in business. In his latest work, Covey lays out an unprecedented plan for goal-realization that will revolutionize the way we approach our dreams.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution provides a simple, proven formula for achieving the goals that every individual or organization needs to reach. From Marriott to the U.S. Navy, Covey and his team have worked with more than 200,000 people in hundreds of organizations to improve performance, identifying and honing four secrets of perfect execution: Focus on the Wildly Important; Act on the Lead Measures; Keep a Compelling Scoreboard; and Create a Cadence of Accountability. By allowing teams to separate those urgent tasks that demand attention merely to keep a company alive - called the "whirlwind" - from new, "wildly important" goals that promise to break new ground, these disciplines empower leaders to accomplish what is by far the most difficult aspect of creating results: executing a strategy that requires a change in behavior. Simply put, this is a work that no business, however small or large, can afford to pass up.
©2012 FranklinCovey Co. All rights reserved. (P)2012 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
"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)
I really liked this book, the authors provide a straight-forward framework to apply at home or at work, but clearly recognise and name the key blocker that fogs everything up. The whirlwind. Nicely written book, logical and clear.
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
“It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.”
- Albert Camus
Probably somewhere between 2.5 and 3 stars. First, full disclosure: I went to a private school in Provo with several of Stephen R. Covey's kids. Not Sean Covey. He was older, but one of two of his younger brothers. My wife also worked for the Covey Leadership Center (and later FranklinCovey after the merger) while I was finishing college. I am very familiar with the FranklinCovey business model (could probably vomit the 7-habits on demand) and business strategy approach. In many ways I'm biased by my own agnosticism towards Franklin Covey. I think Stephen R. Covey was brilliant at building a consultant business that structured time-management, strategy, and execution ideas into highly marketable programs (notice I don't say books) that could be sold in several formats and applied in multiple industries. The ideas were common sense, but the packaging and marketing was brilliant. Stephen R. Covey died a couple years ago from a mountain bike accident in Rock Canyon (oh the stories I could regale you with about the dangers of Rock Canyon). Anyway, the Covey mantle has evidently been passed.
This book is the management/leadership book equivalent of the novelization and franchising of a successful movie (see Star Wars, etc). 4DX was developed by FranklinCovey as an addition piece of their large consulting and content-delivery arsenal. IT was almost the reverse process that works with other leadership coaching/books. First you birth the book, than you try to exploit the success of the book into a bunch of CDs, webinars, videos, consultant workshops, certifications, yaddas and yaddas.
Anyway, I think the 4DX approach is just fine (see my agnosticism line above). But like Mark Twain once wrote when reviewing 'The Book of Mormon', "Whenever he [Joseph Smith] found his speech growing too modern—which was about every sentence or two—he ladled in a few such Scriptural phrases as “exceeding sore,” “and it came to pass,” etc., and made things satisfactory again. “And it came to pass” was his pet. If he had left that out, his Bible would have been only a pamphlet." The team that wrote the 4 Disciplines of Execution didn't include "and it came to pass" once, but if you removed all the hyping of 4DX, the internal and external reviews of how much it helped "Business A" or "Organization X", all the subtle and not-so-subtle references to 4DX CDs, certifications, consultants, etc., it might not be a book, it might only have been a pamphlet (and you can't sell a pamphlet for $30 to the State of Georgia).
So, why do I give this 3-stars while I gave a recent (and rare) read of a business management book only two-stars (Executive Toughness)? Well, the simple answer is: polish. At least the development team of writers, consultants, VPs, staff, and family at the FranklinCovey Organization know how to write and edit. When I read this I didn't laugh or gag once, and that is (I guess) at least worth one additional star.
Simple, understandable, actionable, and clear. This book takes the complexity of leadership and simplifies it by forcing you to focus on what will bring results. Loved the book.
NeverColdCall dot com
No - it became apparent while listening that this is targeted toward corporate middle-managers and has little relevance for a hard-driving entrepreneur like myself. If you have a large number of employees at a big company and they're not getting the job done, your leadership is at fault and this book *may* help.
The least interesting to me was simply how corporate it all is. And the cutesy "4DX" brand reeks of that.
I found this book recommended in a business form but almost immediately realized that this is for managers of good-sized teams in big corporations, not for no-nonsense entrepreneurs like me and others in the same arena. It seems to me like one of those books (and brands) that thrive by giving corporate drones something to talk about and work on, creating an excuse to justify their jobs.
Informative. Energizing. Daunting.
4DX made me think about how to implement this is environments other than an office, sales floor or factory as I deal with clients that have unique work environments.
I don't have the time to sit and read a book, much less a book for work purposes. Having this available on audio made it possible for me to "read." Audible makes the impossible possible.
The Apprentice Principles
My team is implementing this and it's very effective. The book is a bit repetitive after the first couple hours. There were a few times I thought I'd already read a section because it was repeated word for word from earlier as a reminder. Still, drives the point home and I would recommend.
"This really works!"
If you follow the 4 disciplines you will get improved results. I have and I did. That said, there is a one-hour introduction book which gets the basics across better than this book does. My view is buy the shorter book and listen to it 5 or more times and you'll get all you need to start using the disciplines in practice.
"Highly recommended - optimise getting stuff done"
Over recent years I've been on a reading mission. Trying to bootstrap my own performance as well as those teams I'm a member of. While many books have helped and illuminated the way I believe this book to be the best. The foremost reasoning being the synthesis of so many aspects of performance into what are the four disciplines of execution. Simple to explain but with ninja like training and commitment required to master. If you have time to digest one "management" or "performance" book then I would highly recommend The 4 Disciplines of a execution.
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