There are two dominant factors that fall within the circle of influence of a leader to produce results: strategy and the ability to execute that strategy. The area where leaders have been shown to struggle the most is in the world of execution.

Once the “what” is expected to be done is finalized, it is the getting teams to execute it at the expected excellence that leaders struggle with the maximum. Unless you can achieve your goals with a stroke of a pen, success is going to require a change in your team’s behavior.

Just as there are principles that govern human behavior there are principles that govern how a leader gets things done with excellence through their team. These principles are founded on focus, leverage, accountability and engagement.

The four disciplines of execution is a practice that companies inclusive of a majority of the Fortune 100 have been using to execute their organizations highest priorities.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution are a combination of principles which when applied will give you phenomenal results every single time.  Through the change of human behavior this practice aligns your teams to achieve your largest goals.

Focus on the widely important

Execution starts with the principle of focus. If you’re currently trying to execute three, five or even ten important goals the truth is your team can’t focus.  The lack of focus dilutes the team’s efforts and becomes the barrier to achieving results. The first disciple is based on driving your finest efforts on the one or two goals that will make the maximum difference instead of giving mediocre effort to dozens of goals.

When the focus is narrowed the team can easily distinguish between what is top priority and what is the whirlwind.  The failure of achieving these top goals will make every other accomplishment seem inconsequential.

This is the first hurdle to overcome from strategy to execution. It is very clearly defining the widely important goal, the goal that is expected to drive the maximum results.

Act on the lead measures

This is the principle of leverage. It is based on the philosophy that every action has a different level of impact on the achievement of the Widely Important Goal. It is these actions that we come to be known as lead measures and it is these very actions that the teams need to imbibe to achieve the goal.

No matter what your strategy the success will be dependent on two measures: the lead measure and the lag measures.

Lag measures are your revenue, market share, profit, customer satisfaction etc. This means when you receive them the performance that drove them is already in the past. This is where most leaders spend most of their time praying over.

Lead measures are the actions that your team must undertake to achieve the widely important goal. They are the measure on the new behavior that will drive success on the lag measure.

Don’t misunderstand the lag measures they are what define your success, they are the end product of your widely important goals, they are a summation of what you are trying to accomplish. But it is the lead measures that drive you to produce the lag measures.

Acting on lead measures is a hidden treasure in the world of execution.

Keep a compelling scoreboard

Once the focus has been narrowed and the lag measures defined it is critical to create a compelling scoreboard.

This is the principle of engagement.  It is based out of the philosophy that the highest level of performance comes in from people who are emotionally engaged and this engagement comes from keeping score - which boils down to, knowing if you are winning or losing.

The scoreboard must be simple and designed solely for the team. At any given point they should know where they stand in comparison to the achievement of the ultimate goal. This will help the team members determine if they are winning or losing.

People play differently when you’re keeping score.

Create a cadence of accountability

This is the discipline where execution really happens. The first three disciplines create the foundation and this is the stage of implementation.

This principle states that unless we consistently hold each other accountable the goal naturally disintegrates in the whirlwind. The accountability is driven through regular and frequent WIG meetings where teams project their results towards the WIG despite the whirlwind.

Give your team the knowledge and tools that they need to execute your top priorities.  Book a free consultation to get more information on how we can go about imbibing a culture of execution within your organization.