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The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals
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The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  1,429 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
An insightful new book from the multimillion-copy bestselling 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.

Do you remember the last major initiative you watched die in your o
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Free Press (first published October 1st 2011)
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Jan 02, 2016 Darwin8u rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
“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, UT with several of Stephen R. Covey's kids. Not Sean Covey. He was older, but one or 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
I will need to re-read this in more depth and follow through on the links to case studies and other resources found embedded in this ebook. I read through it at lightning speed so I could at least intelligently discuss the concepts with my upper management where I work.

I gave it four stars, but really would probably hone that in to 3.5 stars. That may change as I put these disciplines into play.
Aug 12, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
WILDLY IMPORTANT GOALS! "We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret" Jim Rohn as quoted in this short video synopsis of 4DX:

Gets technical toward the end, but for the most part it was an interesting read and I see its potential for improving many different environments: at work, or in a non-profit organization, or even in family, and individual lives.
Antoinette Perez
I'm not sure why I didn't read this book sooner. It's been referenced so often recently I felt like there must be a reason, so I finally read it. The Covey organization used The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) with their own clients for years, refining their approach and collecting anecdotes and success stories along the way. I always feel better when there are real life businesses being cited.

The majority of key concepts make sense, like:
* Teams, even work teams, like to win.
* Business initiat
Nov 16, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
As sales pitches go, The 4 Disciplines of Execution ain’t bad. McChesney, Covey, and Huling – the deputized writing arms of the FranklinCovey hivemind – put together a lucid, readable plan that’s sensible enough to seem practical while being acronym-stuffed and slick enough to appeal to upper management looking for the Next Big Thing in organizational fads.

If I seem cynical, it’s more from having spent more than a decade in management having my cheese moved and my teams de-dysfunctioned than fro
Sep 27, 2014 Ty rated it it was amazing
4DX (as it is known by the hip and cool) is one of the best books on managing execution that i have ever read. we are spared the history, philosophy, and emotions of management and shown a method that the authors have demonstrated to work in many companies around the world. the book is a simple, but powerful, read. many of the points in the book are so obvious that i thought to myself, "Well, i know that already"...but i also had to acknowledge that i am not doing anything with the knowledge if ...more
Oct 25, 2012 Andy rated it really liked it
The 4DX approach makes sense in the context of general principles of behavior change, because it gets groups of people working step by step toward meaningful objective goals with frequent feedback. These tactics are based on the authors' trial-and-error experience consulting with thousands of employees. They don't offer any outside scientific evaluation of their technique but they do offer testimonials from companies that piloted the approach in some locations and not others, with the result tha ...more
May 30, 2012 MountainShelby rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-reviews
Developed and promoted by FranklinCovey, The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) provides hands-on, practical tools to help a company drive its primary goals even in the middle of the daily "whirlwind" of work. All too often, leadership training follows a strategic course, with little to no practical application. You have all of these great ideas to improve your business—but how do you actually put them to work? This book is FranklinCovey's response and answer. The Four Disciplines are:
• Focusing o
Oct 08, 2012 Cara rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up at just the right time. I was just starting to try Elance to get freelance projects, and I noticed that whenever I was feeling apathetic or low, instead of getting on Facebook or whatever, I'd find myself writing proposals! Why??? It took me a while to figure out, but I realized that the number and dollar amount of proposals I'd submitted each week was the only thing I was tracking visibly and giving myself credit for doing. That observation primed me to embrace everything ...more
Anil Swarup
Apr 14, 2015 Anil Swarup rated it liked it
"Discipline" is the watchword as the authors lay down the road map to executing any strategy. The focus is on clarity and commitment........both attributes so very essential to make things happen. However, the authors go on to make a seminal statement as well : "low trust between teams and individuals is one of the primary factors blocking success". So true. This "how to do" book is an interesting one and makes a lot of sense.
Daniel Taylor
Goals cannot be set and forget, to achieve them you need to get the right things done. Goals are the "what", but what stops many from being achieved is the "how." Sean Covey's latest book teaches the "how."

The 4 Disciplines, when described seem simple. And to understand them is simple, but they are not simplistic. Discipline 1 is Focus on the Wildly Important. Discipline 2 is Act on the Lead Measures. Discipline 3 is Keep a Compelling Scoreboard. Discipline 4 is Create a Cadence of Accountabilit
Russell Chance
Sep 28, 2015 Russell Chance rated it really liked it
Overall this was a very insightful book. I think most business people will readily identify with the concept of the "whirlwind" and the associated frustration of not being able to focus on the activities that you know will move your business forward. While I'm sure undertaking a full implementation of 4DX would lead to good results, business leaders would be wise to at least grab a hold of the concept of "less is more" when it comes to executing on your goals.

I highly recommend this book for an
Patti Bosworth
Apr 23, 2013 Patti Bosworth rated it really liked it
I am currently reading this book. Originally, it was recommended to me by our CFO and leader of our department. It is a wonderful resource for members of a team to use to help identify and then work towards achieving those "wildly important goals." Although I began reading this as a "work-related" book, I can definitely see goal setting/achieving techniques that can be applied to my personal and home life goals. It's a keeper on the bookshelf; something to refer to again and again when the whirl ...more
David Oren
Sep 28, 2015 David Oren rated it really liked it
set specific goals
use accountability
Jan 31, 2016 Manu rated it it was amazing
This books presents a very compelling and practical framework for setting up goals and executing upon them. The 4DX (as the authors call it) framework revolves around figuring out the most important (critical few rather than trivial many - if you will) goals (very specific) to be accomplished in a given time frame. To enable execution of these goals, the 4DX framework presents 3 interlinked strategies:
- The lead measures to signal the progress
- A simple & intuitive scorecard to track the lea
Wil Reynolds
Nov 17, 2014 Wil Reynolds rated it it was amazing
I've now read this book 3 times. The book grounds you, in a process that is very easy to follow and incorporate into daily practices. the most impactful part of the book to me was the part on leading vs lagging indicators,that part of the book alone was worth it. The concept is super simple to grasp, most metrics we set up are lag indicators, meaning that by the time we get the numbers, its too late to do anything about them. Instead we should look to identify those metrics that are predictive o ...more
Robson Castilho
Aug 06, 2016 Robson Castilho rated it liked it
Shelves: business, leadership
Great approach to get your goals done (professional AND personal ones).

There are some similarities with "Agile": the scoreboard, the WIG sessions purpose and structure... (if you never heard about Agile, it's a philosophy originated from software development industry and you really should read about it!).

I expect 4DX helps me achieve my goals (I'll give it a try for sure).

As a negative point of the book, it is too long for the main idea, so it all starts to repeat over and over....
Jul 02, 2012 Aggressor rated it it was amazing
I have to say, this is one of the best books I've read in a while. The stories, while too simplistic at times, are very relevant and apply to almost any environment. I fought the urge to immediately try to utilize 4DX and opted instead to buy a copy of the book for others on my team. I'm hoping this book provides them with as much excitement and clarity as it did me. I cant wait to put the principles in action. It's well worth the read.
André Gomes
Aug 20, 2014 André Gomes rated it really liked it
Shelves: management, business
I enjoyed the reading. I was easy and quick, and I had lots of insights.

Interesting many of the ideias presented in the book are aligned with what we already do in Agile Software Development.

I've also prepared a talk to my team about this book, here is the slides (in portuguese)
Robert Chapman
Sep 14, 2012 Robert Chapman rated it it was amazing
This is a short and value packed book. Thing I loved most about this book was the concept and associated explanation of lead and lag measures, and how they impact achieving goals.

I've read a lot of leadership and development books, but I have to say this one gave me renewed clarity at a vital time. I highly recommend this book.
Li Li
Sep 15, 2016 Li Li rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-development
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joseph Young
Sep 05, 2012 Joseph Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Through simple techniques, this book has already helped me in the workplace. I hope to apply these principles in further areas of work and other goal setting.
Jul 28, 2012 Gary is currently reading it
After reading how important execution is in several recent business titles, finally a book that explains exactly how to execute.
Ram Kumar Lanka
Aug 23, 2014 Ram Kumar Lanka rated it really liked it
If we are currently having issues in execution, this book gives comprehensive methodology to get back the execution on track. I have personally followed some of the techniques that have been given in this and they have produced results too.

Most of the time we have tendency to look at the results and worry and want to improve results. But we never think about the key areas that can bring back our results. This book teaches how to make every one involved in the work process responsible for the res
Jose Papo
Dec 13, 2015 Jose Papo rated it it was amazing
Tis books is really a must read for all leaders and managers. If you want to achieve big and important goals you need to use this method. The book explains the four steps to execution and details each: define your big goal, create lead and lag measures, build a metrics dashboard and follow up every week or day. For me one of the biggest lessons was the step and chapters about lead and lag measures. Basically you must understand the difference and use it on execution if you want to be a successfu ...more
Apr 30, 2014 Lara rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
It has been a while since I did anything with Franklin Covey resources, and I hadn't heard of the organizational method described here before. However, I found the method to ensure execution of goals to be approachable and comprehensive. The main hesitation I had is with the use of competition. For many that is a driver, but not for everyone. However, the discussion of the need to focus on a small number of actions to reach a single goal, the requirement of letting other ideas and goals go, and ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Worth a try, for sure.
Sarah Ehinger
Nov 12, 2015 Sarah Ehinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was asked to read the 4 Disciplines of Execution as part of a work assignment. I fundamentally agree with the methodology and strategy outlined within the book, but I would have liked to hear more about how entities implementing the program came to terms with certain things not getting accomplished. In theory, the things not being accomplished should be things that fell below wildly important goals, but too often in government, all things become "important" either politically or for other reas ...more
Þór Hauksson
Nov 08, 2015 Þór Hauksson rated it liked it
Read this book as a preparaition for an implemention of the 4DX methodolgy at work. The aim of the book is to explain the 4DX approach to strategy implemention and as such, it is clear and easy to follow, giving ample real-world examples along the way.

As a "methodology" the premise is simple: to present 4 easy pillars or disciplines for organizations to follow in order to implement behavioural change associated with strategy. Describing or deciding on organization strategy is the easy part, the
Ross Leavitt
May 27, 2015 Ross Leavitt rated it really liked it
For what it is, this book is fantastic. It is a method for defining goals and motivating the people on your team to consistently work toward them. He understands that the only way to change the behavior of others is for them to be personally invested in the goal and to see how their contributions serve that goal. For the Christian, this becomes even more exciting, because we can self-consciously link every area of our lives back to the most basic purpose of serving and enjoying God. Staying focu ...more
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“As legendary Harvard marketing professor Theodore Levitt put it, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.” 1 likes
“you might find it hard to let go of a lot of good goals until you start serving a greater goal.” 0 likes
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