The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling and Rajan Kaicker

November 30, 2020

I happened to chance upon this book at the Goa airport on my way back to Mumbai from a lovely vacation. This is truly an inspirational and practical handbook which will help leaders guide their team to achieve their goals.


“Leaders do not get paid for what Leaders do. Leaders get paid for what they can get others to do.”


This is a very IMPORTANT STATEMENT. This book tells you exactly how to go about it in a very simple language with lots of examples and ideas. We all know how challenging it is to get work done by others and that too to our satisfaction. Imagine if we have to get our team to perform consistently with high performance energy day in and day out? This consistency is only possible when we bring about a change in the human behavior of our team. This book shares simple steps and a structure on how to get the most done from our team. Not only your team but also how to make our selves more productive by using the 4 Disciplines of Execution.


Few key points of the book :-

Discipline 1 : Focus on the Wildly Important Goal (WIG) : We all get so caught up with the Daily Whirlwind – Urgent tasks that keeps coming up which require to be attended immediately, that we tend to lose focus and time towards our long term projects. This discipline helps us to channelize our work so that once we start focusing on important things, the daily urgent tasks are reduced.

A simple formula – To move from X (present position) to Y (to where we want to be / target to achieve) by when (deadline).If we try to explain our goal in this simple formula, it looks easy and achievable, which the team can relate too.Your highest WIG is a point of laser focus one to which you will give a disproportionate amount of energy because it requires a change in human behavior. There will always be more ‘good’ ideas than there is capacity to execute. Choose the one which will make the most impact. Execution starts with a focus.

Discipline 2 : Act on the Lead Measure – They are predictable and influenceable.Once your WIG has been finalized. The same has to be simplified into achievable steps, which can then be accounted for.Remember the key principles of leverage. The lever (Lead measure) must move a lot for the rock (WIG) to move a little.

Discipline 3 : Keep a Compelling Scoreboard :- A nice simple colorful scoreboard is very essential where the team can view its progress every week. This keeps the team charged up and focused on achieving their goals. Once you see the behavioral change that is happening with the team, results begin to show.

Discipline 4 : Create a Cadence of Accountability :-Accountability on the team is shared. We make commitments and then we’re accountable to our boss, but more important to each other for following through.


I have just shared a few points in short, but this book explains everything in detail, from how to start with taking baby steps and apply the principles to the entire organization. Each point is explained with a lot of examples and best practices from the best. The challenges that one would face and how to tackle them. There is a personal take home too at the end of the book which I will share it here in short. A lady wished to lose weight. Her WIG – Bring down her weight from 80 kgs to 70kgs by 31st May 2020 (defined as X to Y by when). Her Lead measure – Take 10,000 steps every day (Her diet was already in control, so she chose this specific lead measure to achieve her WIG). Scoreboard – Behind her bathroom door a chart was put up which she maintained and monitored every week. Cadence of Accountability – Her husband was given the task of keeping a tab on her progress and keep her focused on her goal.

Going by the principle of 4dx and following all the steps. Her entire family got excited with her goal and not only her husband but her children motivated her to meet her goals. The days she would be bored they would accompany her for her walks and keep her encouraged. This is just a tiny example of how as a team and for the individual the 4 disciplines of execution worked.


Roshni D’souza – Director : Lighthouse Entertainment Pvt. Ltd