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Chris McChesney at event

How to Achieve Your Wildly Important Goals with 4DX, in Quotes.

Back by popular demand with The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX), Chris McChesney will return to Australia in 2019 to share his critical execution strategies, and give Australian leaders the tools needed to create a winnable game.

In anticipation of his famous workshop, we’ve compiled a list of the top quotes by Global Practice Leader Chris McChesney, on execution, the challenge of change, and why saying no is a skill that must be learned.

On why change is hard

You might find it hard to let go of a lot of good goals until you start serving a greater goal.

There are two fundamental reasons that execution is so difficult. The first is that it requires people to change their behavior...the second challenge: implementing these changes in an environment that’s already swirling with urgent priorities - what we call the Whirlwind. Together, these challenges can derail even the best leaders from achieving their goals.


On why saying, ‘no’ is essential

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.

There are always of dozens of activities that feel more urgent than the activities necessary for executing on what is, ultimately, most important. This is why execution often breaks down.

Focusing on the wildly important means narrowing the number of goals you are attempting to accomplish.

Many teams have multiple goals—sometimes dozens, all of which are priority one. Of course, that means that nothing is priority one.

Do you remember the Law of Diminishing Returns? Basically, the more you try to do, the less you actually accomplish. This is a stark, inescapable principle we all live with. Somewhere along the way, most leaders forget this. Why? Because smart, ambitious leaders don’t want to do less, they want to do more, even when they know better.


On why winning matters

We have found nothing that drives the morale and engagement of a team more than winning.

The number one driver of morale and engagement is whether a person feels they are winning. This is big.

Without us knowing it, disciplines one, two and three create a winnable game. This is a big deal. 

If you’re a leader, here’s my question to you: do the people who work for me feel like they’re playing a winnable game?


On taking responsibility

We don’t see a lot of leaders saying, ‘I wish I was better than that.’ What you’re more likely to hear is, ‘I wish I didn’t have Mark, Larry and Sue on my team.’

We tend to blame people, it’s a natural place to go…

Execution is harder than strategy. The kind of execution that’s really hard is the kind that requires a change in behaviour and we don’t get to blame the people.


On why simple is best

Execution doesn’t like complexity...we want to translate strategy to the fewest number of executable targets at the frontline of the organisation.

The two best friends of execution are simplicity and transparency.

What separates high performing organisations from lesser ones, is the degree of variability.


On the importance of keeping score

If you’re not keeping score, you’re just practicing.


Tickets are selling fast but are still available for The 4 Disciplines of Execution. Members of The Growth Faculty receive a discount to all live events.

If you are not yet a member of The Growth Faculty, click here to become a member to access our On Demand platform and event discounts.

Interested in learning more about 4DX? Read our article, 7 Practical Lessons on Team Productivity from 4DX’s Chris McChesney here.