Covey: Four Disciplines

Four Disciplines
Just listened to Stephen Covey’s Four Disciplines of Execution. Classic Covey, no big surprises. The four disciplines are:

  1. Focus on your Wildly Important Goals
  2. Create a compelling scoreboard
  3. Translate lofty goals into specific actions
  4. Hold each other accountable all the time

What differentiates a Covey book from the typical “execution” or “decision-making” tome written by some ego-driven CEO is Covey’s distinctively avuncular manner. Somehow it makes it easier to take the hard messages.

The timing of this was serendipitous, because I just had a chance to listen to an HBR Ideacast in which the authors of Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls were interviewed. They discussed how the decision making cannot adequately be evaluated in isolation.  Instead, they argued that including quality of execution and follow-through would yield a more holistic measure of decision making effectiveness.

MMM: Incredible lecture by Dr. Randy Pausch

Today’s Monday Morning Motivational topic is CMU Professor Dr. Randy Pausch, who is suffering from terminal cancer of the pancreas.

I’m sure you’ve heard about Professor Pausch and his last lecture, but if you haven’t actually seen the lecture video yet, take an hour and watch it – it’s tremendously inspiring. He also maintains a blog-like journal so you can track his current status.

Motivational Quote:

“Brick walls are there to let us show our dedication and to filter out the people who don’t really want it.” — Dr. Randy Pausch

MMM: Golfing with one leg

Sean Lewis lost his right leg in a mortar attack in Iraq. He found his prosthetic leg got in the way of his golf swing, so he took it off and now golfs with one leg. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) wrote about Lewis and pro golfer Jim Estes, who volunteers to help wounded soldiers learn to golf as part of their physical therapy.

You can see a picture of Lewis golfing here.

Motivational Quote:

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” — Epictetus (55-135)

MMM: Dream — Struggle — Victory!

Happy Monday! Here’s this week’s Monday Morning Motivation.

I have really enjoyed Michelle Nichols’s Savvy Selling Podcast. A few weeks ago, she interviewed Olympian Ruben Gonzalez, who said, (I’m paraphrasing)

When I was a kid, I read a lot of biographies of great people … and every biography is the same. A person has a dream. They struggle to achieve it. And in the end, they have a victory. Dream, struggle, victory. That’s the way success is attained.

Dream, Struggle, Victory. So when you’re in the struggle, just remember that it’s a necessary precondition to the victory!

(BTW: if you have enjoyed Ms. Nichols’ podcast, write to Business Week and ask them to start it up again.)

Motivational quote for the week:

“You create your opportunities by asking for them.” — Shakti Gawain

Jeffrey J. Fox – Tasty Morsels of Motivation

I am a huge fan of Jeffrey J. Fox‘s books on business. Why?

  • They’re written in single-serving chapters, which are easy to read, but offer tremendous opportunity for reflection.
  • They’re made up of lists. I’m crazy about lists. (Aside: Scott Ginsburg discusses the importance of lists on his blog.)
  • They are both positive and motivational without falling into mindless boosterism.
  • His focus on “dollarization” – doing the hard work to determine net present value – forces salespeople to get the slop out of their presentations and express things quantitatively and with rigor.


MMM: Fitness in Afghanistan

How hard do you think it would be to get in shape if you were living in Afghanistan? Probably not as hard as you think – there’s a new fitness craze, and Arnold is their, well, Arnold. Money quote:

From the rubble they build a gym. In the gym, they build their bodies. And with those bodies, tuned for strength and achievement, they build a nation.

Read the full story in Men’s Health.

Success starts with the right attitude. This is the first in a series of motivational articles I will blog on Mondays – I’m calling them the Monday Morning Motivational (MMM) posts.

Motivational Quote:

GOALS = Grasp Opportunity And Live Successfully — Peter Sinclair