Discipline 4: Create a Cadence of Accountability

Accountability breeds response-ability.

Each team engages in a simple weekly process that highlights successes, analyzes failures, and course-corrects as necessary, creating the ultimate performance-management system.

The cadence of accountability is a rhythm of regular and frequent team meetings that focus on the Wildly Important Goal®. These meetings happen weekly, sometimes daily. They ideally last no more than 20 minutes. In that brief time, team members hold each other accountable for commitments made to move the score.

The secret to Discipline 4, in addition to the weekly cadence, are the commitments that team members create in the meeting. One by one, team members answer a simple question, “What are the one or two most important things I can do this week that will have the biggest impact on the scoreboard?” In the meeting, each team member reports first if they met last week’s commitments, second if the commitments move the lead or lag measures on the scoreboard, and finally which commitments they will make for the upcoming week.

People are more likely to commit to their own ideas than to orders from above. When individuals commit to fellow team members instead of only to the boss, the commitment goes beyond professional job performance to become a personal promise. When the team sees they are having a direct impact on the Wildly Important Goal, they know they are winning, and nothing drives morale and engagement more than winning.

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Create a cadence of accountability

With Discipline 4, teams share accountability. Commitments are not only made between leaders and their teams; they are made between individuals on the teams. By keeping weekly commitments, team members influence the lead measure which in turn is predictive of success on the lag measure of the WIG®.

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Where do you find people who are passionately committed to their work? You find them working for leaders who are passionately committed to them.

— Jim Huling, Co-author of The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Discipline 1:

Focus on the Wildly Important
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Discipline 2:

Act on the Lead Measures
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Discipline 3:

Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
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Discipline 4:

Create a Cadence of Accountability

The 4 Disciplines of Execution Resources
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