The Four Disciplines of Getting Things Done, Part 2

Winston Churchill famously said, “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” Execution is the hard work between designing the strategy and the results, the impact. Here are some additional thoughts on the four disciplines of getting things done (read Part 1 here.)


After the team has agreed to an overarching important goal for a season, help the team set lead measures that will, by God’s grace, result in the fulfillment of the goal.

To understand lead measures, you must understand the difference between lead measures and lag measures. Lead measures are predictive. Lag measures are outcome based. For example, imagine you set a goal to lose 15 pounds by June 1. The 15 pounds is the clear lag measure. You know the goal and the due date. But to execute well, you need lead measures. It may be your caloric intake, the number of times you hit the gym each week, and the number of cheat meals you are allowed. If you don’t have the right lead measures, you will not hit the lag measure.

John Calipari, the coach of the UK Wildcats, demonstrated a wise understanding of lead measures as he led his team to the NCAA championship last season. If you watched the pre-game footage, you noticed him giving clear lead measures to his players in terms of the number of turnovers to force, rebounds to grab, and foul trouble to avoid. He understood that he needed to do more than tell his players to win; he needed to give them clear measures that would result in a win.

In summary, don’t just set and declare an important goal. Set lead measures underneath that goal. Otherwise team members will know the “what” but they won’t understand the “how”  and their role.


When you set a clear goal for your team, you must identify what success will be. How will you know the goal is accomplished? Keep “the win” in front of the team in a compelling way. Surface it in meetings, discuss as a team, and ensure it is before the group at all times.


In a culture of execution, there is also a culture of accountability. When people on the team set lead measures underneath the overarching goal, there must be freedom to discuss the progress, trust to quickly put problems on the table, and courage to confront issues. A culture of accountability does not mean people are knighted to be jerks. But it does mean the team understands the expectations and is willing to hold each other accountable, without the leader needing to be the only one providing the accountability. If the leader is the only one providing accountability, there is a leader of accountability, not a culture of accountability.

Read Part 1 here.

Read more from Eric here.

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Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger serves as the Vice President of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
— Glenna Hendricks
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright

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