This blog is a paraphrase of “The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals” by Sean Covey & Jim Huling,

Full Disclosure: The Collier Companies is a frequent consumer of FranklinCovey Leadership Seminars/Products


Be it strategy, a goal, or target, any initiative to significantly move your team or organization forward will fall into one of two categories:


–       Stroke of the pen


–       Behavioral change.


Stroke-of-the-pen strategies 

Stoke-of-the-pen strategies are those strategies that you execute just by ordering or authorizing them to be done.  Be it

–       a major capital investment,

–       a change in the compensation system,

–       a realignment of roles and responsibilities,

–       adding staff, or

–       a new advertising campaign

If you’ve the money & the authority, you can make it happen.


Behavioral-change strategies 

Behavioral-change strategies are very different from stroke-of-the-pen strategies. You can’t just order them to happen, because executing them requires getting people— often a lot of people— to do something different.

Changing yourself is hard enough, getting others to change is even more challenging i.e.

–       get all of your store employees to greet every customer that enters the store within 30 seconds

–       get your entire sales force to begin using the new CRM system

–       get your product development team to collaborate with the marketing team.


One key challenge in the Discipline of Execution is that folks often do not fully understand the difference between the two types of strategies, particularly when a Pen Stroke strategy has a Behavioral Change component and thus they are unprepared for the inevitable challenges.