#52 Books – The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Brian Moran and Michael Lennington’s main argument is that we need to think in terms of quarters vs annually when it comes to evaluation and goal-setting.
It’s not the argument that is most compelling – any project manager or manager familiar with Agile, Scrum, and Sprints can tell you the power of thinking in small, achievable chunks.
What I find compelling in this book are Brian Moran and Michael Lennington’s choice of definition of accountability and their emphasis on the importance of aligning one’s business/career vision to their personal vision (and NOT the other way around – which is what most of us do), and their steps for creating a plan one can actually use.
- Accountability – Moran and Lennington take their definition of accountability straight from Peter Kosterbaum and Peter Block’s Freedom and Accountability at Work: Applying Philosophic Insight to the Real World (Amazon affiliate link). Accountability = ownership. Accountability = personal sovereignty. Accountability, according to this definition, is NOT something someone else does to you or can do for you. Your managers claim to “hold you accountable.” What they are doing is trying to motivate you to do something for them that you may or may not have taken ownership of. This alternate definition forces one to look in the mirror and take responsibility for one’s choices. I don’t know which is scarier.
- The importance of aligning your business/career to your LIFE – If you are being externally motivated to do things, how close is the alignment of your job to how you want your life to look. If the business/career goal doesn’t align with your life vision, how inspired are you to work towards the goal? How quickly are you going to give up, or do something else, or find another distraction?
- Creating an actionable plan you have a fighting chance of following – As with many of the authors I’ve encountered of late, they insist on vision, focus, measurement, and getting VERY honest with yourself if you are not following the plan you laid out.
The first part of the book is theoretical. The second part of the book is the step-by-step.
In the second part, they divide the practical application into individual and team considerations. For each, they include pitfalls and tips. It’s obvious these two know what they are talking about from their troubleshooting tips.
This book nicely bridges the gap between The Perfect Day Formula, which is focused on defining the perfect day and week for individual execution, and The 4 Disciplines of Execution, which is more focused on team applications and longer-term execution.