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Strategic Discipline Blog

Borrow Knowledge but TAKE ACTION

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, Jan 9, 2023

james-clear-quote-borrow-knowledge-not-action-how-to-form-good-habits-mindset-motivation-galactic-1Many people invest a good deal of time making new year’s resolutions.

As we shared in Goals or Systems – Focus on Activities to Achieve Success the key to achieving your goals, this year, next year, in 3 years, or in 3 months is, to take action. Winners and losers have the same goal.

The difference between achieving goals isn’t in setting them, it’s applying the right system to achieve them.

If you set goals and do nothing else, you will achieve little. It’s why Hope is a Beggar.

Act – Follow Your System

My responsibility as a coach is to hold customers accountable and ask difficult questions. The tools and resources in Scaling Up, and Metronomics develop critical habits which endure long after my coaching engagement is over. When you learn to immediately put every goal/priority into a set of activities or systems, you begin to act. To achieve your priority simply follow these activities (system) to realize the outcome.

You dont rise to the level of your goals ~Atomic Habits-1In a meeting with my book coach this week (I coach her business) she shared her overcoming a personal obstacle. She’s been struggling for more than a year while her frustration mounts. While she has a goal, she didn’t have a plan/system to help her get the outcome she desires.

Setting a goal is great. Without the necessary activities to achieve it, you might as well sit back and chug beers all day. You must identify the systems you feel you need to achieve the goal to attain it.

Personal Victory

I’ve shared my story before. In 2012 when I discovered I had Acute Myeloid Leukemia I was very discouraged. Upon reflection, I realized I needed to do what I’d previously been doing in my business, as well as coaching my customers to do.

Set the goal, but most importantly, determine how or what activities will produce the outcome you want. Then focus on completing these activities.

Discovering I had Acute Myeloid Leukemia, I had no idea what would fix this. I followed the doctor’s chemotherapy treatments, however, with 84% of bone marrow cancerous, the prospects for recovery were dim. I searched for answers. Using the tools from my coaching experience I developed a dashboard where I tracked the activities I believed would help me conquer it. I adjusted and corrected, not only the activities but how I did the activities, including the one I feel was most influential in my eventual positive outcome, meditation. It took more than seven months in the hospital to achieve the outcome. It was worth it!

stonecutter hammering-1Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.

Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.

James Clear in Atomic Habits notes, “The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.”

That’s really the beauty of hiring a coach to teach you this system. You may achieve your goals, however, the real victory is gaining the tools to continually achieve your goals. Now you have a system!

Clear believes, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

Meeting_Rhythms_1-13_wks-resized-600Weekly, Monthly, and Quarterly meeting rhythms, track progress, adjusting, and developing new activities or systems to focus on achieving your priorities.

As Clear shares, “The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.”

Track Your Progress

You can borrow knowledge but not action.Metronome Dashboard

Clear again shares what we know as coaches. Research shows people who track their progress on goals like losing weight, quitting smoking, and lowering blood pressure improve more than those who don’t. A study of more than sixteen hundred people discovered those who kept a daily food log lost twice as much weight as those who did not. The mere act of tracking a behavior sparks the urge to change it.

Dashboards are the most effective way to visually see progress. Metronomics Software is a great tool to monitor your progress. When you combine this with the accountability of peer pressure, the results are impactful.

To create an environment where everyone is inspired to give their best, contact Positioning Systems today to schedule a free exploratory meeting.

Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

Alignment DeficitThere’s another myth about goals. Many leaders believe our deficit at work is a deficit of aligned action. Leaders believe people need to be told what to do. We’ll explore what they really need to be told in, next blog.

Building an enduring great organization requires disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action, superior results, producing a distinctive impact on the world.

4Dx Cadence of AccountabilityDiscipline sustains momentum, over a long period of time, laying the foundations for lasting endurance.

A winning habit starts with 3 Strategic DisciplinesPriorityMetrics, and Meeting Rhythms.   Forecasting, accountability, individual, and team performance improve dramatically.

Meeting Rhythms achieve a disciplined focus on performance metrics to drive growth.

Let Positioning Systems help your business achieve these outcomes on the Four most Important Decisions your business faces:












Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $250M+) businesses Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing! Contact to Scale Up your business! Take our Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.

NEXT BLOG – The Deficit of AlignmentAlignment_(PSF)


Topics: Acute Myeloid Luekemia, Business Dashboards, Build Business Dashboard, Business System, Dashboards, Systems & Process, Atomic Habits, Track Your Progress

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







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Positioning Systems Brand Promise

1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.

2. Metrics: Develop measurable Key Performance Indicators. 

3. Meetings: Establish effective meeting rhythms. (Cadence of Accountability)  Compounding the value of your priority and metrics. 

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Certified Gazelles Coach

Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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