Six Disciplines for Excellence

Sarah Bosch brings us a second review this week with a look at Gary Harpst’s Six Disciplines for Excellence:

I recently read Six Disciplines for Excellence: Building Small Businesses That Learn, Lead and Last by Gary Harpst. Within the book, Harpst has created a business-building methodology utilizing six fundamental business disciplines that are specifically designed to help small businesses move beyond today’s successes into enduring satisfaction and greatness.

The problem, for most of us, isn’t knowing what to do – but doing it. Gary Harpst says “When it comes to achieving excellence, figuring out the right things to do isn’t nearly as difficult as continuing to do them over the long term.” This book sticks to this concept as it pushed though on the execution and implementation of the principles it covers.

Harpst’s principles are simple:

  1. Decide what’s important
  2. Set goals that lead
  3. Align systems
  4. Work the plan
  5. Innovate purposefully
  6. Step back

The complexity comes when we investigate each discipline more thoroughly. Within each, Harpst uses diagrams, questionnaires, steps, tips and templates to bring each one into focus. It contains an impressive quantity of practical information and real world examples, which can be a bit daunting for the reader, yet highly beneficial.

This hands-on book goes beyond the fluff that many other business books serve up, and offers a real world business plan. It is well tailored to small businesses and is great for those who want a strong framework to build or begin their business. It is a long-term business plan, not a quick route to success, but for those who take the time to read it, the payoffs can be astounding. I recommend this book for anyone who is serious about a better business.


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