Mastering Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish is probably one of the most important books I have read in my over 36 years as an entrepreneur. I, like many other entrepreneur’s, started ValuSource with a dream, and did things mostly by the seat of my pants. At one point we lost a very significant partner and I needed to replace the lost revenue ASAP. In a bit of a panic, I started looking for answers and ran across Mastering Rockefeller Habits, and it was exactly what I needed! Sometimes desperation is more effective than inspiration! This book talks about the habits Rockefeller used himself to create one of the largest businesses and fortunes the world has ever seen.
As ValuSource grew and evolved, I became proficient in everything from software development, marketing, sales and everything else you need to keep a business going. However, I never spent time learning about business “strategy” and how to execute that strategy. I was bogged down by the day-to-day firefighting and improving our products. Strategy just isn’t something most entrepreneurs consider until their businesses get way over 10 million in revenue. And often, it takes a “fire in the lobby” to make us realize how important having a solid business strategy is!
The Rockefeller habits are simple and make total sense. Even you feel that you already have great business skills, I promise this book will help you look at your business more strategically and create a plan to make the strategy become a reality. It will also help assure that every member of your team knows what the strategy is and what their part is in making it happen.
The beauty of Harnish’s book is its simplicity. His one-page strategic plan will get you to laser focus on business strategy. Most people think of “business strategy” as a long and complex (and boring!) document that’s painful to create and even more painful to implement. Harnish’s one-page plan ensures that the process building a rock-solid strategic plan is quick and that every important strategic issue to deal with is right in front of your face.
Download the one-page strategic plan here.
To get yourself and your team implementing the strategy, you need to adopt a number of habits, which include:
- Making sure the executive team aligned and have a good relationship since no organization can perform better than its leadership (this is the most important Rockefeller habit).
- Focus on your number one objective and make sure everyone is aligned. This ensures all energy spent is maximized for best results.
- MEET DAILY WITH YOUR CORE TEAM for 15 Minutes. This establishes a rhythm for communication this ensures information moves through the organization quickly and accurately.I was told by a Rockefeller habit consultant, that if I did nothing else, I should have my team meet daily for 15 minutes. I started our “Daily Rock Huddle” over 10 years ago, and it continues to this day. It is the single best thing I’ve done to improve ValuSource.
- Make sure someone is accountable for every action.
- Listen to your employees, ongoing employee input helps identify obstacles and opportunities.
- Gathering customer feedback should be as frequent and accurate as financial data.
- Establish core values & purpose and make sure they are built into the process of hiring, firing and promotion.
- Making sure employees understand and can accurately communicate the key components of the company’s strategy.
- Every employee should know exactly what is expected of them at work.
- All employees should be kept abreast of the company’s plans and performance.
Do NOT underestimate the power of strategic thinking, take time to learn and master it. It’s the single most important thing you can do to improve, grow and make your business a much more fun place to work! To buy a copy of the book here. Also, checkout Verne’s Growth Institute here, where there are TONS of great resources for growing your business.