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BOOK REVIEW: Mastering the Rockefeller Habits

Posted by Kirsten Lowis on 1 February 2017
BOOK REVIEW: Mastering the Rockefeller Habits

Book: Mastering the Rockefeller Habits
Author: Verne Harnish
Reviewed by: Kirsten Lowis

It had been a while since we'd taken the time to align with the vision, mission and position of my business - so much has changed in the past 12 months. Just the "act" of sitting down, talking some turkey and crunching some (critical) numbers was enormously powerful for us both.  But the challenge of getting back into the 'habit' prompted me read Verne Harnish's book "Mastering The Rockefeller Habits" once again. Since the early 2000's, I've been teaching and applying the principles and the 'Gazelle' approach through my own businesses and coaching/consulting others. Enter my brainchild in 2006 - Zoom in Business and its 90 Day Business Challenge. 

You'd agree that planning is planning whichever way you look at it. But WTF is a Gazelle you say? Wiki says "A Gazelle Company is characterised by their rapid growth pace, rather than their absolute size, and they can range in size from small companies to very large enterprises". On the other hand, Harnish called his business "Gazelle Inc".  Hmm. Smart eh!?  Be x Do = Have.  But in terms of a Gazelle company today, think about technology and innovation over the past 10 years then you start seeing scale in real time. And that's what this book all about scaling up.

Even though Harnish dubs up on many of Jim Collins "Good to Great" principles in the book, it's his unique approach to the one-page strategic plan (which is actually more like an A3 page in 12pt font), coupled with some core values and purpose that develops a roadmap for success. But, just like driving a car around the city, it's the habit of following rules, applying discipline and delegation that governs the level and speed of the success of that plan. Zoom, zoom!

In a nutshell, The Rockefeller Habits are to decide two things:
1.  Where you plan to be 10 25 years from now
2.  What you have to do in the next 90 days

Now, you may do ok at planning, but the question is...are you faltering at execution? (yep, I've been there, done that too!). If so, it's usually because the planning has no long-term vision, and is extended over an extended period of time without people, rules and discipline governing them.

In the book, a couple of stand-outs tips for planning:
1. Have a handful of rules
2. Repeat yourself a lot
3. Behave and act with discipline and consistency around those rules

Also, Harnish is bold when he tells "if you can't afford the people to run your business, then all you have is a job". Can't say I agree with that comment entirely, however the truth is if you want scale you need people.

Look, before you race out and buy the book, you need to know that is targeted at hyper-growth models, however I think that whatever stage or business you're at right now, these 3 "pillars" to the habits can be beneficial:

Priorities: Pick the 5 top priorities in your business for the year and quarter? Then pick the #1 priority? Create a theme around it and ensure that everyone in the business have their own priorities, aligned with them. Be energetic and focused. Priorities matter because you'll make faster progress by focusing everyone's energies on one area.
Data: Are you capturing, and using feedback on a daily and weekly basis to provide insights on how the business is running and what the market is asking for? You can manage what you can measure! Even though we don't have a crystal ball, capturing data from your internal and external sources can provide some incredibly powerful insights.
Rhythm: Do you/your team have an effective rhythm of well organised daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual meetings to maintain alignment and drive accountability? Are agenda's prepared and aligned to your 5 top priorities?
It took me a lazy afternoon last weekend to read the 176 pages and it was time well spent. It served as a powerful reminder of the importance priorities and not just doing a 90 Day plan, but prioritising and using my resources to predict and delegate. It's an approach worth considering if you're feeling overwhelmed, lost or dissolutioned about the next steps in your business.

Just as Weetbix is the breakfast of champions, "Mastering the Rockefeller Habits" is only for champions who are willing to put in the practice and execute using the habits of discipline (to follow rules), consistency (to keep on track) and the guts (to align and execute). I'd also like to add that every champion realises that investing in a great Coach can make all the difference. (got to give the good coaches at a plug here!)

I'll wrap with one of my favourite Bucky Fullers quotes, "If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don't bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking."

If you are interested in using 90 Day planning as a tool in your business, take some time out to Test Drive the 90 Day Business Challenge for FREE! If you're in Townsville, Maclean Partners exclusively offer the program which includes face to face coaching and workshops. There's no catches.  Just try it out for 14 days  and get a jump start.  You might just like it!  Maybe your clients might like it too!?

Also, @thegrowthguy shows what a champion he is by letting you DOWNLOAD the One Page Strategic Plan HERE 

Kirsten LowisAuthor:Kirsten Lowis
About: As the Founding Director of Zoom in Business - a subscription-based network and magazine, NQ Business Sales - a business sales firm based in North Queensland, and Bizrich - a business valuation firm, Kirsten has learnt from the trenches and brings a wealth of personal and professional experience and knowledge to our members. With over 13 years as a franchisee, retailer and start-up business owner, Kirsten has worked closely with fellow coaches, hundreds of clients and the best facilitators in Australia who have run their own business or have experience in running a business and teams. Kirsten’s extensive knowledge and experience as a Registered Business Valuer and Licenced Business Broker helps our readers and members improve awareness of the state of the market, understanding and confidence in buying, growing, valuing and selling their business, while connecting them with local and international news stories and experts to create a capable and dynamic business network.
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