John D Rockefeller understood how to operate a successful business. That’s why he grew Standard Oil into the mega giant it became. Verne Harnish [Mastering the Rockefeller Habits] has distilled the principles Rockefeller used to achieve success and as a Gazelle’s business coach we use these daily in our coaching practices to help our clients follow the same success formula that Rockefeller gained.
Verne indicates there are three fundamental habits that Rockefeller used that all business owners should follow in order to succeed. Number one on the list, is setting top five priorities. I’ve already provided the story of Ivy Lee and how he helped Bethlehem Steel’s Charles Schwab learn how to determine his top 5 priorities [Priorities].
One of my clients is expanding their business to another location. As you can imagine the demands for her attention and her work has expanded dramatically. She recently explained how the process of determining her priorities, writing them down every week and every day has made her feel much more productive. She has found her performance amazing since she began writing down her top 3 priorities for the week and then each day writing down the top 5 things she must do the next day, keeping in mind the top three she has to accomplish for the week. She decided with the expansion their company is doing she needed to get back to the basics, and she has found the difference between what she had been accomplishing previously to writing down her priorities and what she is getting done now is remarkable.
When we spoke last week it was early Thursday morning and she was happy to announce that of the top 3 things she had written down to accomplish that week on Sunday, she had already achieved two of them. She felt confident she would accomplish the third that day!
The fact is that few companies and few individuals do prioritizing well. Verne estimates that only 5-10% of organizations are competent in this area. With the companies we coach the number that setting priorities drives is about 3-5 times the industry average for profitability. Doesn’t it make sense that if you can drive your business to 3-5 times the profitability of your industry you should make it a priority to start setting priorities?
The other two fundamentals Verne offers are Data Driven Decisions and Healthy Meeting Rhythms. I’ll discuss these in one of my next blogs.
Can one person have an impact on your business? One of my clients made the decision to hire one of his subcontractors and it’s created quite a challenge with his business, especially in customer satisfaction. I’ll discuss that in an upcoming blog as well and why hiring right is so critical to the growth of your business.