Being the Memphis master of the Rockefeller Habits, I get asked this question repeatedly. I’m certified by Gazelles International to teach and coach organizations on the Rockefeller Habits and the One Page Strategic Plan. And our basic text/manual/bible is Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish, the founder of Gazelles.
So what exactly are the Rockefeller Habits?
They are the work habits of John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil of Ohio, which grew into the largest, most successful, and profitable business of all time. Rockefeller ended up being the richest man of all time, even compared to the wealthy of today. When adjusting for inflation, Rockefeller and Standard Oil make Gates, Buffet, Jobs and Microsoft, Berkshire Hathaway, and Apple look like pikers.
Furthermore, these same people employ the Rockefeller Habits to grow their business.
If you are a history buff, pick up a copy of Titan, by Ron Chernow, the best biography of Rockefeller and you’ll instantly notice them.
Essentially the Rockefeller Habits boil down to three key habits:
1. Less is more. Have only one or two priorities to focus on at a time. Nail them. Move on to the next one. Make sure they add up to where you want to be strategically. Makes you better, moves you forward. This is in addition to executing your basic business model.
2. Have a metric or two to measure your progress on your priority. Not the traditional metrics of the business which you are hopefully already measuring. On the priority itself, so you know if you are succeeding or not. So you can adjust.
3. Establish a meeting rhythm with daily huddles, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual meeting to keep the team aligned around the priority, so it is executed successfully. To enhance collaboration, and to emphasize accountability.
Three fairly straight forward habits, which are difficult to be disciplined about and difficult to stick to.
Much of these habits are confirmed in research by Jim Collins and related to us in his books.
They become more important as any organization grows. They fuel growth if they are adhered to. They are disciplines that unleash the creativity and collaboration that drive achievement.
Simple, elegant, difficult.
They are why Rockefeller is considered the father of modern management.