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Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  838 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Book by Harnish, Verne
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Gazelles, Inc. (first published January 1st 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,273)
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Chad Warner
Feb 04, 2014 Chad Warner rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chad by: David Steenwyk, Aaron Schaap
Shelves: business, non-fiction
This guide to leadership and business growth is aimed at mid-size firms, so I didn’t find it very applicable at present. It builds on popular business books by authors such as Jim Collins and Stephen Covey. It’s intended for businesses large enough to have an executive/leadership team and an internal newsletter. My web design company, OptimWise, is still quite small (currently me and several subcontractors). Perhaps I’ll get more out of it in a few years.

I like how Harnish emphasizes the importa
Игорь Емельянов
Книга «Правила прибыльных стартапов» в оригинале называется «Mastering of the Rockefeller Habits», что дословно переводится как «Освоение привычек Рокфеллера». Это название менее понятное и куда менее сфокусированное, чем перевод, выбранный издательством. Но оно чуть более честное и объясняет, что именно вы прочтете в книге. Уже на этапе названия вам становится понятна основная мысль. Шикарный подарок! Посему, рекомендую не пренебрегать беглым просмотром форзаца с названием книги на языке оригин ...more
What I got from this book:
1) Have only a handful of rules
2) Repeat yourself alot
3) Act consistently with those rules

x factor: identify the chokepoint in your business & gain control of it. (Ex. Rcokefeller's key to winning the oil business was gaining an advantage in transportation. ie railroads)

GE's 3 keys to success
1) In planning - themiddle is gone. where do you want to be in 10-15 years
2) Keep it simple
3) Best data is firsthand data - teach people

Strategies need to pass the test
1) What
How-to versus theoretical book. Enjoyed it.

Some take-aways:
"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." Buckminster Fuller.

1. Have a handful of rules.
2. Repeat yourself a lot.
3. Act consistently with those rules.

Three underlying habits of a growing firm:
1. Priorities: Does the organization have Top 5 Priorities?
2. Data: Does the organization have sufficient data on a
Thomas Southwick
The difficulty of "Mastering the Rockefeller Habits" by Verne Harnish was that it was a bit hard to overcome but after a few pages i got used to the writing style. What i liked about this difficult book is that it is advanced for my age or grade, but this gave me the confidence to read advanced books in the future that i felt i couldn't of have in the past. The reason i feel this was a big advantage for my life and advancement in my reading is because i want to be very successful on Wall Street ...more
Kevin Mccray
I agree with the catalyst behind this book; most companies are misaligned, lack focus and have robust oxymoronic networks of un-prioritized activities. In Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, Harnish provides practical advise for top-down alignment. He keeps topics simple and gives his readers access to a ton of free content, mostly templates used as tools for organizational alignment. Like all template-based strategy worksheets I've seen, his templates are mostly useful for communicating strategy ...more
Devin Partlow
Anytime I hear someone say Good to Great is a top 10 business book, alarm bells go off in my head. Finding common things among "successful" business suffers from the Survivorship bias.

But outside of that and him being such a smooth talker (another thing that tingles my spidey senses), it is a pretty practical book and he does offer up some ideas that are worth trying out.
Keith Grossman
This book is focused on giving businesses tools to improve to their ability to create a great business. The focus is on the business
• determining its core values,
• sharing and constantly repeating the core values,
• developing strategies and processes for the employees that support the core values,
• establishing and measuring goals, and
• holding people accountable to achieve the goals.

Some of the more important advice:
• Planning should be looked at in 90 day windows and 10 – 25 years from now
Harnish thoroughly explained how to develop a one-page strategic plan while providing excellent, practical industry examples. Although this book is geared towards growing companies, there were many takeaways for startup, or non-growth companies. The one-page strategic plan provides an excellent framework for any business or organization to use. I particularly like the methods of using quantifiable "critical #'s" to gauge the status and progress of a company.
I had to read this book for a Leadership Seminar for work and actually quite enjoyed it. Harnish works off of a few basic principles that can be applied to get tasks done and see results at work. 1. Keep things SIMPLE, 2. Repetition, if you are going to make goals, only make one page of goals so that you are not overwhelmed, etc. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who leads a team of people, regardless of what type of work you do. It isn’t too long and the chapters are easy to read ...more
Rick Yvanovich
A fast speaking narrator, it took a while to adjust and was a little had dot listen to whilst running. Found myself nodding my head in agreement to some parts and shaking my head on others. Its the head shaking that concerned me, did I really disagree or was I being resistant to change.
There is definitely some value in the wisdom in this book, just need to work out how to convert it into something practical that I can effectively use.
Steve Gerencser
Mastering Rockefeller Habits has some great ideas in it. But they are far from one size fits all and many smaller businesses will struggle with some of the core components promoted here.

Items such as having multiple "Most Important Tasks" can cause a small business to struggle with completing any of them. But other ideas such as the BHAG are important to every company of every size. The BHAG is not quite a mission statement, but more of an 'if we could do anything, we would do this' type of goa
Karen Jett
Jun 04, 2010 Karen Jett rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: business owners
This book should be required reading for anyone who is running their own business, or thinking about starting one. This is a book about strategy and how it sets your business apart.

While many of the examples given are from large companies (The Scooter Store, The Container Store) the principles illustrated apply just as easily to small companies. It's just a matter of scaling it down and modifying the content to fit your small company or practice.

I had this book on my reading list because I have
Kevin Eikenberry
If you are a business owner, mastering the habits of a legendary business success like John D. Rockefeller is a compelling thought. The clever title is just the first of many things to like about this book.

The book opens with a compelling piece on Rockefeller’s habits and tying them to the important idea that a book of this type should be about how to do things, not all things theoretical.

The book delivers on that promise.

- See more at:
Reed Wilson
Great book regardless of your size. Have your entire leadership team read this book and live by the habits outlined.

Mathew Rossi
I enjoyed this book and the direction it will help me have with my professional direction. It's very interesting to learn how a company aligned and connected through regular meetings can move forwards in a purpose driven way whereas without this alignment, it's certainly more difficult.

I read this book because it's part of how my employer envisions things and so it's given me a great understanding of their goals, their core values, and why they have regular internal meetings of various types.

Aik Deveneijns
Supershort, super practical, must have for any manager.
Excelent read.
Short, but to the point. This is designed for companies that are turning from startups into "gazelles". In other words, medium sized growth.
I liked the book, but it's not my absolute favorite. It borrows many ideas from well-known business strategists and leadership experts -- like Jim Collins (Built to Last) and Kouzes & Posner (The Leadership Challenge) -- so if you've read those books then this one just serves as a review of already tried and true business principles. That said, I bought this book to glean insight about Harnish's one-page strategic plan, an approach that I love for its simplicity and focus. I got that, so I'm ...more
I've read a slew of books about process and management, and some of them advocate for heavier process than a small company can afford or really needs. This book provided the right amount of ceremony, along with adequate descriptions and actionable steps to complete the process.

Our strategy team completed a 2-day off-site to fill out the "1 page business plan" in the book, and it was a wonderful, centering, and powerful experience.
Daniel Silvert
Verne Harnish doesn’t pull punches. This book is a how-to bible for leaders looking for tools that generate growth. From formulating a strategic plan, hiring the right people, planning, execution, meetings, and even financing – Mastering the Rockefeller Habits challenges leaders to actually do the things that produce results. It’s a must read for any leader who is serious about the nuts and bolts that build successful companies.
Jane Dugger
I really enjoyed this book even though it was a bit dry. I think the Rockeefeller Habits are on the money for running a succesful business. And you can transfer the ideas to any sort of business: non-for-profit, entreprenuial or direct sales. I loved how it was layed out and all of the great forms to help you along. (I'm all about orginization so the book really appealed to me.)

Pick it up if you are a Type-A personality.
Mark Fallon
Recommended to me by a client, this is one of the best business books I've read this year. Harnish succinctly captures what leaders must do to drive their business forward.

In brief, the three habits are:

1. Establish clear priorities.
2. Establish feedback with hard data.
3. Establish a rhythm of communication the priorities and data with you staff.

Simple? Of course. Easy? Of course not. Unless you have will and desire.
Just as Wheaties is the breakfast of champions, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, is the book of champions. Mastering the habits is no small task (which, after reading the book, you might believe the contrary); however any sucessful organization needs to know how to quantify success and the process which will get them there. Did I enjoy the book? Enjoy is a strong word. It was an interesting read with benefits.
Richard Podsada
Contains actionable leadership advice on how to translate big picture vision into daily tasks and implement every level in between. Provides a simple but powerful system of measuring your progress and motivating all levels of the organization using gamification principles. A must-read for managers with a growing staff and ambitious goals.
Lots to think about with this book. I think the author is correct that it should be read with a management team, one chapter at a time. It is a book to read, discuss and reread. It also points out quite a few titles that would help the reader develop concepts further. It is 100% as it advertises... an extremely practical book.
Very useful advice, particularly on meetings, organisation, aligning everything to company goals and the use of core values. It explains a lot about how my company works, since the owner is a bit of a Verne Harnish fan. The chapter on applying to banks for finance was particularly interesting to me. I read the whole book in a day.
Had to read it as an assignment from my boss- repetititous and derivative of so many other business books. The most annoying point is the shameless hucksterism of Harnisch's other products for sale ("downloadable from my website for only $5.99")

Take out all the fluff, hard sell, and repetition and what you have left is a pamphlet
Very good book. As I'm growing my business, I found several actionable things I could do to improve productivity, culture, and ultimately be more successful. This felt more like a book for a 50+ person company (not there yet!) but it had tons of takeaways. I will likely read this again in the future.
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“la función principal de un líder: la capacidad de predecir.” 0 likes
“Priorities—there are a handful of rules, some of which don’t change much like the core values of the firm and the long-term Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and others that change every quarter and every week, what I call the Top 5 and Top 1 of 5. It’s the balance of short term and long term. 2. Data—in order to know if you’re acting consistent to your priorities you need feedback in terms of real time data. There are key metrics within the business that you want to measure over an extended period of time, called Smart Numbers; and there are metrics that provide a short-term laser focus on an aspect of the business or someone’s job called a Critical Number. It’s the balance of short term and long term. 3. Rhythm—until your people are “mocking” you, you’ve not repeated your message enough. A well-organized set of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual meetings keep everyone aligned and accountable. And the agendas for each provide the necessary balance between the short term and long term.” 0 likes
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