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

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,358 ratings  ·  101 reviews
What are the underlying handful of fundamentals that haven't changed for over a hundred years? From Harnish's famous One-Page Strategic Plan to his concise outline of eight practical actions you can take to strengthen your culture, this book is a compilation of best practices adapted from some of the best-run firms on the planet. Included is an instructive chapter co-autho ...more
Hardcover, 150 pages
Published March 1st 2002 by Gazelles, Inc. (first published January 1st 2002)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  2,358 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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Chad Warner
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  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 businesses larger than mine, 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 emphasi
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-book-list
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
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Petar Ivanov
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I would say that this book is about people who are running businesses larger than mine which is a startup. I didn't find it very applicable to me, my team and business. The book is full of ideas from other books by Jim Collins and Stephen Covey. However, there're some good points and ideas like regular daily, weekly and monthly meetings, leadership and focusing on the bottlenecks and the root cause of the problems using the 5 Whys. These are known facts but it's helpful to remind yourself about ...more
Thomas Southwick
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: management
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
Jan 25, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Itzel Auri
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
A lot of great advices and strategies. If you can read Good to great by Jim Collins first do it. It will help you to understand It better.
John Blackman
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is kind of a super chapter to the author’s other book Scaling Up which I found to be far more procedural, kind of a consulting how-to guide to scale up your business.

This book however is instead more about habits, procedures, and how to focus to develop a growing and successful firm. One exception is the last chapter which seems like it belongs in Scaling up. It is on how to secure bank financing in a step by step way which is very important but kind of stands outs from the rest of the boo
Mark Manderson
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Thought this was a book on the Rockefellers but wasn't. Still had some good info on business.
Top takeaways:
Delegating is mandatory for success. 
Set up systems and structures. 
Look at data as it predicts future performance. 
Have top 5 priorities and top 1 of 5 priority list on an index card for every employee. 
You must train, retrain, and overtrain often! 
Reoccurring problems eat up over 40% of employees time! 
Gareth Davies
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: career
Quite an intensive read as it really contains virtually zero waffle, every paragraph and every chapter is straight to the point and packed full of actionable advice, problems to look out for and exactly what you should be doing.

This is the book you should be using to run your business if you have any desire to scale it up effectively and not wreck yourself on the way.

Highly recommended.
John Browning
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While aimed at businesses larger than mine, the practical advice can be adapted to my smaller operation. Some great gems in these pages. Often I find their is pushback regarding frequent meetings and yet when i do them correctly with consistency I find the cadence is extremely helpful no matter what the size of your business.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Concepts are good, some decent guidelines for managing a business. However, Verne is old school and behind the times. While the concepts remain strong, they need to be given a fresh face and updated presentation, including use of technology. As-is, the audience for this book is people who grew up in the 60's.
Kevin Cullis
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
If you're looking to start a business, this book is overkill and does add some additional information for businesses that are growing, i.e. that are $1,000,000 in revenue or more. If you're a startup, read this later on before you get to that point. I read the book, "Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr." and got MORE from it than this book.
Philip Stoop
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Firm and practical advice
Annick Schmeddes
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great for ambitious start-ups ... How to organise it.. how to create a a rithm for an organisation.. it's heartbeat
Tara Miller
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A great read that lays out a blueprint for how to grow a company. I would recommend this book to everyone
Sean Fitzsimons
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very good book on great strategies for growing a business. Very applicable although poor written. Not for start ups or large corporations though.
Don Sevcik
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Solid book to read about high-level thinking, metric planning, and the power of meeting in short intervals.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Solid book to read about high-level thinking, metric planning, and the power of meeting in short intervals
Alan Heppenstall
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent, actionable content but maybe a little dated compared with their later work.
Mike Ncube
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
A great business book that’s packed with many years of experience and insight. I particularly liked the section on applying for a bank loan and what approach to take when doing so.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book for business owners, it's condenced and takes you directly to the tools you have to apply to see changes in your company.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Classic for any beginner in business.
Prem Mulani
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anyone running a business
John Lewis

The book is intuitive but not as informal as I thought it would be. None the less well detailed in short.
John Jennings
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Not very good. Might think differently if I re-read.
Mar 06, 2017 marked it as to-buy
Recommended by Laura Roeder
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
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
Keith Grossman
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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