The Rockefeller Habits: 10 Habits Business Leaders Should Cultivate To Achieve Success

“Routine sets you free. Your success and that of your company is just a subtotal of what you do more of, less of and differently every day.”

These words, stated by Verne Harnish, Founder of the Entrepreneur’s Organization, and the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs, hold a simple yet powerful truth that will transform the way you do business forever.

The truth is that your success is determined by the things that you do every day. Scaling up your business requires consistent, daily effort, and an adjustment of behaviours to ensure maximum business growth.

Verne Harnish goes on to identify ten habits that you as a business leader should cultivate to achieve ultimate success. He named these habits the Rockefeller habits.

The Rockefeller Habits:


1. The Executive Team Is Healthy And Aligned

 Ask yourself: “Is my executive team united?”

A united executive team that meets regularly (weekly, preferably) will strengthen your business by compensating for each other’s weaknesses, improving cooperation between departments, and boosting individual commitment to implement team decisions.

Studies have shown that when an executive team has collaborated to make a strategic decision, those decisions are more successful, perceived as fairer by stakeholders, and created a united culture throughout the organisation.

2. Everyone Is Aligned With The #1 Thing That Needs To Be Accomplished This Quarter To Move The Company Forward

Do you have one singular priority that everyone in your company is aiming towards?

A priority is like the final destination of a ship going on a long journey, and your company is your crew. If you have many competing priorities, your ship is going to be trying to go in lots of different directions at once, and never get anywhere.

 Providing your “crew” with a singular goal, unites your company in a single direction, and pushes your company towards that goal. Once you’ve accomplished the priority, you can move on to the next one.

 3. Communication rhythm is established and information moves through the organization quickly

Are your teams communicating with each other?

Teams and departments should meet together regularly to clarify priorities and report on progress.

The Rockefeller Habits checklist recommends a 5-minute daily huddle followed by a longer weekly meeting.

Middle management should meet monthly and quarterly to discuss goals and priorities for the business.

Increased communication will encourage collaboration, teamwork and trust among employees and in the executive team. It also enhances productivity and fuels innovation, while reducing conflict and resolving issues.

4. Every facet of the organization has a person assigned with accountability for ensuring goals are met

Accountability in an organization is vital. Pearson’s law states the power of accountability here: “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.”

Attributed to Thomas S. Monson, this quote highlights the importance of accountability in an organisation.

When someone is held responsible for the performance of a particular cell of an organisation, that person will motivate the others in that cell to do better. Greater team motivation is just one of the many benefits of prioritising accountability. highlights the benefits of workplace accountability as: higher morale, clearer communication, clearer priorities, higher engagement, more effective project execution, higher levels of trust, greater employee satisfaction and lower rates of employee turnover. (

5. Ongoing Employee Input Is Collected To Identify Obstacles And Opportunities

Your employees can be a powerful resource for information on how your business is actually doing. Middle and senior managers should meet with at least one employee a week and ask them the following questions:

“What should the company start doing? What should the company stop doing? What should the company keep doing?”

The answers to these questions will let you know what your company is doing right, and what roadblocks your employees are encountering every day.

6. Reporting And Analysis Of Customer Feedback Data Is As Frequent And Accurate As Financial Data

Information is key to making correct decisions. Gathering data from customers will give you an insight into where your organisation can improve its customer relations. It also helps you identify current market trends and deliver high levels of quality service.

After all, how can you deliver what the customer wants without actually communicating with them?

7. Core Values And Purpose Are “Alive” In The Organization

Your purpose answers the question “Why?”

Is your company’s purpose clear? Does every stakeholder understand and support your purpose? A clear, defined purpose will give you a baseline for future decisions, including hiring, praising and delivering constructive feedback to employees.

A purpose will motivate and align employees from the top to the bottom. It’s a cause for your employees to believe in, and when your employees feel that they are part of a cause, they will feel incentivised to work harder.

Note: “Making More Money” is not the kind of purpose that will inspire employees to your cause.

8. Employees Can Articulate The Key Components Of The Company’s Strategy Accurately

How do your employees answer the question “What does your company do?”

That’s a big part of creating unity and purpose for your employees. According to a 2013 Gallup survey, the top 25% of companies for employee engagement enjoyed 22% higher profitability and 10% higher customer ratings. (

Keeping your employees engaged in your business will increase your customer ratings and boost your profitability, and the best way to keep your employees engaged is by helping them understand and support your strategy.

9. All Employees Can Answer Quantitatively Whether They Had A Good Day Or Week 

This can only happen if employees are given metrics to follow (KPIs) and an opportunity to report their progress.

Metrics will give your employees a measurable goal to work towards, and increase motivation to meet those goals.

Accountability will give them an opportunity for introspection, and help them align themselves to the business.

10. The Company’s Plans And Performance Are Visible To Everyone

Scoreboards! Progress! Keep your employees motivated by helping them see that their efforts are not going to waste and that they are getting results!

This will do wonders for motivation!

Download your FREE copy of the Rockefeller Habits HERE.

The Ninox Group has been helping businesses achieve their potential for over 40 years. Get in touch today to book a free 30 minute consultation.

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