Is That a Rock?

Rocks are just priorities — the 3-7 most important things you must accomplish in the next 90 days.  Company Rocks are priorities for the company, departmental or team Rocks are priorities for your department or team, and Individual Rocks are priorities for you.  As simple as that sounds, it’s easy to over-complicate Rocks.

There is no magic formula for what constitutes a Rock – it’s simply a priority for the owner and, in some cases, the company, department or team.  It will take longer than 7 days (those action items are “ToDos”) and up to 90 days.

Here are a couple of questions I get asked often in sessions, with corresponding answers:

  • Is that really a Rock?  It’ll get done either way. If it’s one of the 3-7 most important things for the company, department, team or yourself this quarter, it’s a Rock.  “It’s gonna get done anyway” means you are going to devote time to it as a priority but don’t want to write it down and keep yourself on-track each week in front of your peers.  That’s a mistake that often leads to teams and leaders over-committing.
  • Is that really a Rock?  I mean, isn’t it (fill in name here)’s job to sell $1.5 million worth of stuff this quarter? If getting it done this quarter is one of the 3-7 most important things for the company, team, department or you, it’s a Rock.  Now if quarter after quarter, you need to make someone’s job a Rock because consistent success isn’t yet baked into your organizational DNA, you likely have a People, Process or Vision Issue.  But if it’s a priority and setting that priority as a Rock will help ensure you get it done, it’s a Rock.
  • That’s not a (company, departmental, team) Rock — I’m going to do it myself. If it’s one of the 3-7 most important things for the company, department or team, it’s a company, department or team Rock regardless of who participates.  Some Company Rocks require the whole leadership team, others are completed by an individual.