Four Tips For “Crushing” Your Rocks Every Quarter

Crushed rock

Don’t you love the feeling of walking out of your Quarterly session with clear Rocks focused on solving the company’s highest priority issues for the next quarter? And doesn’t it drive you crazy when you get to your next Quarterly and realize that your team has only completed 40% of them?

If your leadership team frequently has a Rock completion rate that’s lower than 80%, consider these tips for driving your Rocks to completion every time.

Write it SMART

First and foremost, make sure your rocks are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). This does not mean that you need to write a paragraph outlining every deliverable and metric you plan to achieve when the Rock is completed. Keep it simple, but be clear about what you want to have accomplished by the due date.

For example, consider these two versions of the same Rock:

  • Version 1: Improve our sales pipeline.
  • Version 2: Add $2M+ in qualified Target Market Opportunities with an estimated close date before December 31st.

Version 1 is vague, while Version 2 clearly states the desired outcome and leaves little margin for error. If you’re uncertain about what you’re committing to as a Rock owner, or if others on the team seem confused, refine the wording until everyone is clear on the outcome you’re trying to achieve.

Plan to Call It Done

A Rock without a plan is just a wish. If you are accountable for completing a Rock, take your commitment seriously and come up with a realistic plan for getting it done.

Ask yourself:

  • What needs to be done, and by when?
  • Am I relying on other people, and are they aware of what I need from them?
  • What “deliverables” need to be produced to call it done?
  • How much time do I (and others) need to set aside to get it done?
  • Does anyone need to approve or review my work along the way?

The plan can take any form that works for you – an outline, a whiteboard drawing, a bunch of sticky notes on a wall, a PowerPoint presentation, etc. Whatever helps you think it through from start to finish, so you can minimize the unexpected and maximize your chance of keeping your commitment to the team.

When you’re done, consider reviewing the plan with your Integrator to make sure you’re on the same page about what “done” looks like.

Block Time on Your Calendar

Let’s face it. The Rock Fairy is not going to show up the night before the Quarterly and magically give you two more weeks to get your Rocks done! The best way to make sure you have enough time to get your Rocks done is to make the time. Sit down at the beginning of the quarter and block time out on your calendar to focus on your Rocks. If you are working with other people, get those meetings scheduled NOW, so you’re not scrambling later to find time to get together. If you need to turn off your email or go offsite to minimize distractions, let your team know so they can cover for you while you focus. Just don’t forget to return the favor when it’s their turn!

Drop It Down

There’s nothing worse than working hard on a Rock all quarter, going into the Quarterly thinking it’s DONE, only to find out that your team expected something different. Or to spend an entire quarter hearing a team member say “ON TRACK” during your Level 10 Meetings™, only to say “NOT DONE” at the Quarterly. In both cases, ninety days have just been wasted – either working on something you didn’t really need or NOT working on something you really DID need!

Teams with great Integrators avoid these situations by dropping both OFF TRACK and ON TRACK Rocks down during Level 10 Meetings to spend a few minutes reporting on progress, asking questions about what’s been done and what’s left to do, and IDSing any obstacles or barriers standing in the way of getting the Rock done by the due date.

Get Ready to Crush Your Rocks

As you head into your next Quarterly or Annual session, keep these four tips in mind! With clearly worded Rocks, well-thought-out plans for getting them done, time set aside to focus, and periodic check-ins to stay on track, you’ll be crushing your Rocks in no time.

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