Layers of Rocks

Rocks represent the highest-priority use of your time and energy during a 90-day period. Ultimately, they help with time management. What may be less intuitive is that there are layers of Rocks, depending on their level of importance in achieving the organization’s vision. Rocks are typically broken down into company, departmental, and individual (or seat) Rocks. Members of the leadership team should expect to take on Rocks at each level. But how do you prioritize your priorities?

Prioritizing Your Rocks

When you take on Rocks in your organization, are you prioritizing them? Many times, taking on Rocks can feel like a burden, like they’re above and beyond your day-to-day roles. But they’re not. Everyone in an organization has a responsibility to do their part to move the business forward.

When members of the leadership team take on Rocks at multiple levels, they should prioritize Company Rocks, which will have the most impact. Team or departmental Rocks become secondary priorities, and finally, individual (or seat) Rocks are tertiary.

Priority #1: Company Rocks

Company Rocks represent the highest priority of the entire organization. Anyone who takes on a company Rock should make this their top task to complete during the quarter. Company Rocks are always the number one Rocks for leaders. That’s because these business goals have the power to directly impact an important component of the company’s health (for example, fiscally, culturally, or reputationally).

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Priority #2: Departmental Rocks

Departmental Rocks still have an outsized influence in that they can impact an entire team or department. If you’re a member of the leadership team in a business, you’ll want to help your team set Departmental Rocks. These team goals should be the top priorities for the department to complete in the next 90 days. They will move the needle for operations within the department. Departmental Rocks have the power to positively impact the organization.

Priority #3: Seat Rocks

Finally, individual, or seat, Rocks mainly impact your daily work. They are a priority for you. Again, these can also have an indirect yet positive impact on your department and even the entire organization.

Prioritizing Priorities

Rocks are just one of four compartments in the Compartmentalizing™ tool that help overwhelmed leaders gain a little perspective about their ever-growing To-Do list.

When everything is a priority, nothing is actually a priority. But I invite you to widen your lens beyond your task list and see the bigger picture.

You’ll see which Rocks will have the biggest impact on the business. Those are THE most important goals for the next quarter because they’ll move the needle the most for the business.

I encourage leaders at all levels to do this exercise. You’ll probably find that you manage your time better and focus on what best aligns with the Vision and the greater good of the company.

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