Are you ready for 2014? How do you make your priorities real?

How’s progress going toward your quarterly priorities?  With 1/3 of the quarter past, now is a great time to check in. Be proactive and make sure you get the most from your team in the last two months of Q1!

This is the fourth message in a 4-part series designed to have you asking the questions and taking the actions that will accelerate growth and free you up to do what really matters in 2014.

If you’d like a quick 20 minute phone call with me to discuss any of these topics, please schedule yourself here: http://PurposePodcast.com/phone

Here’s to an inspiring, prosperous and fulfilling 2014!
Ted

Don’t waste time with status reports.  Use that time for collective intelligence instead.

Execution is driven by 3 practices: quarterly priorities, a simple dashboard, and effective weekly meetings.

Quarterly Priorities (Rocks)

If you don’t have clear quarterly priorities at this stage in the quarter, take 15 minutes right now by yourself to write down the three most important items for your team to be working on in the next 60 days.  Make sure the finish line is clear (In 60 days, how will you know if this item is done?).  Assign each one to a an executive team member.  This person is the “Rockholder.”

Remember, these are company, not individual rocks.  This means the rockholder doesn’t have to do all the work, but instead acts as the project manager, ensuring that the work gets done.  If there’s a project meeting about a rock, it should take priority over other items on a team member’s To-Do list.

Terminology note: I don’t care what you call these, but settle on something.  I like “Rocks” for quarterly priorities.  This comes from Steven Covey.  If you have a jar and you put the rocks in first, then the pebbles, then the sand, everything will fit.  If you fill up your jar, your business and your life with sand and pebbles, the rocks will never get any attention.  Sand and pebbles are the day to day, the reacting, the things that come up, the little stuff you have to deal with.

Priorities Dashboard

Every week each Rockholder gives a simple color status as she walks into the weekly executive team meeting (or phones it in to another team member if she’s off or isn’t attending the meeting in person).  Each week, another column is added.  By the end of the quarter, you’ll have 13 columns and will be able to see how things went this quarter.

  • Green means that this priority is on track.
  • Yellow means that something has slipped and that the rockholder has made adjustments and should be able to get the rock finished.
  • Red means that the rockholder needs help.  The team should address this and decide on any resource reallocation to get things back on track.

Weekly Meeting

Notice that now that you have a priorities dashboard, you no longer need status reports in your weekly meeting.  Even if you insist that something outside of this process requires status reports, protect 30 minutes each week for collective intelligence.  Put one Rock on the hotseat.  The Rockholder gives a very brief presentation (<5 minutes).  The rest of the time is for the team to ask questions and make suggestions.  If you have 3 rocks, each one will be on the hotseat about 4 times per quarter.

Action Steps

  • Take the next 60 seconds and pick one of this quarter’s rocks to be on the hotseat at your next weekly meeting.  Let the rockholder know.
  • To read more about weekly meetings, see Weekly Meeting Summary.
  • If you’d like to talk over any of this, simply reply to this email or schedule yourself for a phone call here: http://PurposePodcast.com/phone

The Purpose Podcast

Episode 26 of the Purpose Podcast came out yesterday, including an interview with Dr. Mollie Martie, author of Walking with Justice and The 12 Factors of Business Success.  Every week we encourage entrepreneurs to find and live their purpose, at work and in their lives. Are you clear on your purpose? Do you actions reflect that purpose?  Take a listen and send me your thoughts.  Ted@PurposePodcast.com If you like the show, please subscribe in iTunesStitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.  Also, if you’d like to be a guest on an upcoming show, please let me know.

I free up entrepreneurs for greater impact. Day to day demands of your growing business will sap your energy and blunt your effectiveness. Together we can work to reduce demands by up to 80% while moving more quickly in the direction of your purpose.

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