December 17, 2015 Kelley Styring

Be a Big Rock Star in 2016

Glass jar filled with large rocks.

Credit: iStock/Todd Sadowski

As we race to the end of the year, it’s time to turn off the phone, the IM, and the email, lock the door and focus your attention on how to make yourself a big rock star in 2016.

No, I don’t mean wear leather pants and play an electric guitar.

I want you to dedicate some serious thought to identifying your BIG ROCKS. How can they make YOU a star?

Stephen Covey (the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), had a little exercise he used that illustrates what I mean.

He’d take two big, clear buckets, some big rocks and then a bunch of small pebbles. First, he would pour the pebbles into one bucket, and then ask a member of the audience to try and fit the big rocks in afterward. It’s pretty much impossible to do.

Then, he’d put the big rocks in the other bucket first, pouring the pebbles in after, so that the pebbles filled in the spaces between the rocks. His point: You need to schedule your most important priorities first, or you won’t be able to fit them in later. Your days will be overtaken by little, tactical, seemingly urgent tasks.

Great life lesson. How does this apply to market research and consumer insight, you ask?
Well, NOW is the time to set your priorities and your schedule for 2016. What are the projects that are going to contribute the most to the business AND that align with your strategic plans? Get your resources lined up and schedule those projects for first and second quarter.
After you’ve put those “big rocks” in your schedule, start moving to your more tactical execution projects. Schedule those for third quarter, so that you can use them to close any revenue gaps that may appear, and help you to finish the year more profitably.
Remember, strategic “big rocks” first, followed by the tactical “pebbles.” If you do that, you’ll accomplish the projects with the most impact first, and you’ve set yourself up for a much more enjoyable, much more successful year.
Be a “Big Rock” star! Happy New Year, everybody!

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