#1 Challenge; China Outsourcing; 5 Ways to Attract Talent; Austin Oct 30
October 26, 2012
Likeable Business; Owning a Word; Listening for Leads; Smarter Hearts
November 8, 2012

Advisory Board Tips; More Sh*t Sandwich Reaction; Flamenco Guitar; Nov Workshops

"…keeping you great"


This Saturday Nov 3 Flamenco Guitar — Juanito Pascual, the world's leading flamenco guitarist (and entertainer at the Summits), and his trio have a Kickstarter campaign to support their new album – at least get a few pre-release copies for supporting the arts. And for those in the Boston area, his trio has a performance this Saturday in Somerville, MA at 8pm – double billed with JulanLage Group. Here's a 90 second video trailer. Not to be missed (perfect date night)!

Doubling Revenues with an Advisory Board – my latest November "Growth Guy" column addresses the importance of having an advisory board, including how Nurse Next Door, Information Experts, and Endai Worldwide have structured their advisory boards to deliver results. One of them even had to resort to an Advisory Board 2.0! Take 3 minutes to scan the short column for ideas.

How to Choose Advisory Board Members — the key is deciding your company's top 3 to 5 year key thrusts and then picking the smartest people you know who have already been where you're about to go and seek their advice/help i.e. when we decided we needed more of our revenue outside the US by 2012 (2009 goal), we pursued Herman Simon, the Hidden Champion guru, to advise us on our global strategy.

Reaction to Sh#t Sandwich — Aubrey Daniels, the leading human behaviorist and author of the classic Bringing Out the Best in People, reacted to Ben Horowitz's blog posting I highlighted two weeks ago. He suggests it is NEVER a good idea to sandwich criticism between two bits of praise. "There is no data to support it and from the behavioral science research it is clearly a bad thing to do." Aubrey specifically writes about this in one of my favorite books OOPs: 13 Management Practices That Waste Time and Money. Other wasteful practices include annual performance reviews and many incentive programs – it's a quick read.

Opinion About Everything — Liz Wiseman (of Multipliers fame) took the challenge and responded to Ben Horowitz's blog about CEOs and feedback. Note's Wiseman, "I agree with Ben's point that a CEO needs to have an opinion on every aspect of the business, but I think it is important to consider the context of his advice. First, many of the CEOs in tech and other venture backed business are technologists and thus need to learn to be as passionate and observant about all facets of the business as they are about the product."

Frequency of Feedback (highway bumpers!) — continues Wiseman, "Ben offers his suggestions in the context of frequency of feedback not intensity. I don't think he is suggesting CEOs need to bark orders, dictate actions and micromanage the details. I think he's saying that a CEO needs to have a clear point of view that guides the detailed feedback and coaching they offer. Their opinions shape the corrective feedback they must give. And by having a clear point of view, the feedback is directional and consistent rather than arbitrary. Their feedback should be like the bumps placed on highway boundaries that guide drivers when they get off course. If the bumps were spaced 1/4 mile apart, they wouldn't be very helpful in keeping people on track and moving fast."

Hard and Soft Opinions — concludes Wiseman, "A simple technique I've seen great (and opinionated) CEOs use is to distinguish between their hard opinions and their soft opinions. Soft opinions are suggestions, ideas to consider. Hard opinions are reserved for clear guidance or corrective feedback. No one wants a CEO who is asleep at the wheel and who doesn't have clear opinions. People just need them to be directionally consistent and leaving enough space for people to perform and bring their own best thinking to the work."

November Rockefeller Habits Workshops — celebrating our 15th year, the Rockefeller Habits workshops continue to thrive because of the positive impact they have on companies. Speed up and deepen the impact of the Rockefeller Habits by bringing your team to a one-day workshop:

Geneva, Switzerland – Nov 7
Chicago, IL – Nov 7

Boston, MA – Nov 7
Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Nov 8
Philadelphia, PA – Nov 8
Portland, OR – Nov 8
Denver, CO – Nov 14
Vancouver, BC – Nov 14
Nashville, TN – Nov 15
Toronto, ON – Nov 21
Seattle, WA – Nov 29

Election Video — stay tuned for my latest election video – I'll send it out via my personal email address vs. the insights — with plenty of warning.

Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.