Steve Jobs’ Retreat; Quadruple Ditto; Good Vibrations; Share the Love
May 19, 2016
Pricing Strategies; Hyper-Specialization; Summer Poverty Camps; Harvard Exit Strategies
June 2, 2016

Anarchist Meets General; Preakness Preparation; Thriving Kids; Smart Thinking

“…insights for scaleups”


Scaling Up Club’s Weekly “7 Minutes to Greatness” Boost your team’s potential and knowledge with this week’s selected clip from Art Markman’s seminar based on his book Smart Thinking but first…

Kid’s Thrive When Parents Coached — want your children to be smarter, seems this is more important than childhood nutrition, more below but second…

The New Org Structure the overarching theme of the ScaleUp Summit this week – from General McChrystal’s “Team of Teams” keynote to Ari Weinzweig’s change management approach at Zingerman’s Deli- is that no one wants managed (technology does this better – think smart phones). Instead, we need coaches. And if the frontline employees have access to the same information (or more – think corporate wikis and dashboard) as senior leaders; and a process for making decisions without the need for getting approval from the ‘higher ups’ – then better decisions faster! This requires the right training and coaching of the frontline and a change in leadership thinking (the need to make all the decisions)- so it’s not something you can move to overnight – but it’s where everyone is going. Three news items this past week reinforced all this.

#1 — Preakness Preparation Powers Upset — It’s preparation that won the Preakness horserace this past weekend – with Exaggerator beating favorite Nyquist, the undefeated Kentucky Derby winner, in the 141st running of this annual horseracing event. There was a specific plan, but then a rain storm turned the track into a muddy mess. When the race started, jockey Kent Desormeaux steered Exaggerator almost directly left to the rail.

“I wanted to strangle him when I saw him go to the rail,” said Keith Desormeaux, the trainer. “This is the only race he rode today and I was, like, all these other jockeys realize it’s a quagmire down there. And I’m like, ‘What’s he doing?”

12 Minutes — In fact, jockey Kent Desormeaux (46), the trainer’s brother, said he had used the 12 minutes of warm-up time between the post parade and post time to measure the track in various places and decided that the rail was fastest. In the end, the jockey ignored the “plan”; assessed the immediate situation given the change in track conditions; and made a decision that won the race. But he was also experienced, having won three Kentucky Derbies, (now) three Preaknesses and three Breeders Cup races. He also brings a certain amount of baggage with him, having had at least three incidents involving alcohol use at the racetrack and is subject to regular breathalyzer testing – a true idiot savant.

#2 — Jeff Immelt’s Take — last Friday, GE’s CEO delivered NYU Stern School’s commencement address. This FORTUNE piece highlights his insights, including:

Change requires new business models… leaner, faster, more decentralized. The days of cycling global ideas through a central headquarters is over. Globalization requires pushing capability to local teams who are empowered to take risks without second guessing.

The most traditional of businesses is changing – realizing that cycling ideas through HQ is over (something we need to learn in our governments).

#3 – Help Kids Thrive, Coach Parents — last Sunday the NY Times reported on a study that has tracked 129 families for 30 years. Divided into three groups in 1986, the first received one-hour of coaching per week encouraging the parents to play with their children; the second received a kilogram of milk-based nutritional supplement each week; and the third nothing. It lasted two years, but the children have been tracked ever since. Notes the article:

The children whose parents were counseled to play more with them did better, throughout childhood, on tests of I.Q., aggressive behavior and self-control. Today, as adults, they earn an average of 25 percent more per year than the subjects whose parents didn’t receive home visits.

We all need coached, even as parents. My wife and I have been blessed to have several parenting coaches who have helped tremendously.

Military Might Meets Anarchist — one of the special moments at the ScaleUp Summit was when anarchist Ari Weinzweig came face-to-face with military General McChrystal – and both realized that though they started from wildly different backgrounds and worlds, they have ended up at the same point – that leadership is akin to gardening. The gardener doesn’t grow the food, nature does. But the gardener (leader) is responsible for preparing the environment so the growth can happen. This takes preparation, coaching (nurturing), and experience. Then trust the process.

Music City Tents Quarterly Theme (Gazelles case study) — Music City Tents, based in Nashville, rolls out a theme each quarter to align and engage the team. This quarter it’s about community impact – from the team in the warehouse volunteering to bundle diapers to participating in breakfast at a local halfway house. Take 1 minute to scan the short blog post and photos. Thanks to their Gazelles Coaching Partner Andy Bailey for sharing the theme.

Scaling Up Club — To outthink your competition and achieve your most important goals, watch slide 4 of Smart Thinking, minute 14:23 to 21:18. This section focuses on the key element of causal knowledge that helps us solve the most complex issues and develop the smartest devices and ideas.

Only have one minute? See minute 5:45-6:45 to see a very specific example of smart thinking and understand the logic of it.

To access the clip: Scaling Up Club Members go here. Non-members wanting to improve their skills 7-minutes per week can join here to enjoy!


Have you ever wondered if your company would be a good candidate to work with an executive growth coach? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients.

And if you’re interested in becoming a world-class certified Gazelles International coach, please contact Jean Carpenter at [email protected] / (360) 798.9471.


Align Software puts everyone on the Same Page – Literally! See, in real time every person in your organization and how they are progressing on their priorities – alongside how they Align to the Company Priorities! Scale Up your Rockefeller Habits implementation with – on your computer and on your phone.

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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.