2017 Prediction; Bill Gates Endorses; Health Update; Ray Dalio
October 26, 2017
Dangerous Habit; Trillion Dollars; Changing Minds; Jan 30 – Feb 4 Geoversity
November 10, 2017

Astros Genius; Critical Pricing Idea; Nobel Prize for What; Nov 7 Webinar

"…insights for scaleups"


How do you combine the soft information with the hard information in a way that allows you to make the best decisions? That is the crux of what we're trying to do here.
  Jeff Luhnow, Astro's General Manager

LIVE Webinar Scaling Up — Nov 7th at 12pm ET — you can sign up here. More below, but first…

Astros Genius of the "And"so Sports Illustrated nailed it back in 2012 when they predicted the Houston Astros would win the World Series (although there is nothing "world" about it – sorry rest of the world). This article highlights how, rather than just rely on data, like the Oakland A's did as described in the famous Moneyball book (I'm reading Lewis's new book – outstanding, I'll report soon), the Astros chose the genius of the "and" – to combine the talents of human scouts with data analytics. It's a brilliantly written article, but long. And it points to the fact that your people plus data analytics is more powerful than either alone.

The Potential Principle — Mark Sanborn knocked it out of the park – a standing ovation at our recent ScaleUp Summit (next one May 22 – 23, New Orleans). SPro and book club members will get a copy of his book The Potential Principle next week. He addresses a fundamental question we need to get better, but "better at what?" Notes Mark:

Better at what? Better at being someone whom others respect, emulate, and trust. Better at being someone who continues to improve and achieve. A person who motivates, challenges, and inspires other through his or her example. You may not have considered it, but these qualities and others define leadership.

This is a gem of a book – clearly written and quick to read. It will provide a great start to the last couple months of the year as we continue to get better.

Critical that CEOs are Active in Pricing — pricing guru Hermann Simon's latest article in the Marketing Journal highlights research that shows for companies with strong CEO involvement:

  • The pricing power was 35% higher.
  • The success rate for implementing price increases was 18% higher.
  • Twenty-six percent more achieved higher margins after the price increases, which means they were not just passing on higher costs to their customers.
  • Thirty percent had a special pricing department, which in turn had an additional positive effect on profits

The article goes on to highlight the keys to making either a high-price strategy or low-price strategy work. It's an important topic (pricing is so strategic!) and one CEOs and top executives need to spend more time understanding. Please read this article.

Noble Prize for Recognizing People are Irrational! — Richard Thaler recently won the Noble Prize in Behavioral Economics for confirming that people are irrational. And it's because of this that decisions like pricing must be based more on influence theory and psychology than rational thinking – I'm being absolutely serious. This is why leaders constantly mess up pricing and compensation – neither is completely rational and how you structure both must be based on what we've learned about anchoring, bias, etc. Please take 1-minute to read this Slate article on Thaler's Noble Prize. Then read his breakthrough book Nudge.

Saracens Rugby Club on the Value of Nurturing Team — Margaret Heffernan (read everything she writes – plus her TED talk) analyzes why this rugby team continues to win. Notes her article in the Financial Times:

Saracens won the English Premiership in 2011, 2015 and 2016, as well as the European Champions Cup in 2016 and 2017, and are favourites to claim both titles again this season.

In essence, the owner Nigel Wray, after hiring and firing coaches with "the same alactrity as buying and selling investments" and achieving short-term victories but long-term failure to win titles, decided to take a different approach. Seems the research is clear – teams that stay together win more. So the emphasis shifted to taking care of the needs of the players vs. winning at all costs. Heffernan's article details how they did this – lessons for all of us.

Sammy Sergi Big East Player 3 Weeks in a Rowand this note from Steve Sergi after seeing my piece last week on IV Vitamin C:

Verne, I meant to send this to you about the Riordian Clinic. Samson is healthier than ever and still credits his time with Dr. Ron and staff with getting him on track with the IV Vitamin C. More importantly, the health check they ran helped us assemble Sam's dietary needs and restrictions, which he still sticks to two years later. THANK YOU

As background, Sammy had become debilitated while at Xavier, unable to get out of bed and diagnosed with a combination of Lymes, black mold syndrome, and depression. After months of taking a bag of meds and getting no better, we flew him out to Wichita and wheeled him into the Riordan Clinic. Five days later he walked out unaided and has not looked back since, leading his soccer team to multiple victories and being names the Big East Player three weeks in a row.

Two Nice Awards — it's been a fun and rewarding week, except trying to rent a car in Phoenix. First, I was honored to receive University of Delaware's "Siegfried Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership" Wednesday night, named after one of my "students" Rob Siegfried who has scaled a significant nationwide firm called the Siegfried Group. In addition, the 2.5 day program I host for YPO International in various locations each year, specifically the one hosted by Steve Sansom in New Orleans, won an unprecedented three "best of best" awards this year:

  • Co-Winner – Best Only in YPO Event
  • Co-Winner – Most Impactful Learning Event
  • Winner – Most Inspiring Event

If you're in YPO, looks for the course in 2018 in various locations – and now the complete 2.5 day course is online – one of the handful of course to lead you to earning an MBD (Masters in Business Dynamics).

Nov 7 Webinar — As you know, for over 20 years it's been our mission to help middle market organizations to scale up quickly, yet sustainably and without drama.

You probably already know the basic tools and frameworks from the insights and my books, but the more advanced stuff has been only accessible through our paid trainings and workshops.

That's why I'm so excited to invite you to my live webinar with the Growth Institute to learn how to counter the growth paradox. I'll be sharing our frameworks, along with the most recent (and impressive) case studies of their implementation.

We'll also host a LIVE Q&A at the end of it – so you'll have the opportunity to ask those burning questions.

It's happening on Nov 7th at 12pm EST and you can sign up here

EXITING: Thinking about selling the business for $40 million or more? Want to get 25% to 200% more than you thought? Request the whitepaper from the Exit Strategies Summit at Harvard from Denise Richmond at (610) 299-6466 or email at [email protected]


Have you ever wondered if working with a coach might accelerate your company's growth, exponentially? Do you have what it takes to move the dial from good to great? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

And if you're interested in becoming a world-class certified Gazelles International coach, please go to gicoaches.com/becomeacoach for more information. If you determine that we're a fit and wish to join our premier organization, we invite you to contact our Dir. of Coach Engagement at [email protected] or 877.217.2253 ext.700.


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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.

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