HGTV Co-Founder; Best Place to Work; 8 Self-Leadership Traits; Bloomberg CEO Summit
February 14, 2019
Jim Collins’ Latest; 7 Uses of AI; Mariya Yao; 3-Timer CEOs; ScaleUp Summit May 21 – 22 Atlanta
February 28, 2019

Australian Billionaires; Maddock’s Plan D; Oscar Winner?; Congrats Gunjan; Vegas April 9 – 11

Hello ScaleUps, 

Hope it’s been a productive and purposeful week. Here are some insights/opportunities to help you outlearn/outthink the competition.

YPO-Only Scaling Up Workshop Las Vegas April 9 – 11 –
YPO has a few more spots for YPO teams to attend the 3-time award winning Scaling Up workshop “Making the Rockefeller Habits Rock” in Las Vegas April 9 – 11. YPOer Reza Etedali is the Day Chair subbing in for my dear friend Wei Chen who passed away two months ago. For more info email Emma Fenton-Wells [email protected]. See you in Vegas!

“Free Solo” a Must-See Documentary –
Expected to capture the Oscar this weekend for Best Documentary, Free Solo follows Alex Honnold’s successful scaling of El Capitan without ropes. My 11-year-old son Quinn and I saw it last weekend on the big screen. We both LOVED it and were sitting on the edge of our seats the entire time. The big lessons for all of us scaling companies?

  1. Power of intention (BHAG) – it was a 20-year journey/goal for Alex, involving 8 years of preparation – he kept his eye on the prize with no deadline (most think BHAG’s need a deadline – not so)
  2. Only taking calculated risks – with camera’s rolling, Alex stopped the ascent a year earlier because he wasn’t fully prepared for “the Boulder Problem.” Again, keep the deadline fluid and as Jim Collins calls it “shoot bullets before cannon balls.” Test before going all in.
  3. Preparation, Preparation, Preparation – every thumb and toe hold were choreographed, practiced hundreds of times with ropes, before he attempted to free solo.

Successful leaders are NOT risk takers. Instead, they do what appear to be risky things but with a plan A, B, C, or D. And in Alex’s case, he needed a gold medal performance, or he died. Enjoy the show!

Plan D by YPOer Mike Maddock
Mike is a great speaker, writer and friend. He is also an internationally recognized innovation expert. His new book
Plan D: Lessons from the World’s Most Successful Disruptors is about people that blow sh** up for the good of the whole (That’s YOU!). Three quick takeaways: 

  1. Under pressure, Disruptors have trained themselves to think, see and solve challenges differently. To many, this appears to be instinctive, but it is a learned practice. 
  2. Disruptors use simple, repeatable frameworks to move faster and smarter than their competitors. This book is full of them.  
  3. All extremely successful people are either chasing–or being chased by–ghosts. This can lead to scary and sometimes tragic outcomes. But the healthy Disruptors have learned to use their ghosts to give them an unfair competitive advantage.

This book is practical, funny and candid. Grab a Kindle version and enjoy over the weekend!

Australia’s First Tech Billionaires –
This NY Times article details how Atlassian co-founders Scott Farquhar (kind enough to endorse my book) and Mike Cannon-Brookes, who scaled their firm to a market cap of over $20 billion ($24.74 billion today) while holding onto 75% of the ownership, have lobbied for change. Unlike other wealthy people in Australia, they have been vocal about the political changes that need to occur in their country. Please take 4-minutes to read about two of the world’s top entrepreneurs who defied Silicon Valley – and who now live next to each other (with a hole in the fence so their children can play together) in the two most expensive homes in Australia.

Congratulations Gunjan Doshi, Founder/CEO InRhythm –
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy appointed Gunjan Doshi, whose firm InRhythm is an Inc. 5000 Hall of Famer (6 years in a row!), to Chair the Commission on Science, Innovation, and Technology. The Commission is comprised of 17 members including the Secretary of Higher Education; the Commissioner of Education; and the CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. This is a serious appointment! Noted Gunjan “please share that I’m a proud long-term student of Scaling Up!” Congratulations, Gunjan, for giving back to your community and state – and scaling a very successful company.

Hilton Using Growth Institute Online Courses –
Last week I noted Hilton was named the #1 Best Place to Work by Fortune, a key reason being their focus on training and development. My team reminded me that Hilton has been using some of our Growth Institute online courses. Congrats to Daniel Marcos and his team for providing this online “corporate university” anyone can access 24/7.

Vibra Enterprise’s 2 Billion Views on YouTube –
And another shout out to Daniel and his team. Diego Lossada, Founder & CEO of Vibra Enterprise, just earned his Master of Business Dynamics (MBD), a series of 6 accredited online coached courses (Scaling Up, Topgrading, ExO, etc.). Noted Diego:

As a company, we just reached 2 billion views on YouTube. I have been implementing the methodologies I have learned in the MBD for two years and they have undoubtedly made it possible to multiply our results. To reach 1 billion views, it took us 7 years and we reached 2 billion just 2 years after that.

Diego goes on to explain how their growth spurred a name change (the company name matters!):

We continue to grow and expand (4x in 24 months) and for that reason, we changed the name of our company from SolesMedia to Vibra Enterprise. The old name pigeonholed us in media and now we are strong in e-commerce and other areas as well. Thanks, Daniel Marcos and your team!

Hundreds of leaders are earning their MBD. More practical than an MBA and a sixth the cost, invest in yourself and your leadership team – it works. As McKinsey noted a couple weeks ago, the KEY competitive factor has shifted from brawn to brains!

Dominate Your Industry in 4 Stages of Growth and last week, Growth Institute’s CEO, Daniel Marcos (I guess it’s my week to highlight Daniel), hosted a webinar where he shared the 4 stages of growth and how to use this dynamic growth model to grow from one stage to the next. He also shared how a leader needs to evolve to make sure they are never trapped by their growing business. If you missed the training, you can get the most important highlights here.

CEO-BOOTCAMP: spend 3.5 days with Verne, serial entrepreneur John Ratliff, and 6 other CEOs in a beautiful retreat setting, addressing the constraints holding back you, your business, and your industry. March 12 – 15; Jun 4 – 7, 2019.

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? Contact us at [email protected] for more information or visit


Create Accountability – Drive Execution with Align, cloud-based software designed to scale up your Rockefeller Habits implementation. – on your computer, tablet or phone. Click here to watch an introductory video.

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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.