"…insights for scaleups"
Bad Advice: Follow Your Passion — in this insight I want to explore the Passion, Purpose, Profit theme. Let's start with Cal Newport and his TED-like talk for 99u on why following your passion is bad advice – and why you should do what Steve Jobs did, not what he said. In essence, 95% of people don't have a passion when asked. Instead, because of something that happens, they start doing something else, and doing it well, they become passionate about it. So it's a chicken and egg question. Cal helps sort this out in his very insightful 21-minute talk. You can go right to 20:40 for his one-minute summary. I watched it with my children last weekend – insightful for them as well.
Cal Newport — a computer scientist at Georgetown, he's been using his skills to discover "patterns of success" and debunking lots of myths along the way. And he's written several books including How to Become a Straight-A Student (should be of interest to college students); So Good They Can't Ignore You (love this title); and his latest which published last week titled Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. This guy is good and his work is catching the attention of a lot of people.
How to Focus Deeply to Become Good at Something (then Passionate) — Cal addresses this toward the end of his talk, just before the summary. You start with a short amount of time – say 15 minutes each day – then move it to 20 minutes – then 30 minutes (10 times) – then 40 minutes. It's an acquired skill/taste! Ultimately you can get to Olympic gold status where you're focused two to three hours deeply – like Jobs did when figuring out Apple's retail concept – and John Grisham does writing books – but you can't start there. Start by taking 20 minutes and watching his talk.
Purpose vs. Profit — the purpose/passion thing is great, but what about profits. How do you link the two in the minds of your people? Rick Crossland tackled this subject in his article for Fortune. One of my favorite paragraphs:
Take 2 minutes to scan down through Rick's excellent article (the Fortune team has asked him to write more!) – then explain to your team that healthy profits are needed to fulfill important purposes – again, a chicken and egg question. FYI, Rick is one of our Gazelles Certified Coach partners. Thanks Rick.
Tom's Re-imagining Purpose/Mission — and I'll wrap up with this latest HBR article where Blake Mycoskie, founder of Tom's Shoes, describes how after he took the company from startup to $300 million in six years, he became disillusioned. Note's Blake, "My days were monotonous, and I had lost my connection to many of the executives who were running daily operations. What had once been my reason for being now felt like a job." So he took a sabbatical away from the company for several months – and during that time he rediscovered his passion/purpose for Tom's – to make it a movement again! My favorite paragraph:
Read the rest of the article to see the specific decisions Blake made and why he's excited for the next ten years!
Steelers/Bengals — for those of you into American football, you know what happened last Sunday between the Steelers/Bengals. Noted John Ratliff in an email to me, "the Bengals Steelers game was an excellent example of how high performers that don't fit the culture are the most dangerous. They get put in spots where they can have an impact due to their talent but their lack of cultural alignment magnifies the impacts when it's negative." Period!
Super Bowl Weekend Event — John Ratliff scaled his company through a series of 24 acquisitions; increased its earnings from an industry average 4% to over 21%; and drove down employee turnover from 115% to 18%. And when he sold the business, he received 14 times EBITDA. A serial entrepreneur, investor, advisor and Managing Director with investment bank STS Capital Partners, John is hosting an exclusive Super Bowl Weekend event at The Retreat in Marathon Key (ONE SEAT LEFT), Florida February 4 – 8, 2016 – it's an executive paradise.
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.
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