Buffett’s 3 Leadership Lessons; His Prosperity Blueprint; Lean HQ; Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona
March 3, 2016
SXSW Highlights; Reindeer Firms; Reputation Protection; Firsts in Detroit
March 17, 2016

Balmer’s Big Lesson; Zappos Out; Demand Pricing Key; Vyral Marketing Doubles

"…insights for scale-ups"


Steve Balmer's Big Lesson — former Microsoft CEO and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers (pro basketball team) has learned a big lesson – he doesn't want to be an investor after seeing his 4% stake in Twitter plunge 45%. My experience — most biz leaders make lousy investors – they believe the vision too much! For more on Balmer, take one minute to read this Fortune interview from last night.

Demand-Based Pricing? — Amazon changes the price of my book, by the hour, based on demand. So do the airlines, which is why their load factors and profits have soared. And now Disney has announced the same. What are you doing to up your game in pricing? Again, I recommend Hermann Simon's new book Confessions of The Pricing Man: How Price Affects Everything. And for business-to-business companies I recommend Victoria Medvec's online Negotiations course which emphasizes the importance of always submitting three proposals and varying the price based on your strength (brand promise) to shine a bright light on it and to crush the low bidders (unless that's you!). Being more strategic with pricing is KEY to driving profits and demand.

Best Companies to Work For (Fairness Theme) Fortune's annual list is out and Google (Alphabet) is #1. And the big theme that emerged from the winners this year is fairness – in pay, recognition, gender equality, etc. – a theme that is also at the heart of the US presidential race. This Fortune article provides a quick summary of what Salesforce.com, Whole Foods and others are doing to make the workplace fairer – takes 2 minutes to read.

Top 100 List (Zappos out!) — and here's the entire list. Who didn't make the list was Zappos. For those interested, this related Fortune piece reports on how Tony Hsieh shared the brutal facts with his company that their scores tumbled on 48 of the 58 questions. Yet he's not worried – he says Zappos achieved its highest operating profits in 2015, though they've been supposedly lowered for 2016. My take — the command and control style is fading, even in the military. Using the holacracy approach was Zappos' mistake – but they are learning from it – and willing to take some arrows as innovators, showing us the way to team-based organizations (we hope).

"Vitamin" C — more than a vitamin:

It is the master controller of electron distribution and flow in our bodies. It is needed in over 10,000 biochemical reactions. It is a major antioxidant in the body, the immune system is practically useless without it, and the list goes on and on.

More on this important anti-oxidant in the latest Riordan Clinic newsletter (I'm chairman of the board). Dosage matters (like with all drugs/supplements) – and for now the only way to get the full chemo-like impact that clears inflammations and cancers, it needs to be taken intravenously. For over two decades I've received an IV of 50 grams every six to eight weeks. And thousands of doctors administer – go to www.acam.org to find one near you. Here's an article I wrote on the executive health benefits of this potent master controller.

Cool Tech Helps Vyral Marketing Double Size (Gazelles case) — my latest Huffington Post piece highlights how Frank Klesitz, CEO of Vyral Marketing uses free and inexpensive technologies like Slack and Google Hangouts to streamline communications, like the daily huddle, within his rapidly growing firm. What adds to the challenge is that Frank lives in San Diego while a majority of his employees are based in Omaha, Nebraska. Take 2 minutes to scan through the specifics on how each employee has an advisor; how his "managers" are expected to be coaches to their direct reports and are measured by their frequent communications with customers. Lots of good tips in how Frank as rapidly scaled his firm.


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 www.aligntoday.com – on your computer and on your phone.

Better Book Club — What's your team reading? Increase your books read per team member. Easy, Proven, and in the Cloud at http://www.BetterBookClub.com.


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.

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.