5 Big Ideas; Closing Big Sales; Covey’s Take; Execute Faster; David Marquet
February 7, 2013
Don’t Read This Book; What Strategy Isn’t; Scorecard Sample; Crowdfunding for Dummies
February 19, 2013

BigML; Elite Athletes’ Secret; Relax to Drive Productivity; Core Values Awards

"…keeping you great" 

HEADLINES:  (Happy Chinese New Year! Here's to more energy!)

Core Value Awards

— what better Valentine's Day gift than a Core Values Award. More below,
including photo, but first…

Customer Experience
— 1.9 million views later, I'm a little late to the party, but

Steve Jobs response to an apparent insult
back in 1997 describes precisely
what each of us must do to build a great company. It's five minutes long, but
start at 2:22 to get the key idea – that you must ALWAYS start with "what
incredible benefits can we give the customers" – not "how can we sell this cool
technology (product/service)." And customers need to be able to see it or "get
it" quickly – this is the difficult challenge. Then how do you support the team
in achieving this – Job's offers his suggestions. It's worth showing to your
senior team, if not the entire company.

Big Data, BigML
— here's a big data (free?) tool called


It's a machine-learning service that discovers patterns within large datasets

and then generates predictive models based on the data. The models are displayed
as decision trees that place the factors most highly correlated with the target
outcome up top and work their way down to less-predictive factors. There's also
a feature that lets users predict the outcome of any given situation.

It's a quick four step process with videos to guide you

Will Kickstarter Campaign Succeed — I learned about BigML from this article on predicting
the success of Kickstarter campaigns – and lifted the description of BigML above
right from the article!

I've been following the StormFly (PC for your wrist) campaign
that just
received an excellent

Mashable write-up
and found the article a good example of how all of us can
put our data to better use in our businesses.

Take a couple minutes to read through the piece

Sleep to Be More Productive — Tony Schwartz, head of The Energy Project, wrote an

excellent piece for the NY Times
Sunday about the importance of
energy management vs. time management. Notes Schwartz, "In a study of nearly 400
employees, published last year, researchers found that sleeping too little –
defined as less than six hours each night – was one of the best predictors of
on-the-job burn-out. A recent Harvard study estimated that sleep deprivation
costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity."

Vacation (and nap) to Perform — Schwartz further notes, "In 2006, the accounting firm
Ernst & Young did an internal study of its employees and found that for each
additional 10 hours of vacation employees took, their year-end performance
ratings from supervisors (on a scale of one to five) improved by 8 percent." And
naps provided huge boosts in performance. One best practice I've adopted – a
quick 20 minute nap before my 3 hours of intense Monday afternoon meetings with
my team around the world – allows me to pay much better attention, I've noticed.
Take 3 minutes to scan the article. BTW, Schwartz's famous co-author and elite
athlete and executive coach Jim Loehr is keynoting the

Leadership Summit

Elite Athletes Secret
— in short, cut out wheat-based foods such as bread and pasta, dairy, and
processed sugar. Made popular by #1 tennis player Novak Djokovic, other elite
athletes are experiencing the same benefits. Notes coach Pete McCraw, "The
energy level that you have is something I've never experienced before. You don't
ever have that crash, the high and then the low. Those periods of the day when
you crave carbs or sugar, feeling drowsy at work or in the car or wherever, you
don't have that anymore, it's a completely different thing — it's sustained,
you don't have the foods cravings like I used to." The main problem with wheat
is that it's nothing like the ancient food we used to consume. And milk was
designed for babies. No other animal consumes milk later in life – plus milk has
been shown to decrease levels of calcium in the bones, not increase it.

Take 3 minutes to scan this CNN article then clear out your cupboards

Core Values Awards
(So Powerful!) — notes David Michel, CEO of

Catapult Health
"I took our full time employees to Rough Creek Lodge for our
holiday party and the highlight of our time together was the presentation of our
new Core Value Awards (see picture below). In advance of our party, I asked each
employee to nominate one of their peers for a Core Value Award. I also asked
them to include a few sentences about why they felt a particular individual
deserved the award. While sitting around a beautiful outdoor fire pit after
dinner at our party, I presented one employee with a crystal desk award for each
of our five Core Values. I also shared many of the comments that their peers had
written about them. It was SO POWERFUL. I now hear our team integrating these
values into their everyday tasks … job descriptions, discussions with new
candidates, at our events, in sales meetings, etc." It's a great way to share
the love!!

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.