Five questions to ponder for 2015
December 4, 2014
Powerful Question (Parents and Leaders); Holiday gift enclosed; Sample One-Page Strategic Plan
December 18, 2014

Bill Gates Top 5 Books; Magic Johnson’s Advice; Addicting Products; Dec 17 Webinar

"…keeping you great"


Member of AIGA? — please let me know if you're a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts – thanks.

Magic Johnson's Business Advice (1 minute video) — this short Fortune interview of sport legend Magic Johnson is worth listening to while reading the rest of this insight – three strong pieces of advice for any business leader from a guy who has amassed a half billion net worth from making some smart business moves. In the end it's about hard work and discipline and finding the right "who's"; the same any biz leader or athlete needs to be #1 in their chosen sport (worth sharing this minute with your children).

Bill Gates' Top 5 Books — a voracious reader, Bill Gates shares his Top 5 books for 2014, including what he calls "the best business book I've ever read." Titled Business Adventures by John Brooks, it's a 1969 classic recently reprinted given Gates' enthusiasm for the book. Notes Gates, in this Fortune article highlighting his five choices:

Shortly after we met, Warren Buffett loaned me this collection of New Yorker business articles from the 1950s and 1960s. I loved them as much as he did. Brooks's insights about business have aged beautifully, and they are as true today as ever.

One of the other five is a fiction book to be released Dec 31 titled The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion. Gates loved the insights it gave him about relationships (Peter Drucker read fiction books to give him similar insights into human behavior). Take 1 minute to read up on the other three books – then grab a couple to read over the holidays!

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (Read Chapter 6) — "How to create products people LOVE and can't put down" would be another fitting subtitle for this new book by Nir Eyal. A teacher of applied consumer psychology at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, he has spent years in the video gaming and advertising worlds from which he's distilled keys to making all products and services more addictive. Go immediately to chapter 6 and read the five fundamental questions you must answer to create addictive products/services (I read this book to see if applied to 90% of us and it does) – then come hear Nir keynote Fortune's Leadership Summit May 12 – 13, Orlando. GazellesPro and book club members will receive a copy next week.

No Time to Read (2 minute article) — emails and meetings, they are eating us alive – leaving us no time to read and think and work on the important stuff – and it's normally a few people (or outsiders) that create most of the problems. This Wall Street Journal article titled "Stop Wasting Everyone's Time" discusses how some companies are using various software programs to analyze the problem and ferret out the time wasters. For instance, in studying more than 25 companies, VoloMetrix (one software solution) has found executives who consume more than 400 hours a week of colleagues' time, "the equivalent of 10 people working full-time every week just to read one manager's email and attend his or her meetings." The confidential feedback helps managers stop their time-wasting behavior.

Are You the Problem? (7 Questions) — The WSJ article includes seven questions you can quickly answer to see if you're the one wasting everyone's time. Review at your next weekly meeting (OK, the irony is not lost on me) – but if you run your weekly and daily meetings correctly, they should only consume 4 to 5 hours per week and result in dramatically fewer emails – vs. the 20 hours/week of meetings some find themselves in. Thanks to Jimmy Calano for pointing me to this article.

Raise Your Status — Write a Book (Dec 17, 1pm ET Webinar) — better than reading a book is writing a book. My friend Adam Witty helped Jack Daly write his book Hyper Sales Growth in 24 hours – really! Adam is founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group and is hosting a webinar, December 17th at 1pm ET, titled: "How to use a book to raise your status, attract your ideal client, and market your business." A book demonstrates your expertise and forces you to be clear on the value you offer. It's a powerful tool for differentiating yourself and your company from the competition. Tune in to learn how to get your own book written in less than 24 hours and save 90% of the painstaking time it takes most leaders. Reserve your seat today.


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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.