Most Pioneering Co.; 52%; More Press-ups Than Dave; Marketing Webinar May 10
May 3, 2018
Bezos’s Grandfather Quote; Where to Get Talent; MTP; Rockefeller Update
May 18, 2018

Buffett’s 13; Salim’s 11; Go Long; Duane’s Big Payday

"…insights for scaleups"


I would love to be a baby being born in the United States today.
  Warren Buffett

ExO Four Minute Video plus Salim Ismail's "11 Attributes of Exponential Organizations" are nicely summarized in this blog post and video. More below, but first…

13 Best Warren Buffett Quotes Fortune does a great job of extracting the best responses from Buffett's six hours of Q&A with his shareholders last weekend. And one of those responses helped bolster Apple's stock to the point it became the largest market cap firm in history! Please take 2 minutes to scan down through 50+ years of wisdom coming together to give 13 insights into the biz (and political) issues of the day.

Go Long this is the title of a new 100+ page book (love short books!) out this week subtitled Why Long-Term Thinking is your Best Short-Term Strategy. Co-authored by Brian Dumaine, Fortune; Michael Useem, Wharton; Rodney Zemmel, McKinsey; and Dennis Carey, CEO Academy – it's a series of case studies and then conclusions that give you a history of important decisions made that turned around companies and drove huge growth. It's a quick read!

Grew 47% More page XV of Go Long's Introduction notes this study:

The McKinsey Global Institute examined the performance of 615 large- and mid- cap US publicly listed companies from 2001 to 2015, looking at patterns of investment, growth, earnings quality, and earnings management. This lens allowed McKinsey to separate long- term companies from others, and then compare their relative performance. Among its findings was that the revenue of long- term firms, which spent on average 50% more on R&D, cumulatively grew on average 47% more than that of the other firms, and with less volatility. Cumulatively, the earnings of long- term firms also grew 36% more on average.

A Goldman study discovered something similar.

One-Card "Principles and Practices"on page 5 of Go Long you see the single card Alan Mulally used for 45 years to drive success at Boeing and then Ford ($48 billion turnaround). It shows the power of having a handful of rules and then repeating yourself a lot. Notes the authors:

Mulally says he rarely had to fire someone, because if you clarify the rules up front and hold yourself and everyone else accountable, those who can't evolve are likely to realize it — and leave.

Mulally focused on a five-year horizon with weekly red-yellow-green metrics to drive performance. It's classic Rockefeller Habits.

CVS Takes $2 Billion Hit – On Purpose this is the title of Chapter 2. If Mulally successfully led Ford with a set of "values"; Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health, turned to a "purpose" to drive a big decision. Quote's Merlo:

The opportunity to link your brand's purpose to your actions is tangible, and should never be underestimated in terms of the amount of impact it has internally and externally.

And what this action? To ban the sale of cigarettes at CVS in order to support a transition to healthcare services. This was a short-term $2 billion hit to revenue and caused the stock to drop 7%, but as Jim Collins' notes – if you're not willing to take a financial hit to live your values and purpose, then they are not real. I'm similarly taking a huge financial hit, as I write this, to live Gazelles' core values and purpose — stay tuned on the outcome!! Anyway, hope you can tell I'm bullish on this quick read book – lots of great reminders of what it means to be an effective leader – and to help you stay the course with much of what we teach in Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0).

Commissions Inc. $240 Million Success with Habits (Gazelles case study) Duane LeGate emailed me today, sharing how he was thankful for the Rockefeller Habits in scaling Commissions Inc. and successfully selling it to Fidelity National Financial for $240 million. Noted LeGate:

At the time of the sale, 1 in 20 homes that were sold in America used our technology (without the consumers knowing that we were behind it) We used your morning huddles (the "(9:09), the BHAG, the top 5, the one-page strategic plan, we were data driven (we measured EVERYTHING), we had a handful of rules (came to be known as "Duaneisms"), we had AWESOME quarterly themes (with the 4th quarter always being the best with company trips to far away places as the reward), and of course the core values.

LeGate also noted:

Our clients even started emulating what we were doing. As a result of all of these things, we were consistently voted as one of the top places to work in Georgia, won numerous national awards for being fast growing, and I personally won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southeast Region. None of this would've happened without your book.

The same tools Mulally and Merlo used to guide Fortune 500 firms, LeGate used to scale his firm – and he did it with hardly any outside capital – a story for another time. Congratulations to LeGate and his team.

AI Conference at White House this Morning WSJ reports that 40 top biz leaders are gathering to discuss all things AI (artificial intelligence) at the White House. It's why the theme of our upcoming ScaleUp Summit is "Prediction Intelligence" featuring the co-author of the best biz book I've read on AI titled Prediction Machines. A key reason for the gathering is in response to China's growing emphasis at AI. What are you doing to add a machine learning component to your business?

11 Attributes of Exponential Growth Salim Ismail, in this 4-minute video, builds on how Haier, the China-based manufacturing firm I highlighted last week, has evolved into "The World's Most Pioneering Company of our Times." A key attribute to accomplish this was their ability to continuously experiment and adapt to new market dynamics globally. How does this work? This is what Salim Ismail explains in his 4-minute video. And if you don't have 4 minutes, jump to minute 2:48 and watch carefully when he explains the way companies use this.

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]


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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.