Tips for PR; Most Admired; 2nd Rant – Healthcare;; Get Data on YOU!
February 26, 2015
Q&A with Zuckerberg; Buffett’s Golden Letter; Buffett’s First Priority; Jim Collins’ 12 Questions
March 5, 2015

Buffett’s Diet Rule; 2 New Books; 300% ROI; WorldReader Rocks

"…out-learning the competition"


I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among six-year-olds. So I decided to eat like a six-year-old.
  Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett's Diet — more on Buffett's eating philosophy below, but first…

Darren Hardy Fans — for all the people you know who have been thinking of starting a business, the perfect gift book is being released today (and great for veteran entrepreneurs). NY Times bestseller and publisher of SUCCESS magazine, Darren Hardy, has written another outstanding book titled The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: Why Now Is the Time to #JoinTheRide. Go to this link to watch his entertaining 1:22 minute video – and view the endorsements from Donald Trump, Seth Godin, Tony Robbins, etc. Congrats on another important contribution to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Darren.

David Marquet Fans — and from the author of one of my top 3 execution books of all time (Turn the Ship Around), David Marquet now has a companion workbook titled Turn Your Ship Around!: A Workbook for Implementing Intent-Based Leadership in Your Organization. It contains the practical activities he does in corporate off-sites and training sessions. Anyone who wants to build a better environment for their people will appreciate the exercises in this training guide. And as I noted in my Fortune column, David's book is "the best how-to manual anywhere for managers on delegating, training, and driving flawless execution."

3%, Use it or Lose It — the late Patrick McGovern, the famed Chairman and Founder of International Data Group (IDG), was the first celebrity CEO to keynote the executive program I launched and held at MIT called "The Birthing of Giants." Becoming one of the Forbes 400 wealthiest entrepreneurs in the world, he impressed on us his three simple rules for growing each division of his company. Scattered all over the planet launching tech publications in a fast charging industry, each leader had to hit three targets, three of every five quarters:

  1. Grow twice the rate of the local market — his way to set revenue targets in each country.
  2. Take 10% net to the bottom line. Spending on growth wasn't an excuse for low profit.
  3. Spend 3% of payroll on training — use it or lose it.

McGovern explained that the only investment critical to growth was employee and management development, yet he knew that under the time pressure of having to grow the business and cost pressure of having to net 10%, the first thing leaders do in the short run is cut out the time and cost of training. As CEO, McGovern knew this was the one issue he had to stand firm about and mandate. The job of the CEO is to make the best decisions today that have a long term positive impact on the business tomorrow.

300% ROI — several who responded to my rant about learning wanted some hard numbers to back up the value of education. Through some of the most exhaustive research ever supported (Laurie Bassi), training and development was found to out-return any other investment a business owner could make – more than any R&D, hard, or capital investment. In fact, companies that invested in training and development had:

24% higher profit margin
218% higher income per employee
86% higher company value
21% increase in productivity
300% reduction in employee turnover, and
a return per dollar invested of $6.72

When Jack Welch calculated the return on GE's investment in executive education, he simply put it at infinite – GE is still getting a return from the first leaders they trained back in the 80s!

WorldReader TEDx — and if you're a fan of books like me, take 10 minutes to watch this TEDx talk about the work WorldReader is doing to bring the gift of reading/learning via mobile devices to remote villages lacking access to regular books. Founded by one of the early Amazon executives, WorldReader has worked effortlessly to get e-books donated, local literature converted to e-books, and solar power chargers distributed, allowing over 2.5 million people to have access to reading the past 24 months alone. Go right to 8:22 in the talk to hear a moving example of the positive impact mobile technology continues to have in reversing illiteracy.

Warren Buffett's Diet — in response to my healthcare rant, J.J. Abbott sent me this link to last week's Fortune article on 84 year-old Warren Buffett's diet of at least five Coke's (he owns $16 billion in Coke stock) per day plus Utz's Potato Stix (a company he's wanting to buy). This is a guy truly "eating his own dog food!" It's a fun 30 second read – enjoy. My take — have a passion for what you do; laugh and play cards a lot (simple things with friends); and have access to a private jet! (I'll be reporting on his shareholder letter Thursday).

Executive Health (Reverse Rusting) — I was asked some serious questions about our work at the Riordan Clinic. Here's a link to an article I wrote that explains what almost all diseases have in common and how to combat this "rusting" that comes with aging.


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

Align DashboardWant to keep track of your plans and progress in the cloud? The complete Growth Tools and Rockefeller Habits disciplines in a SaaS offering.


Need help implementing the Rockefeller Habits?

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.

Comments are closed.