10 Tech Trends; Zingerman’s Change; Legal Monkeys’ Appreciation Board; Raleigh May 1 – 4
February 2, 2017
Benchmarks; Trust Neuroscience; Daily Huddle; Long Term Benefits; Mexico City March 2
February 16, 2017

Buffett’s Top 10; Growth Paradox; Founder’s Mentality; CEO Boot Camp

"…insights for scaleups"


Growth creates complexity, and complexity is the silent killer of growth.
  Chris Zook, The Founder's Mentality

How to Grow Beyond $10 Million (Gazelles case study) — Ryan Allis, CEO of Connect, has a series of articles on how to grow a business – and they are excellent. This one on strategy notes that there is a single question you must answer:

The one thing we’ll do better than any other company in the world is…

What is that for your company? A fan of the Rockefeller Habits and the One-Page Strategic Plan, Ryan lists 11 concise execution lessons for scaling beyond $10 million at the bottom of the article. It's worth 4 minutes to read the article (at least the opening paragraph – more complete definition of strategy) and 1 minute to check out the 11 tips. Very practical. Thanks to Gazelles coach Rich Manders for pointing me to Ryan's teachings.

The Paradox of Growth Chris Zook's opening quote above summarizes well this paradox of growth. A partner in Bain & Company, Zook's new book The Founder's Mentality notes that "only about one company in nine has sustained more than a minimum level of profitable growth during the past decade." And its internal factors vs. the market that 85% of executives blame for the shortfall in growth. Notes Zook:

You can't sustain profitable growth in a competitive market if you're a disaster internally, and you can't maintain a high-performance culture internally for long if you're failing in the marketplace.

There's the paradox. Zook's book, which GPro and book club members will receive, takes a look inside the company – and at the mentality that works best to excel. His previous four books looked at the external strategy game, including his groundbreaking book Profit from the Core which Michael Dell used to crush Compaq.

The Founder's Mentality — so what is it? The good news is that the Rockefeller Habits covers what Zook suggests is needed to run great internally. And to drive this discipline he suggests adopting a founder's mentality which constitutes a key source of competitive advantage and consists of three main traits:

  1. An insurgent's mission
  2. An owner's mindset
  3. Obsession with the front line

Zook is keynoting the ScaleUp Summit May 23 – 24 San Antonio and I'm asking him to share his best secrets for both internal and external strategy. If reading the book in advance, I would go right to p. 77 and read the first few pages of "Combatting Overload." Then read the Introduction – excellent overview.

Buffett's Best Advice — Warren actually endorsed a book about himself titled Warren Buffett's Ground Rules by Jeremy Miller. This Fortune article (and 2-minute interview of Miller) highlights 10 of Buffet's best pieces of advice ever. It's worth taking a minute to scan down through the list. And you can go to :42 of the video for the three best pieces of advice for investing in stocks. I summarize as Team, Price, and Industry Knowledge.

You Can Read 200 Books per Year… in the time you spend on social media. Enough said. This QUARTZ article includes Buffett's advice on success, pointing to a stack of books:

Read 500 pages like this every day. That's how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will…

The rest of the article describes how Charles Chu took the challenge and figured out how to read more books – and the impact it had. Thanks to Gazelles coach Matt Kuttler for recommending.

10 Top Influence Experts — this Huffington Post piece highlights the top 10 influence experts from 2016 along with their best sales tips – it's a great summary of 10 books that have impacted our understanding of persuasion – worth sharing with your sales and marketing team. And #1 is Dr. Robert Cialdini and his book Pre-suasion – we're excited he's keynoting our ScaleUp Summit.

CEO Boot Camp — want some one-on-one time while spending 4 fun and deeply interactive days with Verne and 10 CEOs at The Marathon Retreat in the Florida Keys March 7 – 10. For more info [email protected]

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]


Have you ever wondered if working with a coach might accelerate your company's growth, exponentially? Do you have what it takes to move the dial from good to great? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

And if you're interested in becoming a world-class certified Gazelles International coach, please go to gicoaches.com/becomeacoach for more information. If you determine that we're a fit and wish to join our premier organization, we invite you to contact our Dir. of Coach Engagement at [email protected] or 877.217.2253 ext.700.


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.

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.