CFO Outlook; Top 5 Biz Books 2012; Reverse Aging; Holiday Gifts
November 15, 2012
Urgent Vote before 11am ET; 5pm GMT
November 23, 2012

Businessperson of the Year; Unusual Management Idea; Don’t Grow; Perfect Holiday Read

"…out-learning the competition" 


We're fully stored, why
don't we focus on improving the existing stores that we have rather than
growing for growth's sake?
  Frank Blake, CEO, Home Depot

Gratitude at Work
— Toby Jenkins, CEO of Australia-based
Bluewire Media,
notes "we've been inspired (by Barrett Ersek's gratitude video) to implement
gratitude as a key part of ou
r Daily,
Weekly, Monthly and Quarterly rhythms. Here's a blog post Toby wrote on their
initiative –

Gratitude At Work
. One key is encouraging peers to show gratitude with each
other for living the company's values and brand promises – a powerful way to
keep your culture strong. And

here's a link
to Barrett's complimentary 15 minute presentation on the
importance of Gratitude – something powerful to re-watch during this
Thanksgiving season in the US – just register and enjoy.

Businessperson of the Year
— …and Fortune Magazine's winner is Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Driving
revenues up another 31% this past year, Bezos has some unusual management
practices, including what he calls "narratives" – six-page memos that his senior
team read in silence together!!

Take seven minutes (it's long but worth it) and read
this fantastic
narrative on Bezos and Amazon.

Communal Reading
— Notes Fortune, "Bezos says the act of communal reading guarantees the
group's undivided attention. Writing a memo is an even more important skill to
master. 'Full sentences are harder to write,' Bezos says. 'They have verbs. The
paragraphs have topic sentences. There is no way to write a six-page,
narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.' This is exactly why we
at Gazelles discourage leaders from sending around big documents for people to
read ahead of time. Better to bring it to the meeting and have everyone read it
right then and there – and then debate, dialogue, and decide.

Better to be Kind than

— known as a tough, straight-talking CEO, Bezos, nevertheless, learned a lesson
about kindness vs. cleverness – a story Bezos shared about a time when he made
his grandmother cry. This and a classic Panera Bread story in Bill Taylor's

HBR blog
from August – worth 2 minutes to read.

When Not Growing Is Growth
— Home Depot has seen its stock skyrocket 70% this year after pulling out of
China and halting the expansion of more stores. Sometimes the best growth
strategy for 2013 is to not grow, but to get your own house in order first.

Take 3 minutes to read
how Frank Blake, CEO of Home Depot, along with
Starbucks and Ford, has bucked the trend to grow, for the time being, to affect
a major turnaround of the business.

4-Hour Chef
— Tim Ferriss's new book was released today – which has less to do with cooking
and more about how to master/learn anything. I must downloaded and look forward
to reading over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend – probably a 4 hour read!

Thanksgiving Gifts
— Thanksgiving in the US – a perfect time to thank customers for making a great
decision to do business with you. And what better gift over the next month of
holidays than a book (put a box in your trunk and pass out at biz luncheons and
customer visits with a personal note in each) – maybe one of the top 5 or
The Greatest Business
Decisions of All Time
– something quick to read that will spur ideas for
their own business and provide important historical information on 18 of the
greatest business decisions ever made. Bulk discounts available.

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.