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June 29, 2017

Crazy Backstory; No Try, Only Do; Brand/Culture Assessment; Be Incredible!

"…insights for scaleups"


Free Brand/Culture Assessment — 2016 ScaleUp Summit speaker Denise Lee Yohn, author of What Great Brands Do, is working on a new book and is gathering research through a free brand/culture assessment, more below, but first…

My Apology, But Great Story — I took some time off last week, so there was no insight (and there will be other gaps this summer). Otherwise, the next piece would have been more timely. I still find this a perfect example of why it's always a "WHO" question when you want to win and win big!! And it's an amazing and insightful story of constraint analysis, quick decision making, and making the ONE move that all but guaranteed a championship title a year in advance. Please read!

'I'm Ready': The Text That Started the Warriors' Dynasty — for non-NBA fans, the Golden State Warriors basketball team continued to set records in winning their 2nd Championship in three years, crushing Lebron James' Cleveland Cavaliers. But there is a back story that all but guaranteed this outcome a year in advance, which this brilliantly written Sports Illustrated (SI) article article details. In short, just 30 minutes after the Warriors lost Game 7 of the finals last year to the Cavaliers, after having the winningest season in history, Warriors player Draymond Green kicks into action. Rather than sitting around all depressed, thinking about how no team had ever lost a championship being up 3-1, Green is making a move to guarantee this never happens again.

Only One Optionto quote SI, Green asks himself:

"What will get us over this hump and make us incredible? Not just incredible for a year. What will make us incredible for a long, long time?" Rather than what, the question was who. Green believed the Warriors needed a player to take stress off Curry, so he wouldn't always have to hit the 35-footer, and apply it to James, so he would never again be able to hide on Harrison Barnes, freelancing for blocks and steals. Only one such person who walks the earth was available.

Green had analyzed the devastating loss, identified the key constraints, and realized the only solution was a "who."

Kevin Durant the SI article continues:

And so, at that locker, in that uniform, less than an hour after the most excruciating loss of his life, Green punched up Kevin Durant's number. "See what we're missing," Green says, recounting the text message he sent Durant. "We need you. Make it happen." Green had been courting Durant for months, but this was his strongest pitch yet, delivered at the most dramatic juncture. "Right after you lose Game 7," Green says, "shows you're serious." Of course, the Warriors did not need Durant, not really. They had gone 73-9 without him. But Green would leave nothing to chance. Neither, it turned out, would Durant.

The rest is history. Durant joins the Warriors, they set an NBA playoff record in winning 15 straight games, and this move all but assures the Warriors of several more, if not a record number of, championships. It's a lengthy, but riveting article – please take 6 minutes to read the rest of this story and pick up more negotiation and human behavior tricks.

What Will Make Your Company Incredible for a Long, Long Time? — bring this question to your next weekly meeting or quarterly planning session. Take some time this weekend to think about what is truly constraining your business (or personal) success. It's likely a "who" issue. Who's missing? Who could take a significant load off you and the team? Who do you need to text?

No Try, Only Do — the previous story couldn't have set me up any better to promote a book titled No Try, Only Do (exactly what Draymond Green did!). Serial entrepreneur Andy Bailey launched and scaled an Inc. 500 company, which he successfully exited in 2011. Now founder of Petra Coach, a significant coaching partner with Gazelles (and creator of Align, the SaaS dashboarding system we recommend), Andy has logged more than 10,000 hours coaching firms in using the Rockefeller Habits. His new book No Try, Only Do provides numerous case studies that detail how to put these habits in action. Go right to Chapter 6 and see how NationLink Wireless, Andy's earlier company, 4x'd the industry average gross margin/employee – moving from $75k/employee to a whopping $275k/employee. Then read the rest of the book! Thank you, Andy, for the perfect "how to" supplement to Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0).

Who You Sit Next to Matters — there's been a long-standing idea that your success is the sum of the people you associate with. Along these same lines, this HBR article titled "Want to be more productive, sit next to someone who is" highlights research proving this link. For me, the best solution is hiring all A-Players, then you don't have to worry about who sits (or plays) next to whom!

Free Brand/Culture Assessment — Denise Lee Yohn is working on a new book about the mutually-reinforcing and interdependent relationship between company culture (what you do on the inside) and brand identity (how you're perceived on the outside.) She has developed an assessment to help you determine how well-integrated your brand and your culture are and where the biggest gaps exist. Please take the assessment – it's free and only takes about 15 minutes. Not only will you help Denise collect the data she needs for her new book, but also you'll get a personalized report that will help you identify the brand type and corresponding core values that will enable your organization to achieve its greatest impact.


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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 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.

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]

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.

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