Airbnb’s Job; Strange Brain of Climber; Slower Wins; 75 Foot Vision Wall
September 1, 2016
WARNING: I’m promoting a politician in this insight – though not who you likely think!
September 15, 2016

Cuban’s Investment; Hsieh’s Regrets; 5-Hour Workday; 3 Ways to Love; 100% Customer Retention

"…insights for scaleups"


Anytime you have a difficult decision, imagine yourself as a 90-year-old looking back at this moment. What decision would you wish that you would have made? Go forward and look backward.
  Nick Woodman, Founder/CEO GoPro

7-Minutes to Mastering (Scaling Up Club) — Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, shares his two favorite books and the #1 priority in driving the business in this clip.

Tony Hsieh's Biggest Regret — it's been almost 5 years since Hsieh poured $350 million into revitalizing downtown Las Vegas – and in hindsight he would have done a few things differently. If you're interested in the update, read this CNBC piece. In addition to the chicken-and-egg challenges of launching something new, which he describes, he notes:

"The other thing that we would have done differently, knowing what we know now, is really made our goals much more explicit," Hsieh said.

CNBC explains:

For example, he would have put "collisions" – serendipitous encounters between individuals who can drive innovation – ahead of co-learning, connectedness and even return on investment.

The point? Measure what you really want/need and keep that front and center. Please take 2 minutes to pick up additional lessons from Tony's lofty vision.

3 Ways to Fall in Love…with a job you don't even like. Have your employees read this CNN "The Wisdom Project" article! With employee engagement at all-time lows, why is the onus for fixing this only on the backs of the leadership. Employees need to step-up – there are huge parts of jobs that just suck, so do something about it. As this article suggests, the problem isn't the job. Instead, the article suggests:

  1. Hack the job (though I'm getting tired of this term) – there are better ways to do things – or not do things!
  2. Enjoy your work neighbors – make a point to get to know, more deeply, those you interact with daily.
  3. Create a new job title in your head – even if your job is to clean bedpans (great example in article).

Take 3 minutes to read the details for each – it's worth it – then start loving your job again.

What Happened When Cuban's Investment Moved to a 5-Hour Workday — Tower Paddle Boards, a Shark-Tank funded firm, decided to move to a 5-hour workday – 8am – 1pm. Productivity tripled, sales and profits increased 40%, per hour wages doubled, and everyone is happier, as you can imagine! This Fast Company article, written by founder Stephan Aarstol, details how they did it – many of the ideas similar to the above ways to streamline a job. The key, again, is measuring what matters – output vs. hours – and challenging conventional wisdom. Henry Ford was the first to dramatically reduce the work week and his productivity soared – and those who have faced debilitating illnesses have discovered the same. Work expands to fill the time allowed unless you take control.

Best Advice from 40 Under 40 — the above quote came from Fortune asking the Top 40 under 40 alumni for their best piece of advice. Take 2 minutes to scan down through the rest of their pearls of (young) wisdom. BTW, it's always about going back to the basics.

Total Ctrl Retains 100% of Clients (Gazelles Case Study) — Entrepreneur Ryan Markel's unique rhythm of customer contact has helped his lean startup Take Ctrl position itself for seven-figure revenue while growing profits by 400% last year. One key was rethinking the entire IT services pricing model and eliminating irritants in getting IT support (I'm all for that!), with the help of Gazelles International Certified Coach David Chavez. Take 3 minutes to see how Ryan and his team have accomplished this daring transformation.


Have you ever wondered if your company would be a good candidate to work with an executive growth coach? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients.

And if you're interested in becoming a world-class certified Gazelles International coach, please email us at [email protected].


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 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

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.