4x Productivity; Nature’s Roll in Business; Sir Martin Sorrell’s Insights; Aust/NZ Tour
August 6, 2015
5 “Hacks” for Scaling Up; Free Viewing Tomorrow; Dec 9 – 11 Raleigh Master Class
August 18, 2015

Donald Trump; Google’s CEO; Leaders Lie; Free Viewing Aug 19

"…insights for scaleups"


NOTE: Oct 22 Scaling Up User Conference Postponed Until May 16

I am…defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning…I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things.
  Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft

Fortune Stories Needed — Want featured in my next column? Figured out ways to avoid becoming a commodity? More details below, but first…

Free Viewing: Geoff Smart's Who Course — save $99 – Aug 18 and 19 (several showings). Registration and details below, but second…

Google's New CEO — yet another Indian-born CEO took the helm of a major international firm on Monday. Sundar Pichai (Google) joins an elite group that includes Satya Nadella (Microsoft), Ajay Banga (Mastercard), Indira Nooyi (PepsiCo), Ivan Menezes (Diageo), and Shantanu Narayen (Adobe Systems). Notes this BBC News story:

One study, by the University of Southern New Hampshire, says that Indian managers are more successful because of "a paradoxical blend of genuine personal humility and intense professional will."

This precisely mirrors what Jim Collins concluded in studying what he labeled Level 5 leaders. Please take 2 minutes to read this BBC piece describing the philosophies of these Indian-born CEOs. It includes the quote from Nadella shared at the top of the insights. Then re-read Jim Collins' HBR article on Level 5 leaders. Thank you to Christo Popov, our Eastern European Marketing Partner, for sharing this insightful and highly quotable article with me.

…But Wait a Second — how do you explain Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina? Jeff Pfeffer, Stanford prof and author of the upcoming book Leadership BS, takes on Jim Collins and notes in this Fortune article:

We may say we disapprove of Trump's self-promotion, disdain for facts, and unapologetic persona. But these are the very qualities that allow leaders to succeed.

He goes on to back up his statement with research, including studies that suggest leaders lie with more frequency and that narcissistic leaders in Silicon Valley earn more money and remain longer in their CEO roles. He's careful to emphasize that the attributes he's describing are for those seeking individual success (emphasis mine) vs. organizational success. After all, Fiorina was a disastrous leader at HP, but received a massive severance package and is now zooming up the polls in the US presidential campaign. Take 2 minutes to read this in-your-face article, as a contrast to the BBC piece, and then ponder Pfeffer's two recommendations at the end.

…Adding Fuel to the Fire — piling on the debate, Fortune printed a Q&A with Bill George on his updated classic Discover Your True North. Former CEO of Medtronic, who grew the firm's market value from $1 billion to $60 billion, and now senior fellow at the Harvard Business School, George notes:

I think we have seen a tremendous change in leadership. You now see a very different kind of leader. Far less hierarchical. More collaborative. More empowering of workers. More global in outlook. And more in tune with public issues.

He also notes, especially among the millennials, that "The hierarchical leader is out. The empowering leader is in." Take 3 minutes to scan through his interview.

Being Authentic? — Bill George's earlier book titled Authentic Leadership might resolve the conflict. Maybe the lesson in all of this is to just be yourself — as rough or polished as that is – while committing to learn and grow and improve yourself.

Speaking of Authentic Leadership (Gazelles Case Study) — this week Nelson Jacobson and his firm JSJ Corp. are featured in an article I wrote for Global Trade magazine. CEO of his 100 year-old global family business with over 2800 employees, JSJ first entered China in 1985 and today has 40% of its workforce based outside the US. The article details how JSJ uses the One-Page Strategic Plan (OPSP) and the daily huddles to keep all their divisions aligned, which helped them survive the downturn in the economy. Take 1 minute to read this mini-case study – then come meet Nelson and his team in Dallas at the Growth Summit.

Stories Needed — For my next Fortune column, I am focusing on how to avoid becoming a commodity. How have you kept your product or service from being treated like a commodity by your customers–even if commoditization is the trend in your industry? In what ways do you distinguish what you sell, so you can avoid a race to the bottom on pricing with competitors? Please include your company name, the city where it is located, what the company sells, the number of employees you have and your annual revenue (Fortune requires the revenue figure). Email [email protected]

Who: The A Method of Hiring – How to Solve Your #1 Problem. Geoff Smart is Chairman & CEO of a management assessment firm for CEOs and investors, which he founded in 1995. Here, Geoff Smart solves every manager's #1 problem: making hiring mistakes. Register Here for a FREE Course Viewing of Who: The A Method for Hiring on August 19th. Register now to SAVE $99. Length: 97 Minutes. Language: English.


Interested in selecting a coach to help your company Scale Up? Check out this video explaining the "4+1 Rule of Thumb" for choosing the right coach.

TECHNOLOGY: Align Software knows before you do when someone needs to re-focus effort on the important. With Green, Yellow, Red pacing capabilities your team will know where they stand even before you do! 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.