Entrepreneurial Bullets; 4 Best Books for 2011; Year in Provence; Summer in Barcelona
November 17, 2011
Senior Team Buried; Key to Leading; Latest Growth Guy Column
December 1, 2011

Grateful for Adversity; Love vs Lust; Allocate vs Accumulate; Happiness

"…keeping you great"

HEADLINES: (Happy Thanksgiving Week)

Trust that everything life brings you is a gift.
  Brother David

Choose to Be Grateful — especially choose to be grateful for adversity. This is the message Barrett Ersek, founder of Holganix, shared last week at a gathering of Entrepreneur Organization (EO) members. Take four minutes to watch this video presentation (start at 12:04) where Barrett describes how he chose gratitude when his business faced a death blow. And if you have time, back up to 8:50 and listen to his story of when he first tested the power of gratitude – an incident with his family. I plan to share Barrett's heartfelt message with my family on Thanksgiving Day.

Love vs. Lust — this ended up being the theme of my keynote presentation before 1200 military leaders, entrepreneurs, and students at General Hugh Shelton's Values-based Leadership Forum last Friday in Raleigh, NC. I was the warm-up speaker for American icon Tom Brokaw, the trusted voice of news on NBC for so many years. I framed my speech by referencing the famous Grant Men's study looking at what makes us happy (268 men that have been followed for over 70 years) where the lead researcher for the past 40 years summed up the findings in one word – if you want to be happy then "Love – full stop." Here's an excellent look at the study along with a 6 minute video by the lead researcher Dr.George Vaillant.

Give vs. Take — rather than define hate as the opposite of love, I chose lust. Long ago, someone explained the difference between love and lust. If you love someone or something you're willing to GIVE them/it your all; if you simply lust for someone or something, you want to TAKE. So love vs. lust is really a decision between giving and taking. Therefore, the overarching value that drives decision making should be whether it's an act of love (give) or lust (take).

Listen vs. Talk — listening is giving attention; talking is taking attention. Asking questions is inviting others to participate; making statements is taking away their opportunity to contribute. If leaders can keep the give vs. take framework in their mind as they go through their everyday activities, they'll have a values-based compass for taking the right actions and making the best long-term decisions.

Allocate vs. Accumulate — in preparation for the speech, I reread Lynne Twist's book The Soul of Money. It was a powerful reminder that money is like water – it needs to flow – and be directed in loving vs. lustful ways. As she notes "money is a current, a carrier, a conduit for our intentions. Money carries the imprimatur of our soul" – challenging us to be known for what we allocate, not what we accumulate.

What you appreciate, appreciates. Happy Thanksgiving.

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.