Urgent Vote before 11am ET; 5pm GMT
November 23, 2012
Exciting Employees; Swooshing Employees; Core Value Icons; Detroit and Des Moines
December 4, 2012

ROL vs ROI; Luckiest Country; Share the Luck; WorldReader Vote

"…keeping you great"


Those who don't read, barely have an advantage over those who can't. And the more I learn, the luckier I get.

Sourcing Great Advisors — for my next Fortune column, I'm looking for stories of how you (creatively and/or luckily) found and lured top talent to advise your firm – lawyers, accountants, board members, etc. – more details below.

Return on Luck (ROL) — I consider this concept the most important new biz term in 2012 (and maybe the century so far). Coined by Jim Collins in his bestseller Great by Choice (must read book!), he's the first to scientifically study the impact of luck – good and bad – on companies. The key is not to squander the good luck that comes your way; and to turn bad luck into an advantage. His book is full of other powerful insights as well – and the first to focus on the success of firms from start-up – firms like ours.

ROL Key to ROIMy latest "Growth Guy" column encourages companies to focus on your return on luck both during planning for 2013 and every day moving forward!! The column provides more details on ROL. NOTE: I can already say without a doubt that consciously evaluating where I've failed to maximize good luck in the past and adjusting my decisions accordingly has already netted significant gains. And looking at every situation through an ROL lens has changed my perspective dramatically. Take 3 minutes to scan through this short December column.

Share the Luck 20 seconds of your time to vote could result in $1 million of e-readers and e-books being delivered to disadvantaged youth across 20 countries through WorldReader.org. Education, and specifically the ability to read, is something sacred. Through technology, WorldReader can send books electronically without the cost of shipping heavy volumes huge distances. And it prevents corrupt governments from getting their hands on the aid!! If a young Pakistani girl is willing to risk her life in support of education, we can all take 20 seconds to vote.

Vote 27th Nov – 4th Dec – OK, I have a thing for the power of books – and it costs you nothing to vote. Here's the low down:

  • WorldReader is 1 of 25 finalists for the Giving Awards that will air on NBC 8th December.
  • You can vote for Worldreader here
  • Chase customers can vote twice: once on the Chase Giving Website and once on the Chase Giving Facebook Page. Many credit cards, including the Amazon credit card, are Chase.
  • The winner can win up to $1 million.
  • Voting happens from Nov. 27 – Dec. 4.
  • Why WorldReader wants to win? — read more: We Need You and You and You.

Please help spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, your blog and your newsletter. WorldReader has put together a kit where you can grab banners, Facebook posts, tweets…whatever you need to get the word out. Click here: What More Can I Do

Lucky to be Born in SwitzerlandThe Economist, in a recent article entitled "The Lottery of Life", highlights how countries have switched positions over the past several decades in terms of prosperity for future generations. Especially stark has been the drop of the US from #1 in a related ranking in 1988 to #16 today. Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Switzerland (#1) have all moved ahead. Take 4 minutes to look at the factors considered and how they play out for your children.

What Really Smart (and Lucky) People Do — Kevin Daum has another useful column in Inc., encouraging leaders to not get in the way of their own learning. He provides five tips for stepping aside and continuing to increase your smarts:

  1. Quiet Your Inner Voice
  2. Argue With Yourself
  3. Act Like You Are Curious
  4. Find the Kernel of Truth
  5. Focus on the Message not the Messenger

It's this last one I hope all insight readers take to heart!!! Spend 2 minutes reading Kevin's column.

Sourcing Great Advisors — For my next Fortune column, I'm looking for advice on choosing great advisers for a business–lawyers, CPAs, consultants and the like. It's really tough for many of us to evaluate someone outside of our own core discipline. If you are an accountant, lawyer or consultant, what questions would you ask folks in your own field to figure out if they're any good–and the right fit? Are there any red flags that would warn you not to hire someone? I'd also like to know if word of mouth is the only way to find good professional advisers in your field. Are there any online marketplaces for talent that you consider a worthy place for an entrepreneur to look for professional help? Have any of you hired a professional adviser after reading a blog post, book or white paper he or she wrote?

I'd also like to receive anecdotes from entrepreneurs who have taken an interesting route to hiring a professional adviser–and gotten great results. Please let me know the name of your business, what it does, where it is based, what its annual revenues are and if it's profitable (Fortune requires some financial details). Email me at [email protected].

Holiday Biz Gifts — What 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 5books I've named for 2012 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.