Dell Public; 3 Keys to Intuition; Park Square Doubles; Instead of Bonuses; Jan 23 Scaling Up
December 13, 2018
Wei Chen’s Passing; 7 New Year’s Resolutions; UK ERF Electrical; $2.99 Scaling Up Kindle
January 3, 2019

Top 5 Biz Books 2018; Fortune’s Top Books; Personal Development Book

"…insights for scaleups"


Fortune's Top Biz Books for 2018 here's a link to Fortune President Alan Murray's list of best books for 2018. I hear John Doerr's Measure What Matters is a good book but haven't read it (up next for me). BTW, Murray's "CEO Daily" blog is a must read for me – gives me a quick update on what is happening globally in the world of biz. I highly recommend you sign up for it – it's free – and it takes me just one minute each day to scan. There is a link to sign up in the link above.

My Top 5 (and #1 of 5) Biz Books for 2018 — With artificial intelligence, machine learning and other technologies transforming the business world, it's never been more important to get in front of change. These top 5 books from 2018, aligned with our 4 Decisions Scaling Up framework (People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash), will help you master the forces that are shaking up the landscape for middle market companies, so you can take advantage of the best new opportunities to scale. BTW, authors for 4 of the top 5 keynoted our Summits this year, which is why we invited them.

People Outrageous Empowerment: The Incredible Story of Giving Employees Their Brains Back by Ron Lovett.

This is my top pick for 2018. Lovett went from private security guard, to the rich and famous, to founder of his own security company with 1,500 employees (which he recently sold for 24x earnings). His secret: Getting rid of all middle managers and letting frontline employees think through decisions for themselves. Employees don't quit companies. They quit bad bosses. And the best way to fix this problem is to eliminate all the bosses! Lovett will help you find the courage to pare away that non-essential layer of bureaucracy, which is costing you 30% of your payroll, and free your team to excel. Lovett's firm embodies what I consider the organizational structure for the 21st Century. For more details, and a glimpse into one of his many frontline employee stories, watch this excerpt from his presentation at our ScaleUp Summit

Strategy Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agarwal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb.

Artificial Intelligence was the #1 biz topic of 2018. Yet how do "mere mortal" mid-market firms think through how to put it to work in a practical way? The key is in the title of this powerfully practical book: prediction. Where in your company would knowing something more quickly make or save you significant money/time – like when you're about to lose a big customer or your best employees are ready to jump ship? Once you read it, head to the authors' 2-day workshops in Toronto. They're the best insurance policy you can find against being disrupted out of existence by a 22-year-old in Silicon Valley (or Toronto!).

Execution Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More by Morten Hansen

It's no accident that Hansen, a leading management thinker and professor at UC Berkeley, was also the co-author of what I consider Jim Collins' best book, Great by Choice. Now Hansen has written a book of his own, delivering a significant update to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in. Every company needs not just a few top performers producing but everyone knocking it out of the park. This book will show leaders how to educate everyone on their team to execute better.

Cash Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh

Blitzscaling details the "hacks" you ne
ed to grow really, really fast to capture a market quickly with a paradigm shifting idea. And because of this need for speed you need a really strong culture. There are blitzscaling opportunities in every company. Put together a team of two or three people, spending a few days a week, to identify and exploit a blitzscaling opportunity within your own firm. You'll have a shot at unleashing massive growth this year with a side project that could generate more cash value than your core business.

The One I Missed Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned:  The Myth of the Objective by Kenneth O.O. Stanley and Joel Lehman

Published in 2015, I just discovered this jewel of a book, which is challenging my own business thinking more than any recent book. If you really want to scale your business, you have to let go of some of your business objectives and allow serendipity to take hold. Stanley and Lehman have made a compelling case that too much adherence to objective-setting can blind you to the real opportunities to scale-and that medium-term goals can be dangerous to your business. Nonetheless, they haven't thrown out short-term goals. You need to know your next step. If you're looking for a book that challenges the conventional wisdom and will shake up your thinking, you won't want to miss this insightful read.

Personal Development Book — and I would be remiss if I didn't encourage everyone to read Rabbi Stephen Baars outstanding 2018 book WIN.: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Destiny. His 2-minute YouTube video on "how to deal with the village idiot" is a classic view of what it takes to succeed.

Happy Holidays – I'll be back after the first of the year with these insights.

CEO-BOOTCAMP: spend 3.5 days with Verne, serial entrepreneur John Ratliff, and 6 other CEOs in a beautiful retreat setting, addressing the constraints holding back you, your business, and your industry. January 15 – 18; March 12 – 15; Jun 4 – 7, 2019.

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]


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? Contact us at [email protected] for more information or visit


Create Accountability – Drive Execution with Align, cloud-based software designed to scale up your Rockefeller Habits implementation. – on your computer, tablet or phone. Click here to watch an introductory video.

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.