2017 Trends; Smell of the Place; 55% Lighter; Two Key Metrics
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5 Key Business Trends to Master in 2016
December 15, 2016

Top 5 Biz Books; Top 2 Leader Skills; Best Non-Fiction Murder Mystery; Verne Harnish Webinar Dec 14

"…insights for scaleups"


Verne Harnish "Strategic Thinking" Webinar — I'll be leading a live webinar next Wednesday 14th December at 12pm ET – more below, but first…

Top 5 Biz Books 2016 my annual list is on the newsstand (Fortune Dec. 1) and online. Of the roughly 13,000 biz books published this past year, here are my top 5 for scaleups:

  • Confessions of The Pricing Man – Hermann Simon
  • Pre-suasion – Robert Cialdini
  • Right Away & All at Once – Greg Brenneman
  • The Coaching Habit – Michael Bungay Stanier
  • How to Have a Good Day – Caroline Webb

Please take 1 minute to read my summary/rationale for choosing each.

Four Additional Books — the five above were in addition to these three widely popular 2016 (must read) biz books:

  • The Third Wave – Steve Case (co-founder of AOL)
  • The Ideal Team Player – Pat Lencioni (author Five Dysfunctions of a Team)
  • Shoe Dog – Phil Knight (founder of Nike – best biz bio of 2016)

And recommended by VC Brad Feld I just finished Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice – the true story of Bill Browder's dealings with/inside Russia – it's a page turner where truth is scarier than fiction.

Worth Doing Wrong — and this is the title of a book written by one of us – Arnie Malham, founder of cj Advertising (and the Better Book Club). Here is my published endorsement of Arnie's excellent book:

For all the talk about the Googles and Facebooks of the world, what about us mere mortals trying to scale up a midmarket firm? Where do we get role models to help us dominate our industry while creating a wonderful culture for our people? Arnie Malham has done just that. He openly shares, in a quick-read form, his best practices and mistakes made in scaling up cj Advertising–a firm which is number one in its niche. And he's built a company of leaders along the way–a place where everyone can learn and contribute and feel a vital part of cj's success. This is your how-to manual for scaling up a successful and fun organization.

If you're helping lead a scaleup, grab a copy of Arnie's book Worth Doing Wrong: The Quest to Build a Culture that Rocks and enjoy over the holidays.

Meet the Authors — of the nine biz books highlighted, three keynoted the Growth Summit a few weeks ago (Pat Lencioni, Greg Brenneman, and Hermann Simon). And this spring at the Scale Up Summit Robert Cialdini and Michael Stanier are already confirmed to be in San Antonio May 23 – 24. Cialdini is the "father" of influence, having written THE book on the subject by the same name. Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade is his first new book in a decade and its equally breakthrough.

It's What You Do Before You Persuade — Cialdini found in his research of the most effective persuaders that they do something BEFORE they try to influence someone that has a profound impact on the outcome. The opening story about the alarm system sales person is hugely eye opening. Warning: it's a book you'll need to read a few times, like his classic before. It's why we've booked Cialdini, one of the most legendary biz authors, to be the opening keynote in San Antonio next May. The ability to influence is a foundational skill.

Coaching Replaces Managing it's been a theme for 2016. No one wants managed; but everyone needs coached. I've been searching for the right practical guru/book to help us all make the transition. This is why we've asked Michael Stanier, author of The Coaching Habit, to also keynote the ScaleUp Summit next spring. Read the reviews on Amazon to understand how influential Stanier has become in this "new" field. Again, coaching is a foundational skill for all leaders.

Strategic Planning Bonus Chapter and just a reminder as we move through the season of strategic planning, there is a complimentary bonus chapter to Scaling Up titled "Strategic Planning" which describes how to prepare for and run the process. You can download at www.scalingup.com

Strategic Thinking Webinar — Business dynamics are changing right in front of our eyes which is why firms must engage in a routine of strategic thinking. You can't just work on strategy once a quarter or once a year. And in strategic planning sessions we've seen too many leaders focused on costs rather than finding new and unexploited sources of profit. If you fail to nail an effective strategy, you'll waste the next few years of execution. So join me for a live webinar on December 14th at 12PM EST where I'll share keys to an effective strategic thinking session for a strong 2017. Reserve your spot here.


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? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

And if you're interested in becoming a world-class certified Gazelles International coach, please go to gicoaches.com/becomeacoach for more information. If you determine that we're a fit and wish to join our premier organization, we invite you to contact our Dir. of Coach Engagement at [email protected] or 877.217.2253 ext.700.


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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.