Pixar’s Secret; Dream Team CEO; Stein Mart Story; Jack Stack Online; Rock Habits Fall Schedule
April 3, 2014
5 ways to stay ahead of rising costs
April 10, 2014

Two New Billionaires; Big Pet Peeve; Fortune Stories Needed; Summit Room Rate Ends Today

"…keeping you great"


I get several hundred emails per day. I wish people would just ask for what they want in the first sentence. I don't need to know their whole life history to make a decision. Getting people to be brief would save everyone a lot of time.


Guy Kawasaki, author, publisher and entrepreneur

Stories Needed for FORTUNE Column — any barriers to growth this past year? On a tight deadline – more details below, but first…

Atlassian Valued at US$3.5 Billion — congratulations to co-founders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brooks – now billionaires on paper after launching the firm in 2002!! For the full story on how they generate $200 million with no sales people here's a link to this WSJ announcement. One hint – they are guerilla marketers to perfection (Scott always sends me ideas for columns which has landed him in several articles and features). Thanks to Paul O'Dwyer, one of our coaching partners in Australia, for the heads-up on this transaction.

Subject Line Etiquette! — one of my email pet peeves — the "Subject:" line of emails should match the substance of the email, period!! For instance, if there is a request for an 15th April phone call, put "15th April call" in the Subject line. And if the reply email switches it to 17th April, don't keep using the old 15th April Subject line. Take 3 seconds and change the Subject line to 17th April. As back and forth emails morph into different topics, the Subject line needs to change so it aligns with the modified or new topic. Take Subject lines seriously and communication will flow better.

Email Etiquette #2 — my second pet peeve is too many requests in one email, especially if they involve different people. I would rather receive three separate emails with one topic/request per email (with matching Subject lines!!) than one long email and a generic Subject line.

Email Etiquette #3 — my third pet peeve are long emails. The above quote from Guy Kawasaki is his testimonial for Joseph McCormack's book Brief: Make a Bigger Impact Saying Less. When we invite big names to keynote our Summits, like Ben Horowitz for the Growth Summit, we take Kawasaki's advice and put the request both in the Subject line and as the first sentence of the email. It works rather than drone on about the details.

Next Online Topgrading Master Class — hiring someone in 2014? Want a 90%+ success rate? Next Topgrading Master Class starts April 24 – all from the comfort of your office. More info here.

Hotel Room Rate Ending — the $169/night rate at the Leadership Summit May 13 – 14, Orlando, ends today – here's a link.

FORTUNE Column Stories — CEOs – what were your biggest barriers to business growth in the past year or two and how you overcame it. We're not looking for stories about beating the odds in raising capital. Instead, internal obstacles that — once you discovered and removed them — cleared the path to growth. Perhaps you had organized the business in a way that wasn't working for you, didn't have the right procedures in place, had people working on the wrong things, combined two departments that should have operated separately, did not invest enough in a particular area of the business, etc. Please include the name of your company, the city where it is located, the number of employees and annual revenue (FORTUNE requires this), as well as a few lines explaining what the obstacle was and the results you achieved by busting through it. Thanks.


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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.