7 Bad Questions; Google’s 2 New Traits; Unified Theory of Scaling; Prediction Intelligence
March 22, 2018
Next Five Minutes; Excellence Dividend; People and AI; Hotel Cut-off
April 5, 2018

Wayne Huizenga RIP; His X-Factor; Best Strategic Priorities; Bloomberg Breakaway CEO Summit

"…insights for scaleups"


Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.
  Wayne Huizenga, 1937 – 2018

Bloomberg Breakaway CEO SummitAs part of our new collaboration with Bloomberg LIVE, 30 of our ScaleUp CEO's will be eligible to apply and join Bloomberg's Breakaway membership (annual dues just $2500) which includes an invitation to their Breakaway CEO Summit June 20-21 in New York City. If interested in joining 150 other CEOs hosted by Bloomberg, click this link.

Wayne Huizenga the only founder of three Fortune 500 companies (Waste Management, Blockbuster, and AutoNation) and owner of three sports teams, Wayne Huizenga passed away last Thursday. His public memorial service was today and this NY Times article did a great job of summarizing his entrepreneurial impact on the globe.

Huizenga's Rules Mr. Huizenga keynoted the very first Fortune Summit in 2001. And it was Huizenga's insights that served as the foundation for the first substantial article I wrote for Fortune in 2002 on why entrepreneurs need to "stick to their knitting," a phrase Tom Peters popularized in his book In Search of Excellence. What I needed to understand from Wayne is how he could achieve such huge success in what appeared to be three radically different industries. However, Wayne shared with me that he had four criteria for choosing what businesses to be in. If he ended up in a venture that didn't follow these four criteria he almost always failed. One of those rules was pursuing businesses in industries typified by bad customer service and fixing it i.e. Blockbusters "Always the Hits" – he could beat the competition. Please take 2 minutes to read the importance of knowing what you're good at and sticking to it.

Huizenga's X Factor it was also Wayne who explained to me the importance of having an underlying 10x – 100x advantage over the competition. With this you don't just beat the competition – you crush them. These ideas led to my second major article in Fortune in 2002 describing not only Huizenga's X Factor for Blockbuster but that of other companies. Later the X Factor would be a key component of the 7 Strata of Strategy framework in Scaling Up. There is a reason only one entrepreneur on the planet has ever created three Fortune 500 companies in three different industries. Please take 2 minutes to read up on the X Factor and then find it for your industry!!

Strategic Priorities this MIT Sloan Management Review article emphasizes the power of boiling your strategy down to a handful of mid-term (3 to 5 year) strategic priorities. This is the best way to keep everyone aligned and not just thinking tactically while being short term enough (we prefer 3 years) to feel concrete. Scroll down the article until you see the 7-item checklist – that summarizes the article completely and is a good reminder to continue to articulate these medium term strategic priorities. Does everyone in your company know what they are? As most of us go into a new quarter (01 Apr) this would be a great time to articulate these priorities. Thank you Elaine Pofeldt, author of The Million Dollar, One Person Business (she'll be in New Orleans at the Summit as well), for pointing
me to this article.

First Billion Dollar Revenue Sports Team for those interested, this Fortune article details the plans FC Barcelona has to be a billion in annual revenue by 2020. I still consider Ferran Soriano's book Management Ideas from the World of Football, detailing his plan for turning FC Barcelona into the powerhouse it is today, one of the best business books ever written (though it's expensive). And this Fortune article outlines what Soriano is doing now at Manchester City in what "Britain's Guardian newspaper calls the sport's "first truly multinational corporation-a Coca-Cola of soccer." Sports teams, as Huizenga found, are some of the most interesting and valuable assets on the planet.

Better Than Bringing Wine "never show up empty-handed" is the old adage when visiting friends/family/clients. Rather than bring a bottle of wine, bring a bottle of premium olive oil – something healthy they'll use every day. To help, my wife Julie has a gifting opportunity. With the purchase of a 12-pack of her award winning oil you will receive (separate shipment at no charge) gift bags, tags, colorful tissue paper with a post card explaining a little about the oil to give to your friends this spring and show them how "fresh and hip" you are! Notes Julie:

Giving Veritat is a symbol of heart. Your heart. Better than wine as a gift, it lasts longer, is incredibly versatile in cooking, and every time Veritat is enjoyed, they will think of you and get all tingly in appreciation of your thoughtfulness.

CEO-BOOTCAMP: spend 3.5 days with Verne, serial entrepreneur John Ratliff, and 9 other CEOs in a beautiful retreat setting, addressing the constraints holding you back, your business, and your industry. May 29 – June 1 (YPO-only); October 2 – 5; and January 15 – 18, 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? 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.


Create Accountability – Drive Execution
Click Here to Watch a video example.

Align is your cloud based business operating system designed to keep you on your path to executing your goals. See, in real time every person in your organization and how they are progressing on their priorities – alongside how they Align to the Company Priorities! Scale Up your Rockefeller Habits implementation with www.aligntoday.com – on your computer, tablet or phone. $5.00 per month gets you started.

Better Book ClubWhat'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.