Five Reasons To Escape Overseas
July 24, 2014
Terrible Bosses; Boring Bosses; Remote Bosses; Eating a Scorpion
August 7, 2014

Weird Al video; No Bosses – Holocracies; Free Agent Employees; Love ’em or Lose ’em

"…keeping you great"


To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.
  Reba McEntire, Singer, Songwriter, and Actress

"Weird Al" Yankovic this 4 minute video titled "Mission Statement" highlights everything this is wrong (and weirdly hilarious) with the business guru industry. It's worth watching just before your next quarterly planning session (I'll be showing it to the ProService team in Hawaii today). Thanks to Inc. columnist Kevin Daum for pointing me to this painful music video. Enjoy.

Love 'em or Lose 'em — this is the title of Beverly Kaye's timeless classic. The 5th edition, updated in 2014, shares 26 specific and simple techniques managers can use to keep employees engaged. It's a perfect primer (training tool) for frontline supervisors and middle managers who are key to retaining your best employees and keeping them performing at their peak. It also provides important reminders to senior leaders as well! GazellesPro and book club members will receive a copy of the book for your library next week. Come hear Kaye keynote, along with Ben Horowitz, Keith Ferrazzi, Liz Wiseman, Salim Ishmail, John DiJulius, and other thought leaders at Fortune's Growth Summit Oct 28 – 29, Las Vegas.

OK to Lose 'em — In turn, Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, has a new book out this month called Alliance. The serial entrepreneur and now venture capitalist makes the point that people are no longer willing to be "Lifers" at companies who expect loyalty from them, while making no commitment to their professional development. Hoffman suggests rethinking this relationship as an alliance in which both parties agree to go on a multi-year tours-of-duty with a defined end date and specific outcomes. While on this mission, the employee offers her best work and loyalty as long as the company provides the promised experience and training.

Employees Like NBA Players — When the tour-of-duty ends, you either find a new mission or you let the employee move on in her best interest (free agent). To keep leveraging the relationship or possibly rehire the person later on, the book offers practical advice on how to build a corporate alumni network.

Important Template to Download — For a quick summary of Hoffman's key points, go to and search for Reid's 10 page article "Tour of Duty" from June 2013 that nicely summaries the approach. A great take away offered by Hoffman and his co-authors is this template for a Statement of Alliance that you can use to formulate and seal long lasting alliances with your own employees. For an even shorter (and free) summary, take 2 minutes to scan this Fortune article on his book.

No Leaders Needed — several companies are back experimenting with "leaderless" or "bossless" teams. One term for this new organizational structure is a holacracy. This is becoming more a possibility as technology is able to take over many of the traditional activities of managers – monitoring, feedback, training, and coaching. Here's an extensive article (9 minutes to read) on holacracies and how companies like Zappos are adopting this approach. In my experience, companies still end up having "champions" or "coaches" that fill in many of the traditional management roles. Thanks to Shashi Kaant Bhatnagar, CEO of Mumbai-based BellPepper Animation for sharing this story.


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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.