Trash-talking CEO; Best Places to Work; New Rules of Marketing; Lamb Financial
February 22, 2018
4 Behaviors; Unwavering Reliability; Make Less Decisions; One Week Bath Theme
March 8, 2018

Why Norway?; Tom Peters is Keynoting!; Billionaire McMahon; GetSmarter

"…insights for scaleups"


The role of the director is to create a space where the actors and actresses can become more than they have ever been before, more than they've dreamed of being.


Robert Altman, movie director

Why Norway Won the Most Olympic Medals breaking the previous record set by the US, Norway won the most winter Olympic medals in history. This insightful Sports Illustrated (SI) article details the reasons why, which might come as a surprise. First, notes Tore Ovrebo, director of elite sport for the Olympiatoppen, an organization of scientists, trainers and nutritionists who work with Olympic athletes across Norway's sports federations:

Ovrebo says that in Norway, organized youth sports teams cannot keep score until they are 13. "We want to leave the kids alone," says Ovrebo. "We want them to play. We want them to develop, and be focused on social skills. They learn a lot from sports. They learn a lot from playing. They learn a lot from not being anxious. They learn a lot from not being counted. They learn a lot from not being judged. And they feel better. And they tend to stay on for longer."

The second main reason is the same reason Steph Curry's Golden State Warriors team won another NBA championship last year. It's all about the team having fun together. Notes SI:

The Norwegian Olympians play cards and charades before their competitions. "We think it's a good way building the team up, if you have fun with each other,"

Please take 1 minute to read some of the other reasons Norway came out on top. Then think how you might apply these same ideas to your team!!

Tom Peters' New Book Peter Drucker, Jim Collins, and Tom Peters – the three that put biz books front and center. And you might recall Tom received the coveted Jack Covert Award in 2017 for his contribution to the biz book world. He now has a new book coming out in April titled The Excellence Dividend (Tom owns the word Excellence!). Tom has been a dear friend all these years, so I couldn't be more excited that he's keynoting our ScaleUp Summit May 22 – 23 New Orleans. Here's a chance for you and your team to meet and learn from one of the legends of business. We'll be sending the SPro and book club members his book when it publishes.

It's EXCELLENT Tom was kind enough to send me an advance copy Tuesday which I've been devouring ever since. All I can say is WOW! If you measure the impact of a book by the dog-eared pages, it's almost every page. This is a MUST-read book!! One immediate example – the quote above and Tom's question if this shouldn't be the role of all leaders. Pre-order so you have a copy for Tom to sign. He's staying all morning and will be our guest at the private lunch on Tuesday at the ScaleUp Summit. He loves the mid-market companies and has an entire chapter on the impact our firms have on the economy – 80% of the job growth. It's why he accepted my invitation with enthusiasm.

Billionaire Linda McMahon this Feb 24 NY Times article provides an excellent update on the SBA Administrator who is our other main keynoter at the ScaleUp Summit. Linda McMahon, of WWE pro wrestling fame, has already increased loans to women entrepreneurs by 7% and has approved over $6 billion in loans to help with disaster recovery. Her keynote is titled "From Zero to a Billion" and this article will give you a sense of the journey she's been on, from bankruptcy to billionaire. Please take 2-minutes to read her story and then come meet and hear from one of the most successful women entrepreneurs in the world.

Largest EdTech Deal in South Africa's History (Gazelles case study) this BIZCommunity article highlights how two brothers, using the Rockefeller Habits, scaled their South African edtech company GetSmarter to 350 employees and then sold it to 2U for $103 million (R1.4 bn). Notes the article:

…they (Rob and Sam Paddock) would make decisions on the go which they soon realised wasn't working, and it was only when they were advised by a business leader in the US to read Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm by Verne Harnish, and told to do 90% of what Harnish suggests, that the company really started to take off.

Further notes Sam Paddock on the One-Page Strategic Plan (OPSP):

This format allows us to think together, as a broader executive team and as an organisation, to take this business that back in 2013 with 70 people in size was almost falling over and turn it into something which could become a future powerhouse in the Cape Town environment to show the world that Cape Town is capable of not only playing on this stage but also winning.

This is a huge win for both the brothers and South Africa – congratulations. Please take 2 minutes to read their story.

Inc. 5000 Analytics Rajeev Agarwal, founder/CEO of Seattle-based MAQ Software, 9-time Inc. 5000 winner, and Rock Habits fan, analyzed the eleven Inc. 5000 lists published since 2007 and shared his insights in a recent article. Notes Agarwal:

My takeaways from this longitudinal study of the most productive and successful Inc. 5000 businesses echo the adages pounded into first-year business students:

  • Revenue growth takes time. It may take 1,000 days or more to earn a profit.
  • Be prepared for economic conditions that are out of your control.
  • Despite the economy, business opportunities are always out there.
  • Go where the customers are.
  • Cash flow is king.

Please take 2 minutes to read more of the details. Rajeev, thank you for this important analysis.

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. April 3 – 6; 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 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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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.