5 Key Trends; Key Pricing Book; London Olympics Smart Pricing; Atlassian Goes Public; Last Insight for 2015
December 17, 2015
Bad Advice; How to Get Straight A’s; Profit vs. Purpose; Blake Mycoskie’s Dilemma
January 14, 2016

Zuckerberg’s Focus; Microsoft’s Prediction; Aidan’s Best Advice; Dennis’s Daily Routine; Hiring Hint

"…insights for scaleups"

HEADLINES: Happy New Year!

Screening Out vs. Screening In — expect to do some hiring in 2016? A couple hints below from Topgrading, but first…

Zuckerberg's Personal Focus — Last year Mark chose to read one book every two weeks (and learning Mandarin a few years ago helped him get a private 30-minute meeting with the President of China). For 2016 he's coding his own personal AI helper at home – think Tony Stark! Here's a link to Fortune's reporting on his 2016 focus.

What is your ONE personal goal for 2016? Besides choosing one personal goal (mine is to prepare a short piano medley) it's important to put in your calendar, now, dates for those important personal rituals – family gatherings, boys- or girls-only weekends, couple's escapes, daddy-daughter/mother-son events, etc. – otherwise 2016 will be over before you know it and you'll have missed another set of opportunities to connect more deeply/frequently with family and friends – the key to real happiness. Our One-Page Personal Plan (OPPP) might help you think through your personal priorities (starts and stops) for 2016 – fill it in this weekend.

Let Your Personal "Freak" Show in 2016! — Excellence is a form of deviance. And people succeed because of their weirdness. David Rendall, author of The Freak Factor: Discovering Uniqueness by Flaunting Weakness, was the closing keynote for our Growth Summit and brought the audience to their feet. Here's a 3-minute interview I did with David where he explains the power and challenges of being freakish (vs. normal) – and how you apply this to your business – and accepting how you're already different and letting that shine through, both personally and professionally.

2016 Year of AI Personal Assistants — and it looks like you're going to get some genuine help in reaching your goals (and maintaining your "freak") from capable artificial intelligent personal assistants, according to Microsoft's predictions for 2016. Besides helping us get work done, the new AI companions in our phones/laptops will help keep us upbeat and positive! For more on this "now" trend, scan through this short (1 minute) Fast Company article.

Aidan Fitzpatrick's Personal Lessons — Aidan, founder and CEO of Reincubate, the market leader in iOS, iCloud, and app data access technology (and President of the EO chapter in London) responded to Fortune's request for articles on lessons learned in growing a business. Here's one of my favorite of his seven:

I've learned two useful techniques to follow as the team grows. The first is to award new hires with as much trust as possible and as rapidly as possible. Rather than giving them simple tasks, I set more challenging ones and expect them to deliver in their first week. This gives them a sense of autonomy and mastery (two of the three attributes illustrated in Dan Pink's book Drive) and gives a real demonstration as to the current limit of their capabilities. The second technique is a simple reflection at each stage as they progress: Would I hire that person again, knowing what I know now?

Take 2 minutes to scan through all 7 lessons.

Dennis O'Donnell's Daily Routine — Dennis, cofounder of PAW5.us, a brand of sustainable pet enrichment products, and Here's a link to his article, a U.S. manufacturer of mobile accessories, also wrote a piece responding to Fortune's request for stories. He shared three lessons, including the critical importance of his daily routine of reading for an hour a day (including the insights!). It's helped him both personally and professionally. Here's a link to his article.

You Are What You Publish Besides contributing to the community of biz leaders, Aidan and Dennis have garnered some favorable coverage for their companies in Fortune. I'll keep pointing to these publishing opportunities in my insights.

Screening In vs. Screening Out — speaking of hiring, if you are going to make a change to your hiring process in 2016, start with this…STOP 'screening in' candidates that match your company culture and job requirements.

The process of 'Screening in' makes us filter in good attributes and rationalize the negative. Thus missing the point of an actual screening process – to limit live interviews to only the best candidates.

The Topgrading Telephone Screening Technique (four killer questions) is designed to 'screen out' the low potential candidates, reduce the number of candidates you have to interview in person, AND increase the probability of hiring success.

Click here and sign up to find out the basic steps of a productive phone interview and the other 11 Topgrading hiring steps!


Have you ever wondered if your company would be a good candidate to work with an executive growth coach? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients.


Align Software puts everyone on the Same Page – Literally! See, in real time every person in your organization and how they are progress on their priorities – alongside how these Align to the Company Priorities! Scale Up your Rockefeller Habits implementation with www.aligntoday.com on your computer and on your phone.

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.