"...insights for scaleups"
|The cowards never started and the weak died along the way. That leaves us, ladies and gentlemen. Us.|
|Phil Knight's (Nike co-founder) favorite quote|
7-Minutes to Mastery - Influence -- learn Steve Martin's 3 main motivations to get anyone to do anything. More below, but first...
Scooter Store Did Nothing Wrong -- after spending five years and $10 million investigating Doug Harrison's company (and destroying 2500+ jobs in the process), the FBI ultimately found the Scooter Store did nothing wrong, more below, but second...
June 13 Application Deadline -- Harvard's Summit on Exit Strategies, more below, but third...
Don't Be Authentic! -- notes Adam Grant in this insightful NY Times article titled "Unless Your Oprah, 'Be Yourself' Is Terrible Advice":
This was a particularly painful article for me. I pride myself on being transparent and "speaking my mind." This article suggests a much better way - in essence:
Take 2 minutes to read this powerful article - then work on being sincere vs. authentic (you'll understand after reading the article).
Brené Brown Responds to Adam's Article -- so begins the debate as Brown immediately challenges Grant's authenticity vs. sincerity distinction - then Grant responds to her. It's been a while since I've seen a couple of the top professors/thought leaders go at each other. It's an important topic and worth reading the two additional pieces (4 minutes). BTW, Brown's response seemed authentic (crude and blunt); Grant's sincere (polite and measured).
Nike -- Great Summer Read -- best biz bio I've read in a while - Phil Knight's (co-founder of Nike) biography titled Shoe Dog. Knight's book, once again, proves that scaling a company is never easy - from the challenges with his initial Japanese partner going around his distribution agreement to ongoing challenges with his bankers. Ultimately, Knight and his team "just kept moving" like those that navigated the Oregon Trail (the source of the opening quote above).
Knight's Terrible Time with Managers -- notes Knight, sitting in a hot tub with the former CEO of the trading company that saved Nike:
Knight understood the message:
Yes, it seems to have worked. Nike's revenue last year was over $30 billion and the market cap today is just shy of $90 billion. Knight's book is a real page turner, quick read - enjoy this summer.
Knight's Run-In with the US Government -- thanks to what Knight called a "bureau-kraken" customs official on a power trip, Nike was almost destroyed. This lone official claimed Nike owed customs $25 million, even though his own colleagues in the Treasury Department sided with Nike and said it didn't owe any money. This was at a time when Nike's revenues were only $25 million! Anyway, Nike, like so many of my entrepreneurial friends, have found that it's not just in other countries, but also in the US that unhappy bureaucrats decide they need to act important and end up crushing growth firms which are less able to fight their own government than the large Fortune 500.
The Scooter Store Short Story -- Knight's battle with the US Government pales in comparison to what happened to Doug Harrison's baby. Notes Harrison in a note to me a couple weeks ago (lots of authenticity and sincerity):
Again, Harrison's story isn't an isolated situation. Dozens of entrepreneurs have shared similar stories with me - one today - and all ended up being innocent but prosecuted by the media in the meantime.
Bill Gates' Top Five Books for the Summer -- and here is Gate's annual summer reading list which includes a two-minute animation he created to explain his picks. Neither the list nor the video are that inspiring, but he did convince me to read The Vital Question.
Reading Makes You Happier -- this New Yorker article is tough to read, but makes one great point - something biz guru Peter Drucker understood - that reading good fiction books gives you great insight into people. More specifically:
As organizations move to more self-directed work teams - and you wrestle with authenticity, these skills will become more and more critical - more than technical skills.
7-Minutes to Master -- Scaling Up Club -- rather watch/listen than read, Steve Martin, considered one of the top three influence experts in the world, is co-author of The small BIG: small changes that spark big influence. Go to slides 3 to 6 (7:14-14:43) and see how small changes can have a surprisingly positive impact on your business. Steve will also focus on the 3 main motivations to achieve successful influence.
Harvard Summit on Exit Strategies: Application Deadline -- Monday, June 13 application deadline to attend the Harvard Summit on Exit Strategies is fast approaching. Are you planning to sell your company in the next 36 months for $25 million to $500 million or more? Maximize your Exit by applying to attend (at no charge) this two-day symposium hosted at Harvard on August 23 and 24. I'll be one of the speakers discussing the strategies PE firms and larger companies use to "rob" owners of their firms. A first-class faculty will help you make the most of this big (and final) decision - and teach you how to handle the challenges you face after exiting. The response has been fantastic, but there is still time to apply.
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