Business Books: The Great 8

I recently purged my bookshelves of books that I have not re-read or touched in the past decade. Goodbye to “Who moved my Cheese” and “Barbarians at the Gate” among other titles. The process allowed me to reflect on the topics that comprise the “keeper” volumes in my library.  Eight titles stood out among those that stayed on the shelf.  These are regularly recommended to ALL entrepreneurs under 30 that I mentor: – Good to Great by Jim Collins Yeah, the companies have changed but the principles have certainly…

Top-10 Peter Drucker Quotes

Like many of you, I have been tremendously influenced by Peter Drucker.  The other day I was reminded that it was the 50th anniversary of the publication of Drucker’s classic Managing for Results. In that light, I pulled together my top-10 favorite Drucker quotes: There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship – the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth. Management by objective works… if you know…

Inc’s GrowCo: Startups Matter More Than Ever

 Energy in groups is often contagious and there was an abundance of it at Inc Magazine’s GrowCo conference last month in Nashville. If one had any doubts about the state of the American entrepreneurial spirit, those are quashed this week as founders and start-up executives descended on Nashville at Inc’s annual confab. A few issues were noticeable to me.  Here are my top-3: Management disciplines don’t get enough credit OK, frankly basic management is something of a boring topic when reduced to its academic foundations… Rockstar CEOs on the other hand…

Risk and Reward

Risk and Reward - There is none of one without the other. When was the last time you took a risk? I am not talking foolish risks like eating a yogurt that has been in the back of the fridge since last year or hitting on Aaron Hernandez’ girlfriend, I’m talking about an honest to goodness, carefully calculated risk. The stories of educated risks turning into personal and financial rewards are strewn throughout the last 100 years.  History is a beautiful teacher – especially if you are not…

Richard Branson’s 3 Tenants

Setting aside the celebrity and the brand that is “Richard Branson,” I am inspired by his bold, simple approach to business.  While appearing impulsive, he is actually quite well-researched.  When that research calls for a decision, however, the indomitable entrepreneurial spirit takes center stage.  I like his 3 core tenants: “Screw it, Let’s do it.” While that make reek of reckless bravado, Branson accepts the risk: “Sometimes you’ll fall flat on your face, sometimes you won’t.”  Entrepreneurs don’t succeed by playing it safe – they play it smart.  Playing…

Top 5 Roles of the CEO

I was asked recently by a CEO, “What should my time allocation look like?  I know every sector and company has unique traits, but is there a baseline?” Background:  His non-technology company was over $5M in revenue and profitable for the past 2 years.  He was considering expansion capital (he was 100% bootstrapped so this would be the first investment capital of any kind) and along with it he knew there would be a call for professionalizing the company by the new investor(s).  As part of that…