35th Edition — October 6, 2019
It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.
1. What’s Your IQ?
What’s it like to be smart? I mean really smart? How about 173 IQ smart? That was the late Joy Covey’s IQ, Amazon’s first CFO.
Jeff Bezos used to tease Covey that she only got the second-highest CPA exam score in the country, a test taken by 70,000 accountants at the time. How does a smart person respond? “I didn’t study.” Good one.
That line is from the book That Will Never Work. It’s good as in Shoedog good.
2. Will Your Company Be Relevant in 5 Years?
I have about 7 CEO relationships where I’m allowed to ask anything without pulling any punches. I save one question that I ask about annually which is, “Will we be relevant 5 years from now?”
That question was never raised by a weak leadership team nor the Board members at Research in Motion (RIM). Even after Jobs introduced the iPhone and Google delivered it’s Android, the founders of the BlackBerry continued to ignore the new competition until it was too late.
At times, I wanted to reach into the book entitled Losing the Signal by McNish and Silcoff and shake the founders for their ineptitude, pride, and poor strategic decisions. The first half drags, but the second half is classic case study material.
3. Get in the Game
Get in the Game is by two members of the executive team at The Great Game of Business, a boutique coaching firm based in Springfield, Missouri. The authors provide some of the nuts and bolts of open-book management.
If this material is new territory for you, I still recommend Jack Stack’s book, The Great Game of Business which is one of the 25 best management books I’ve ever read.
4. A CFO Author
When a CFO writes a book, I take note. I buy it too.
Outsizing by Steve Coughran was released in June and covers familiar ground you’ve read in other books–focusing on the customer, key numbers, and a meaningful strategy. If you participate in Kindle’s Unlimited program, you can read it for free.
Coughran’s other book is Delivering Value where he shares his six key drivers to strategic business growth.
5. Read, Reflect, Experiment
Familiar with the 5-hour rule? The 5-hour rule is about setting aside an hour a day for learning at least five days a week. The process starts with reading, then reflection and thinking time which is followed by experimentation.
My favorite article on the 5-hour rule (there are many) is by Michael Simmons in this 2016 article.
Thank You For Reading
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Take care and have a great week. Always be learning.