Some of my favorite words in the CFO lexicon are momentum, acceleration, velocity, drive, and even thrust. Coincidentally, Mike Berland is the author of Maximum Momentum – How to Get It, How to Keep It. And it’s those very words we focused on during our conversation. Mike is the founder of Decode_M, a research and analytics firm that decodes data into momentum for clients.
Mike Berland Interview Questions
- Mass or velocity, which comes first?
- What happens when you have velocity without mass?
- Are all of the words and actions in the momentum vocabulary a replacement for strategic planning?
- What is your best definition of momentum?
- Kingmaker vs. being a king – which do you prefer and why?
- What is the role of luck in corporate momentum?
- How do we kickstart momentum?
- Does momentum have a moral compass?
- Is NPS still relevant once we start addressing the forces that shape momentum?
- What is the difference between momentum and a fad?
On a Scale of 1 to 5, What is the Momentum of the Following?
I asked this question to Mike, but let’s see how you do with the following words. One is no momentum, and five is a lot of momentum:
- Tom Brady
- Personal Savings
- Charitable Giving in 2020
Big Ideas from Maximum Momentum
On luck –
Lucky people possess certain qualities that are consistent with momentum, such as optimism, openness to change, and a drive to move forward. So if they’re at the right place at the right time, it’s often because they chose to put themselves there. Page 5
On the misapplication of momentum –
Momentum can be misused or misapplied. Momentum is not always a force for good. And we have to monitor it so that it does not get out of hand. We often speak of the power of the masses or the power of the crowd. We must be careful with momentum so that it is used correctly and not misappropriated. Page 25
On Blackberry –
It was sad for me to see a company with such a commanding presence in the marketplace utterly fail to thrive. But the laws of momentum apply, even for those who think they have the market in the bag. Move or die. Page 76
On negative forces
In today’s world, a story or discussion (positive or negative) doesn’t go away when you don’t talk about it. It has momentum of its own, and it can just keep going. The most important thing that you can do is to engage so that you are part of it rather than leaving it to others. Page 87
5 Key Characteristics of Momentum Leadership
- Commitment to doing what is right, not just what is popular
- Risk-taking, willingness to fail
- Empowering your team and having their back
– Page 119 of Maximum Momentum
Mike Berland’s Favorite Book
One of the books Mike has been quoting is the one he also takes pictures of and sends to friends. The title is The Company I Keep by Leonard Lauder.