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4 Reasons Why Successful CEOs Need a Chief of Staff (and not a COO)

Why do some CEOs win and others don’t?  What is it that enables founders like Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos to stay the course whilst others fall by the wayside?  It’s a lot to do with the critical hires you make as your business scales. 

A big mistake is treating your start-up like a ‘small big business’.  They’re not. They’re a start-up.  Don’t adopt big company practices to fix the wrinkles. You’ve got a good strategy, culture and direction.  You don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. 

This was reemphasised to me when I interviewed Steve Blank recently on the Melting Pot podcast.  Author of the brilliant ‘4 Steps To The Epiphany’ and founder of the Lean Start-up movement, Steve is the ultimate serial entrepreneur with no less than eight tech start-ups under his belt. We talked about the nature and personality of founders. “They’re closer to artists than any other profession,’ he said. ‘And they’re not accountants.  Accountants don’t create disruptive start-ups.’

As businesses grow, it’s common to hit the challenge of ‘solving the founder problem’. Whilst they have great energy, amazing ideas and clear vision, founders can’t organise anything.  They’re not into process. And they find it difficult to hold their team to account.   

So what happens? They think, what would a big company do? I know – we’ll hire a new C-suite Executive to run operations.  I’m here to tell you there’s a much less radical solution, with far fewer risks.  Hire a Chief of Staff instead. Let me tell you why.

Learning How To Speak Publicly with Joel Weldon

How is it possible that somebody who (in his own words) literally couldn’t lead a silent prayer, become a Hall of Fame speaker and a speech coach to Verne Harnish, author of Scaling Up and Rockefeller Habits?

In today’s episode we speak with Joel Weldon about how and why he became Verne’s speaking coach, because Verne has been public speaking for decades, so why would he now need someone to help him with speaking publicly? 

But that’s a story he saves until the end of the podcast. Plus, the episode isn’t about Verne, it’s about Joel, a man who brings life to the phrase: find a job you love and never work another day in your life.

Joel is 80 and still working full time. He shares some of his backstory: how he thought he would never be the kid that would go on to speak in public. He didn’t go to college, he didn’t think he was smart enough. He was a former construction worker who was too shy to speak in public and too shy to sell, until he had his transformational awakening.

This is a really fantastic conversation, much of which you can put to work today or tomorrow or whenever you listen to this podcast. There are so many takeaways that can change your business in big and small ways.  

B2B Nation

B2B Nation is a podcast from TechnologyAdvice that shares expert opinions and advice for B2B marketing professionals. Listen along as Director of Custom Content Mike Pastore sits down with entrepreneurs, CEOs, and thought leaders to learn about the complex avenues available to B2B marketers.

The fundamental flaws of the eNPS (& why the Happiness KPI is the answer)

There’s now some reason to be optimistic, and many employers are beginning to look beyond pandemic conditions and hoping to accelerate their growth. To achieve this, leaders need to ensure they have the right people. And, while the eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score) can help track whether teams are working well together, it is not a headline indicator of employee experience, and it should not be how companies think of wellbeing.

Company Culture Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Here’s how organizational culture might have been handled in the past: The CEO commissions the Human Resources department to produce an effective company culture. HR designs a campaign to tout a mission statement and core values that the CEO and senior management developed. HR also implements some employee perks like free snacks in the break room or monthly birthday celebrations. Maybe they also field an annual employee engagement survey and report results back to the CEO. And then with their culture-building to-do lists completed, the CEO and HR move on to other priorities.

Secrets of Top Performing Salespeople

I’m going to reveal to you the secrets of top performing salespeople. Are you ready? I have had the privilege of writing A Mind for Sales among other sales-oriented books to help people like you develop the strategies necessary for success. Along the way, I have worked with thousands upon thousands of salespeople all over the world in several different industries. (Some of which include Salesforce, Lenovo, American Express and EASA.) Over that time, I have created a list of what techniques and behaviors make a strong business. Today, I’m going to share ten of those with you.

Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t by Steven Pressfield

Recognizing this painful truth is the first step in the writer’s transformation from amateur to professional. “When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, you develop empathy. You acquire the skill that is indispensable to all artists and entrepreneurs—the ability to switch back and forth in your imagination from your own point of view as writer/painter/seller to the point of view of your reader/gallery-goer/customer. You learn to ask yourself with ev­ery sentence and every phrase: Is this interesting? Is it fun or challenging or inventive? Am I giving the reader enough? Is she bored? Is she following where I want to lead her?”

Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success by John Wooden and Jay Carty

Legendary college basketball coach John Wooden and Jay Carty know that when it comes down to it, success is an equal opportunity player. Anyone can create it in his or her career, family, and beyond. Based on John Wooden’s own method to victory, Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success reveals that success is built block by block, where each block is a crucial principle contributing to lifelong achievement in every area of life. Each of these 32 daily readings takes an in-depth look at a single block of the pyramid, which when combined with the other blocks forms the structure of the pyramid of success. Join John Wooden and Jay Carty to discover the building blocks and key values–from confidence to faith–that have brought Coach to the pinnacle of success as a leader, a teacher, and a follower of God.


Walk and talk

I was chatting to someone last week and they asked if it was ok to speak to me whilst they walked.  This reminded me of my time at IT Lab. We had no meeting rooms so if we needed a private chat, we walked around the block. There’s something about walking and talking that makes it easier, in my experience, to have difficult conversations. Take a break from Zoom and turn some of those video meetings into phone calls outside in the fresh air. This will reduce your cognitive load and give you some much needed headspace.

Upcoming Events


Join top Scaling Up partners from around the globe for Verne’s first Summit of the year.  These leading CEOs and authors will share actionable insight focused on your people and culture to ensure a prosperous 2021. 3 keynotes in 90 minutes. 2.24pm ET – 4.04pm ET


Looking to get back on track because COVID-19 disrupted your plans? Join us with your leadership team for a one-day Scaling Up Workshop. Get the clarity you need to move forward, by identifying your strategy and achieve your 3-Year Highly Achievable Goal (3HAG). After this highly practical session, your team will leave with a clear-cut understanding of the purpose and core values that make your company unique and valuable. The team will have the opportunity to take part in the decision-making to implement the tools and best practices to define and enforce a clear 3-year plan to scale up your business.

Quote of the week

“An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.”

Alexander the Great

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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