How Far Should Leaders Think Ahead?

It’s no question that thinking ahead is important for everyone, but especially for leaders and businesses. The question is, how far should you think ahead? Is there such a thing as thinking too far ahead?

We’ve all been in job interviews and fielded the inevitable question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” It’s a tough one to answer without appearing too ambitious or too complacent.

But that’s not all. This question is flawed for a whole other reason. In a world as fast-paced as ours, how on earth can you accurately describe where you’ll be in five years?

The World is Changing Faster Than Ever Before

If someone had told you five years ago that you’d be unlocking your phone with face recognition, choosing between a billion streaming platforms to watch a movie on, and spending hours scrolling through Instagram, would you have believed them?

At the rate of change we’re seeing now, you could very well be married to a robot and living on Mars in five years.

That’s why there is such a thing as thinking too far ahead. Instead of looking five years into the future, try three. That’s the perfect length of time for any leader to think ahead, especially when creating their Vivid Vision®.

The Three Year Vivid Vision®

When creating a Vivid Vision® for your company, three years is far enough into the future to allow for some optimistic dreaming, but short-term enough to avoid having technological advancements make your plans seem dated and useless.

Trying to visualize where your company will be further out can get overwhelming. There are too many factors to consider, too much to cover, and too many contingencies to build in. Do all the work to plan what your company will look like in 10 years, then watch as it all crumbles to the ground when some MIT grad comes along and invents some revolutionary technology that completely changes the game. Think ahead, but not too far ahead.

Three Years is Plenty of Time to Make it Come True

Three years means you won’t have to continually undergo the process of reworking your Vivid Vision®. It’s a good idea to begin working on your Vivid Vision® about six months before the existing one is complete. That’ll give you plenty of time to make the old one come true before the new one comes into play.

Hopefully, you’ve hired ambitious people, too. A shorter-term Vivid Vision® allows them to advance and move up in rank without disrupting your plan. If you try to forecast further out and share a vision of the company that doesn’t accommodate growth for certain employees. You might find yourself losing talent.

Young, ambitious, entrepreneurial-type employees that got where they are by always looking into the future are great kinds of people to work with, but it can be difficult to get them to scale back and focus on only the next three years. Explain it to them like this: in order to create your Vivid Vision®, you have to keep one foot planted in the present and lean out to test the soil in the future with your other foot. If you lean out too far, you’ll fall down.

So don’t think ahead of yourself. Craft your Vivid Vision® three years out and get to work making it come true. Those 36 months will be over before you know it!

How far do you think ahead? Does it work for you? Let us know in the comments below!

If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2016 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Everything I Know About Recruiting I Learned Duck Hunting

Duck Hunting for Employees

My grandfather Cam Shortts was a great businessman, but he was an even better hunter.

He owned a successful hunting and fishing lodge in northern Ontario, an amazing place where I spent many, many days in my youth. It was a lodge that was frequented by corporate big wigs – CEOs, CFOs and COOs holed up there on their vacations.

And it was “up north” nestled on the shore of a shimmering lake with that great man that I learned everything I needed to know about recruiting.

No, Gramps wouldn’t drag out his old business school texts to the duck blind. Instead, his methodical, precise approach to hunting taught me valuable lessons I’ve carried with me ever since.

Grandpa knew exactly what kind of ducks he wanted before he set out to hunt—mallards, blue-winged teals, and wood ducks. But more importantly, he knew what kinds of ducks he didn’t want. Namely, fish ducks who are renowned for tasting downright terrible.

It’s an approach many business people don’t take when “hunting” for candidates. Sometimes, hiring the right Chief Operating Officer, marketing executive, sales personnel or even a CEO for that matter, is about NOT choosing someone who will be bad for the company. Businesses focus so much on what they want, they don’t consider what they don’t want. Before the hiring process begins, you should absolutely list all the traits you would love to have in the ideal applicant—e.g., years of marketing experience, ability to travel, an MBA, with exemplary prior experience as a Chief Operations Officer, etc.

But then, think about the traits you absolutely don’t want. Your list might have things like avoiding candidates who appear to jump from job to job far too often, or who have worked for a company you don’t respect, or even candidates who smoke. I know of a CEO who gave the keynote speech at a COO training seminar just because he wanted to scout a COO he could make his 2nd in command. And believe it or not, he wrote off most of the COO candidates for being late to the training seminar because they were brushing off training as a unimportant experience!

Grandpa was so focused on getting the ducks he wanted, there were many times we’d go home without having fired a single shot (not an easy task for a 14-year-old who really liked to shoot!) He always said he’d rather leave without a single duck then leave with a bad one.

This lesson rang true when I was involved in hiring for a key senior position. I won’t name the company, but I will say is that we were on the lookout for a fearless Chief Operating Officer who could transition a company through difficult times. A director and I traveled to Boston and whittled 150 resumes down to 16 candidates. After multiple interviews with each of them, both my colleague and I couldn’t pinpoint one that blew us away. And despite the pressure to hire for the role, both of our guts said “no” so we flew home empty-handed.

Knowing what kind of ducks he wanted was one thing, but Grandpa’s ability to pick them out when most everyone else couldn’t even see any ducks in the sky was amazing. It’s a skill he honed over years of hunting (he did own a hunting lodge after all) and it’s a skill I’ve picked up after hiring hundreds of people in my career. CEOs, Chief Operations Officers, CFOs, you name it, and I have hired them.

Nearly anyone can gloss over their weaknesses with a fancy resume or well-crafted cover letter. But once you get that candidate into an interview, it’s easy to see right through their bluster and unearth the real candidate (for better or worse).

Huddled in our blind, waiting patiently for the birds we wanted—those are the memories I will always have of my Grandpa. These are also the lessons that have helped me recruit awesome employees throughout my career.

Happy hunting!

Learn more about how high growth can be yours on Cameron Herold contact page or email

Recession Tip: Get Noticed

The brilliant ad in a Jakarta shopping mall makes people look really creepy as fleas on a dog.

While everyone is complaining and worrying about the economy, get out there by marketing and advertising.  Find fun ways to get noticed for free.  It drives me nuts when brands or people think they are ‘too professional’ to do guerrilla marketing, when some of the biggest and fastest-growing brands on the planet are already doing it.

Grasshopper, a company just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, made a huge splash in the spring of 2009 when they sent real chocolate-covered grasshoppers to 5000 tech geeks and entrepreneurs.  Included in the package of grasshoppers was a URL for an inspirational video that eventually went viral from all of the attention it received. They were featured in tons of media outlets, and generated a lot of buzz and sales.

If you’re going to do guerrilla marketing, don’t play it safe!

pic Megawatt PR

Recession Tip: Give Everyone A Raise


Make raises one hundred percent commission based, but give everyone a stake in finding new business. Even accounting and IT teams can find clients, so create an upside for them, too.  When everyone in your company has a stake in the outcome and can make more money by bringing in clients or employees, they will work to help you build your business.

Also, teach your employees how to network.  Give them marketing pieces with a promo code customizable to that employee.  Help them make more money and you will too.

Meetings Suck…

Actually, meetings don’t suck.  We suck at running meetings…

We’d never send our kids off to little league without teaching them the basics, like throwing & catching a ball, and how to at least swing the bat.

Why then, do companies send their employees into meetings – to attend them, to plan them, or to run them, without some training on how to run killer meetings.

This book – Meetings Suck – finally teaches all employees and managers how to run awesome meetings that don’t suck…

I’d love an honest review from you on Amazon after you read it too.

Let’s stop the problem – by learning how to fix them once and for all.

Surfacing A Communication Issue

Often the hardest part of dealing with conflict is removing the emotions and dealing with the issue at hand. Conflict, by nature, involves emotions and often the emotions are more important than the issue itself.  Either way, both must be dealt with and a great way to deal with the emotional and rational side of conflict is to get all the issues out on the table to be discussed in a rational way.

I’ve found these phrases really help communicate effectively when you’re trying to resolve a conflict:

When youDescribe exactly what the person did that you didn’t like, or what doesn’t follow your system, values and so on.  Don’t criticize the person, criticize their actions.  Be descriptive – not evaluative.

I feelTell them how their actions make you feel. For example, “I feel upset, frustrated, angry.”  Describe your feelings – and dig deep.  If you can truly get your emotions out you’ll have no problem addressing the problem itself.

I needDescribe what you need the person to do in the future in these situations so the conflict doesn’t return.  By focusing on this, you’ve addressed your feelings and the person realizes you are getting to the meat of the issue and focusing on getting the problem solved.

How do you feel?Ask the other person to put their thoughts and feelings on the table. They likely have feelings, emotions and their own version of the facts that need to be heard and validated before the conflict can be resolved.

If you don’t allow them to be articulate, and if you don’t pull all of their feelings out, the conflict won’t get resolved.

pic TalkShoe

Don’t Shoot the Messenger!

If you want to have an open work culture and a respectful workplace, or if you’re trying to get employees to come to you with problems or opportunities, the first thing you need to do is listen.

I can’t emphasize how important this is.

After you’ve listened, ask questions so that you understand exactly what they’re saying. Then take 24 hours to respond—if possible—so that you have time to really absorb what they’ve said. With all of your personal strength, resist the urge to shut anyone down, or they’ll never come back to you with their problems or suggestions on how to make your company better.

When I was COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, we worked hard to foster an open work culture and build real trust between one another. Our bond was so strong that at our daily seven-minute huddle meeting, we finished by asking, Are there any missing systems or key frustrations?” People would usually give honest feedback about something that could be improved. However because of the way we phrased it, employees felt safe enough in that environment to speak openly about problems or areas of concern so that they could make the situation better.  We all knew it was a no blame environment.

You are never immune to failure—sometimes things just don’t work. As an entrepreneur running a healthy business, your challenge isn’t to dread those inevitable failures, but to implement processes that help you deal with them so that they ultimately make your business stronger.

The E-Myth, a book by Michael Gerber teaches that people don’t fail, systems do. We reinforced that message so well that people were willing to point out what was broken because they knew that they wouldn’t get fired for giving feedback.  If something was broken, it was likely a missing system, not one person’s failure.

Communication thrives when information and feedback can flow freely without fear. People want to be heard—listened to–and require thoughtful responses, not curt, corporate-speak. In the end, this combination of listening, openness and trust will be the best way to achieve the kind of communication that will make your business a wild success.

pic artshole

Two Ears and One Yapper

We’ve all heard some motivational speaker use this one: “God gave you two ears and one mouth; use them in that ratio.”

Too many leaders race to get their two cents in, trying desperately to be heard, without hearing what others are saying first.

I used to think this saying was only applicable to CEOs but it should be applied to everyone at your company.

Are you arguing a point because you want to be right or is it because you’re passionately trying to explain yourself?

Here’s a hint: if you’re communicating with others only to tell them how you want things done, then you’re not communicating effectively.

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood,” wrote Steven Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Often the key to great communication is simply listeningreally listening to what the other person has to say and waiting to respond once you’ve digested what they’ve said.  Then, if necessary, after you’ve asked a couple of clarifying questionsand only thenis it worth discussing your points.


Meetings Suck: Turning One Of The Most Loathed Elements Of Business Into One Of The Most Valuable

We all know that meetings suck, right?

You hear it all the time. It’s the one thing that almost everyone in business can agree on.

Except it’s not actually true… 

Meetings don’t suck.

We just suck at running meetings.   

When done right, meetings not only work, they make people and companies better.

In Meetings Suck, world renowned business expert and growth guru Cameron Herold teaches you how to use focused, time effective meetings to help you and your company soar.

This book shows you immediately actionable, step-by-step systems that ensure that you and everyone in your organization improves your meetings, right away.

In the process, you’ll turn meetings that suck into meetings that work. 

In life, we always hear about people who’ve made huge decisions from their gut – without data.Today, I want you to make a decision, not only from your gut, but also from some data.  A decision that is only $12 per employee but will be priceless for your business.

Right now, your gut is telling you something is wrong with your company’s meetings.  You KNOW everyone complains about meetings.

People HATE going to them, they HATE running them, and they really have NO idea which meetings are truly necessary but they hold meetings simply because they think that is what they SHOULD do.

Even some of the smartest CEOs in the world complain about meetings – Elon Musk publicly told employees at Tesla & SpaceX to walk out of meetings if they weren’t being run properly.

I sent Elon a message saying that wasn’t going to fix anything – the key is to fix the root of the problem – NOT continue to ignore why meetings suck.

A Meeting is – Any phone call, video call or occasion where 2 or more people meet to discuss or work-through office topics.

Most employees on average spend 1-2 hours per day in meetings.

And likely, none of those employees – front-line staff or leaders – have had any training on how to attend meetings or participate in them, LET ALONE How to RUN THEM.

Consider this…

If the Average employee spends just 1 Hour per day in meetings – that’s 1/8th of their time.

If the Average employee earns $50,000 per year.

And they’re spending 1/8th of their time in meetings, that means you’re paying $6,250 dollars per year for just ONE employee to attend meetings.

The reality is, employees spend 1/8th of their time – and 1/8th of your company’s payroll – doing something they have literally NO idea how to do.

The Reality is…

95% of employees are booking & leading meetings – and they have NEVER been trained on how to run them.

95% of employees have had NO training on how to show up and participate in the meetings they attend daily.

And 95% of employees and companies have no idea what meetings are even necessary to hold.

Meetings CAN be hugely effective – IF you know how to run them

Meetings don’t SUCK, we just SUCK at running meetings. 

Investing $15 per employee – to help ensure the $50,000 a year you spend on them is an obvious and easy choice.

This could be the most impactful $15 you’ll ever spend and will save the company’s money, time and resources instantly.

Buying a copy of Meetings Suck for 100% of your employees and having them read it this month will have a huge impact on your company’s success.


Free PR: How To Get Chased By The Press Without Hiring A PR Firm

Public relations has always been an essential part of doing business which is probably why you’re shelling out big money to an outside PR firm. But the truth is that you don’t need them. You already have all the necessary tools in-house to do as good a job as the so-called experts. 

Cameron Herold and Adrian Salamunovic have taught thousands of company execs how to exploit free media coverage and ditch these expensive, often ineffective outsiders. 

Cameron & Adrian have also built in-house PR teams, spent decades learning how to generate Free PR and how to leverage public relations to complement their sales and marketing strategy. 

In Free PR, you’ll learn how the media world operates while you gain invaluable insider knowledge and actionable advice on how to: 

  • Build your own in-house PR team
  • Provide effective interviews
  • Score great media coverage for free with just a few easy steps 

Landing public relations coverage for yourself and your company is a powerful tool to help elevate your personal brand. PR is easier to generate than marketing, PR is easier to leverage than marketing and PR is more cost effective than marketing. In other words, Public Relations is more critical than ever in growing your brand and your business. 

You’ve got more passion, commitment, a larger stake, and a deeper understanding of your business than any outside PR firm could ever have. So stop wasting money and take the reins yourself.  Learn the secrets to landing TONS of Free PR for your company.

What they’re saying:

“I think PR is the core for promoting any business. Public relations acquires customers! That’s what’s cool about this book.”

– Kevin O’Leary,  Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank

“The ultimate guidebook for those looking to get press, grow their brand, and get in front of the masses. Free PR is the roadmap you’ve been looking for.”

– Peter Shankman, Founder, Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

“Adrian and Cameron will show you the secrets of getting massive exposure for your business. This book is packed with actionable insights from two guys that actually know how to to do it.”

– Dan Martell,  Serial Entrepreneur & Investor (, Unbounce)

“I told Cameron to write the book on generating free PR. I’m excited to see that he’s finally sharing his secrets with the world. This is a must read for any entrepreneurial company and marketing team.”

– Verne Harnish, Founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)


Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool For Aligning Your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future

Many corporations have slick, flashy mission statements that ultimately do little to motivate employees and less to impress customers, investors, and partners. 

But there is a way to share your excitement for the future of your company in a clear, compelling, and powerful way and entrepreneur and business growth expert Cameron Herold can show you how. 

Vivid Vision is a revolutionary tool that will help owners, CEOs, and senior managers create inspirational, detailed, and actionable three-year mission statements for their companies. In this easy-to-follow guide, Herold walks organization leaders through the simple steps to creating their own Vivid Vision, from brainstorming to sharing the ideas to using the document to drive progress in the years to come. 

By focusing on mapping out how you see your company looking and feeling in every category of business, without getting bogged down by data and numbers or how it will happen, Vivid Vision creates a holistic road map to success that will get all of your teammates passionate about the big picture. 

Your company is your dream, one that you want to share with your staff, clients, and stakeholders. Vivid Vision is the tool you need to make that dream a reality.


The Miracle Morning for
Entrepreneurs: Elevate Your SELF to
Elevate Your BUSINESS


A step-by-step guide to enjoying the roller-coaster ride of growth — while getting the most out of life as an entrepreneur. A growth-focused approach: The book is divided into three sections, which cover planning for fast growth, building a company for fast growth, and leading for fast growth. Each topic the author covers — from creating a vision for the company’s future to learning how to generate free PR for a developing company — is squarely focused on the end goal: doubling the size of the entrepreneur’s company in three years or less. A down-to-earth action plan: Herold’s experienced-based advice never gets bogged down in generalities or theory. Instead, he offers a wealth of practical tips, including: How to design meetings for maximum efficiency; How to hire top-quality talent; How to grow in particularly tough markets; How to put together a board of advisors — even for a smaller company; How even the busy entrepreneur can achieve a work/life balance.


Hal Elrod’sThe Miracle Morning has helped redefine the mornings and the lives of millions of readers since 2012. Since then, careers have been launched, goals have been met, and dreams have been realized, all through the power of the Miracle Morning’s six Life S.A.V.E.R.S.


Now The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs brings you these principles in a whole new light—alongside the Entrepreneurial Elevation Principles and the Entrepreneur’s Elevation Skills. These are essential skills that you need to create a successful business and personal life. Cameron Herold— Bestselling Author and a widely-respected expert on entrepreneurial mindset—brings his wisdom and insight to you using Hal Elrod’s powerful Miracle Morning framework.


The principles and skills you’ll find in this book will help you to channel your passion and achieve balance in a remarkable new way. – Learn why mornings matter more than you think – Learn how to master your own self-leadership and accelerate your personal development – Learn how to manage your energy—physical, mental, and emotional – Learn how to implement Hal Elrod’s invaluable Life S.A.V.E.R.S. in your daily routine – And much more… You’re already an entrepreneur. Now discover how to take your success to the next level by first taking yourself to the next level. The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs is your roadmap to masterfully building an empire with a powerful vision, utilizing your areas of personal genius, with the right team at your side.

Start giving your business and your life the very best opportunities for success, right now.

A step-by-step guide to enjoying the roller-coaster ride of growth — while getting the most out of life as an entrepreneur. A growth-focused approach: The book is divided into three sections, which cover planning for fast growth, building a company for fast growth, and leading for fast growth. Each topic the author covers — from creating a vision for the company’s future to learning how to generate free PR for a developing company — is squarely focused on the end goal: doubling the size of the entrepreneur’s company in three years or less. A down-to-earth action plan: Herold’s experienced-based advice never gets bogged down in generalities or theory. Instead, he offers a wealth of practical tips, including: How to design meetings for maximum efficiency; How to hire top-quality talent; How to grow in particularly tough markets; How to put together a board of advisors — even for a smaller company; How even the busy entrepreneur can achieve a work/life balance.