Annotated master (“the works”) presentation/ Tom Peters’ Re-Imagine excellence!



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“I didn’t have a ‘mission statement’ at Burger King. I had a dream. Very simple. It was something like, ‘Burger King is 250,000 people, every one of whom gives a shit.’ Every one. Accounting. Systems. Not just the drive through. Everyone is ‘in the brand.’ That’s what we’re talking about, nothing less.” — Barry Gibbons, former CEO, Burger King

  • To the point.
  • No frills.
  • Amen.

THE DREAM MANAGER — by Matthew Kelly AN ORGANIZATION CAN ONLY BECOME THE-BEST-VERSION-OF-ITSELF TO THE EXTENT THAT THE PEOPLE WHO DRIVE THAT ORGANIZATION ARE STRIVING TO BECOME BETTER-VERSIONS-OF-THEMSELVES.” “A company’s purpose is to become the-best-version-of-itself. The question is: What is an employee’s purpose? Most would say, ‘to help the company achieve its purpose’—but they would be wrong. That is certainly part of the employee’s role, but an employee’s primary purpose is to become the-best-version-of-himself or –herself. … When a company forgets that it exists to serve customers, it quickly goes out of business. OUR EMPLOYEES ARE OUR FIRST CUSTOMERS, AND OUR MOST IMPORTANT CUSTOMERS.”

EVERY employee has a dream … related to their current job or not. Focusing on helping employees attain those dreams (which may not be job related) is simply the best way to create an environment where employees strive to improve themselves more or less each and every day—and in the process serve each other, and the Client, with verve. (Admission: At first glance I thought “how silly.” At 3rd through 10th glance I thought … “pure genius.”) (The Dream Manager, presented in parable form, is based on a wildly successful industrial cleaning services company. I was fortunate to meet the publicity-shy CEO.)

  • The
  • 7-Step
  • Method
  • 7 Steps to Sustaining Success
  • You take care of the people.
  • The people take care of the service.
  • The service takes care of the customer.
  • The customer takes care of the profit.
  • The profit takes care of the re-investment.
  • The re-investment takes care of the re-invention.
  • The re-invention takes care of the future.
  • (And at every step the only measure is EXCELLENCE.)
  • 7 Steps to Sustaining Success: And it starts with …
  • You take care of the people.

Training = Investment #1!

  • #1 = #1*
  • *Damn it!
  • He’s the quintessential “old pro.” No matter. He still … trains and trains and trains and trains some more. (Most of the “training gigs” are performed in small, out-of-the-way places.)
  • 2X
  • Recession comes. Most retailers cut back on training to save money. CONTAINER STORE doubles training for in-store customer-contact employees.
  • Perfect time for best effort, they say. And the only plausible path is to double down on helping our people grow.
  • (Repeat: A few years ago Container Store was ranked as the #1 company to work for in the $18 trillion USA economy.)
  • Basketball coach John Wooden, perhaps the best coach of anything, ever: “I was never much of a game coach, but I was a pretty good practice coach.”
  • Hall of fame football coach Bill Walsh on preparation:
  • “The score takes care of itself.”
  • Two pretty damn good trainers. The game per se is simply a byproduct of peerless training. Does this translate to business? What a silly* (*I wish) question, eh?
  • In the Army, 3-star generals worry about training. In most businesses, it's a “ho-hum” mid-level staff function.
  • FACT.
  • Why (why why why why why why why why why why why why why) is intensive-extensive training obvious for the army & navy & sports teams & performing arts groups--but not for the average business?
  • Is your CTO/Chief Training Officer your top paid “C-level” job (other than CEO/COO)?
  • Are your top trainers paid/cherished as much as your top marketers/ engineers?
  • Most firms don’t even have a “CTO.”
  • For shame.
  • Is your CTO/Chief Training Officer your top paid “C-level” job (other than CEO/COO)?
  • If not, why not?
  • Are your top trainers paid as much as your top marketers and engineers?
  • If not, why not?
  • Are your training courses so good they make you giggle and tingle?
  • If not, why not?
  • Randomly stop an employee in the hall: Can she/he meticulously describe her/his development plan for the next 12 months?
  • If not, why not?
  • Why is your world of business any different than the (competitive) world of rugby, football, opera, theater,
  • the military?
  • If “people/talent first” and hyper-intense continuous training are laughably obviously for them, why not you?
  • Training often doesn’t get the attention it ought to get because the training course portfolio is far from scintillating.
  • I believe the aim must be … UNADULTERATED EXCELLENCE & WOW IN EVERY TRAINING OFFERING.
  • (Damn it.)
  • (I repeat: Damn it.)
  • (Someone at a seminar challenged me on this. Said it was unrealistic and, by the way, what does “tingle” mean. I pointed to my sophomore year in college. For us engineers, including civil engineers like me, an introductory chemistry course was required. Most of us looked forward to it as the equivalent of a 4-month long root canal. We had two well known professors, Michell Sienko and Robert Plane. They were scholars of the first order and simultaneously entertainers of the first order. Bottom line: By the end of the course, probably half of us (among hundreds) wanted to be chemistry majors. Ten years later the same sort of lightning struck courtesy an econ prof, Keith Lumsden, at the Stanford business school. That is, there are great teachers and great courses—and I do not understand why the corporate world can’t develop or recruit the Sienkos and Planes and Lumsdens. Billions are at stake—and great “profs” concocting great courses could do wonders to, say, recruitment and retention and productivity. As to “tingle,” I’m looking for something beyond “very good”; I’d accept for “earthshaking” or “mind-blowing” or, for sure … “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”)
  • Is your CTO/Chief Training Officer your top paid “C-level” job (other than CEO/COO)?
  • If not, why not?
  • Are your top trainers paid as much as your top marketers and engineers?
  • If not, why not?
  • Are your trai
  • ning courses so good they make you giggle and tingle?
  • If not, why not?
  • Randomly stop an employee in the hall: Can she/he meticulously describe her/his development plan for the next 12 months?
  • If not, why not?
  • Why is your world of business any different than the (competitive) world of rugby, football, opera, theater,
  • the military?
  • If “people/talent first” and hyper-intense continuous training are laughably obviously for them, why not you?
  • And if the answer is “No” … her or his boss should be sternly reprimanded ASAP. (I would say “fired”—but you might accuse me of over-the-top-ism.)
  • Boss & RPD: Your (boss’s) job is safer if every one of your team members is committed to RPD/Radical Personal Development. Actively support one
  • and all!
  • (And, by the way, good for the boss.)
  • Gamblin’ Man
  • Bet #1: >> 5 of 10 CEOs see training as expense rather than investment.
  • Bet #2: >> 5 of 10 CEOs see training as defense rather than offense.
  • Bet #3: >> 5 of 10 CEOs see training as “necessary evil” rather than “strategic opportunity.”
  • Bet #4: >> 8 of 10 CEOs, in 45-min “tour d’horizon” of their biz, would NOT mention training.
  • My odds are not speculative. I’ve tested this. (Alas.)
  • What is the best reason to go bananas over training? GREED. (It pays off.)
  • (Training should be an official part of the R&D budget and a capital expense.)
  • Training #1: Bottom Line
  • NOBODY gets off the hook! “Training & Development Maniac” applies as much to the leader of the 4-person business as to the chief of
  • the 44,444-person business.
  • This rant on training is not particularly aimed at big companies. My target is …
  • ALL COMPANIES/
  • ORGANIZATIONS.
  • (No exceptions.)
  • “training, TRAINING and
  • M-O-R-E
  • T-R-A-I-N-I-N-G”
  • —CINCPAC Nimitz to CNO King/1943
  • (punctuation Nimitz’s); when Pearl Harbor occurred,
  • U.S. Navy preparation was found wanting—the crews’ training was more important than the number of available war ships.
  • I am more or less … purple with rage
  • … at the generic disregard of training in the private sector.
  • Hiring



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