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


“To develop others, start with yourself.” —Marshall Goldsmith



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“To develop others, start with yourself.” —Marshall Goldsmith

“Being aware of yourself and how you affect everyone around you is what distinguishes a superior leader.” —Edie Seashore (strategy + business #45)

“Work on me first.” —Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler/Crucial Conversations

  • “Leadership is self-knowledge. Successful leaders are those who are conscious about their behavior and
  • the impact it has on the people
  • around them. They are willing to examine what behaviors of their own may be getting in the way. … The toughest person you will ever lead is yourself. We can’t effectively lead others unless we can lead ourselves.”
  • —Betsy Myers, Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire,
  • and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You

“How can a high-level leader like _____ be so out of touch with the truth about himself? It’s more common than you would imagine. In fact, the higher up the ladder a leader climbs, the less accurate his self-assessment is likely to be. The problem is an acute lack of feedback [especially on people issues].” —Daniel Goleman (et al.), The New Leaders

  • The leadership gurus speak with one voice on this: Self-knowledge and self-development is leader job #1.
  • Think about it.
  • (Your self assessment skills likely … STINK. Especially if you think they’re good.)
  • 1st-Line Bosses (Cadre of) = Productivity Asset #1!
  • If the regimental commander lost most of his 2nd lieutenants and 1st lieutenants and captains and majors, it would be a tragedy. If he lost his sergeants it would be a catastrophe. The Army and the Navy are fully aware that success on the battlefield is dependent to an extraordinary degree on its Sergeants and Chief Petty Officers. Does industry have the same awareness?

“In great armies, the job of generals is to back up their sergeants.” —COL Tom Wilhelm, from Robert Kaplan, “The Man Who Would Be Khan,” The Atlantic

Employee retention & satisfaction & productivity: Overwhelmingly based on the first-line manager! Source: Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman, First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

  • “People leave managers not companies.”
  • —Dave Wheeler
  • Actually, a profound statement of the utmost importance.
  • Is there ONE “secret” to productivity and employee satisfaction?
  • YES!
  • The Quality of your FULL CADRE of …
  • 1st-line Leaders.
  • No way to overstate here. Companies do pay attention to 1st-line supervisors—but do not/rarely consider the full cadre of 1st-line leaders a … 1st-ORDER STRATEGIC ASSET … worthy of stupendous investment in selection and development.
  • (PLEASE PONDER THIS.)
  • E.g.: Do you have the ...
  • ABSOLUTE BEST TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
  • IN THE INDUSTRY ...
  • (or some subset thereof)
  • for first-line supervisors?
  • Suggested addition to your statement of Core Values: “We are obsessed with developing a cadre of 1st line managers that is second to none—we understand that this cadre per se is arguably one of our top two or three most important ‘Strategic Assets.’”

As I write, I’ve been banging on about this for about 18 months. In all my experience, I have rarely hit such an exposed nerve—and have rarely observed such vigorous follow-up (interestingly, especially from giant company CEOs). Upon reflecting, most agree with the basic assertion of the “over-the-top” importance of the 1st line cadre—and, further, that they are doing a half-assed job at best with selection and development, and that they’re downright embarrassed at how inadequate their training is.

  • WOMEN RULE!
  • “Research suggests that to succeed, start by promoting women.”
  • Source: Nicholas Kristof, “Twitter, Women, and Power,” NYTimes, 1024.13
  • Progress has been made.
  • But there is a long way to go.
  • (I consider this quote to be …
  • Gospel Truth.)
  • “I speak to you with a feminine voice.
  • It’s the voice of democracy, of equality.
  • I am certain, ladies and gentlemen, that this will be
  • the woman’s century. In the Portuguese language, words such as life, soul, and hope are of the feminine gender, as are other words like courage and sincerity.”
  • —President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, 1st woman to
  • keynote the United Nations General Assembly (2011)



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