Tom Peters’ Re-Imagine excellence!


*Listening is of the utmost … STRATEGIC importance! *Listening is a proper … CORE VALUE ! *Listening is … TRAINABLE ! *Listening is a … PROFESSION !



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*Listening is of the utmost … STRATEGIC importance! *Listening is a proper … CORE VALUE ! *Listening is … TRAINABLE ! *Listening is a … PROFESSION !

  • Is there a full-bore training course in "Listening" for 100% of employees, CEO to temps? If not, There [damn well] ought to be.
  • “My education in leadership began in Washington when I was an assistant to Defense Secretary William Perry. He was universally loved and admired by heads of state … and our own and allied troops. A lot of that was because of the way he listened. Each person who talked to him had his complete, undivided attention. Everyone blossomed in his presence, because he was so respectful, and I realized I wanted to affect people the same way.
  • “Perry became my role model but that was not enough. Something bigger had to happen, and it did. It was painful to realize how often I just pretended to hear people. How many times had I barely glanced up from my work when a subordinate came into my office? I wasn’t paying attention; I was marking time until it was my turn to give orders. That revelation led me to a new personal goal. I vowed to treat every encounter with every person on Benfold (Abrashoff was the Captain) as the most important thing at that moment. It wasn’t easy, but my crew’s enthusiasm and ideas kept me going.
  • “It didn’t take me long to realize that my young crew was smart, talented and full of good ideas that usually came to nothing because no one in charge had ever listened to them. … I decided that my job was to listen aggressively …” —Mike Abrashoff, It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy
  • Everyone has a story to tell, if only you have the patience to wait for it and not get in the way of it.” —Charles McCarry, Christopher’s Ghosts
  • #1
  • Suggested addition to your statement of Core Values: “We are Effective Listeners—we treat Listening EXCELLENCE as the Centerpiece of our Commitment to Respect and Engagement and Community and Growth.”
  • Helping:
  • Not For Sissies
  • Are you a full-fledged “professional” when it
  • comes to helping?
  • What do managers do for a living?
  • Help!
  • Right?
  • How many of us could call ourselves “professional helpers,” meaning that we have studied—like a professional mastering her musical craft—“helping”? (Not many, I’d judge.)
  • Ed Schein: Helping: How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help
  • Last chapter: 7 “principles.” E.g.:
  • PRINCIPLE 2: “Effective Help Occurs When the Helping Relationship Is
  • Perceived to Be Equitable.
  • PRINCIPLE 4: “Everything You Say or Do Is an Intervention that
  • Determines the Future of the Relationship.
  • PRINCIPLE 5: “Effective Helping Begins with Pure Inquiry.
  • PRINCIPLE 6: “It Is the Client Who Owns the Problem.”*
  • (Words matter!! Read a quote from NFL player-turned lawyer-turned professional football coach, calling his players “my clients.” (*Love the idea that the employee is a “Client” ! )
  • Employee as Client!
  • Helping” is what we [leaders] “do” for a living!
  • STUDY/PRACTICE “helping” as you would neurosurgery!
  • (“Helping” is your neurosurgery!)
  • Some Help With Helping …
  • Help works when the recipient subsequently feels
  • smarter—not dumber.
  • Regularly help too soon—and you will set up expectation of inaction until your "help" is provided.
  • Help poorly conveyed spawns powerlessness
  • and resentment in recipient.
  • Helping requires a sniper's rifle or surgeon's
  • scalpel—not a shotgun or machete.
  • Helping strategies vary [significantly] from individual to individual—leave the “cookie cutter” at home.
  • Effectively "helping" may be the most difficult
  • leadership task of all!
  • "Help" is only truly successful when the recipient
  • says, and believes: "I did it myself!"
  • Near truism: Nobody wants help. But we would
  • all like to have received help.
  • Guitarist Robert Fripp: "Don't be helpful. Be available. Helpful people are a nuisance."

K = R = P

“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.” —Henry Clay “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving* to be appreciated.” —William James *“Craving,” not “wish” or “desire” or “longing”/Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People (“The BIG Secret of Dealing With People”) “The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.” —John Dewey

  • "Let's not forget that small emotions are the great captains of our lives." –—Van Gogh


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