Tom Peters’ Re-Imagine excellence!


EXCELLENCE. Always. If not EXCELLENCE, what? If not EXCELLENCE now, when?



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EXCELLENCE. Always. If not EXCELLENCE, what? If not EXCELLENCE now, when?

Highlights EXCELLENCE. Now. EXCELLENCE. Always.

  • EXCELLENCE. Now. EXCELLENCE. Always.
  • People first, second, third, fourth … /The “business” of leaders is people: to inspire/engage/provide a trajectory of opportunity—enterprise of every size and type as “cathedral” for human development. "When I hire someone, that's when I go to work for them.” —John DiJulius
  • 1A. Customer comes 2nd/ If you want to best “Wow!” customers then you must first Wow! those who serve the customers./"If you want staff to give great service, give great service to staff.”—Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman's/ “You have to treat your employees like customers.” —Herb Kelleher, on his #1 “secret to success.”
  • 1B. Manager’s sole raison d’etre: Make each of my team
  • members successful!
  • 1C. Effective organizations: No bit players!
  • EXCELLENCE. Now. EXCELLENCE. Always.
  • 1D. Appreciation. Acknowledgement. “The deepest
  • human need is the need to be appreciated.”
  • Believe it! A few kind words are often remembered
  • for years!
  • 1E. 1st line supervisors. Every organization’s … most
  • important … leadership cadre. Productivity is largely
  • determined by the caliber of the 1st line boss.
  • Selection and development of your “sergeants” must
  • become an “obsession”—almost all do a half-assed
  • job.
  • 1F. Weird/ There are no “normals” in the history
  • books!/Insure a healthy supply of oddballs/Diversity of
  • every flavor = Fresh perspectives! Better decisions!
  • 1G. Memories That Matter. And don’t./ “People stuff”
  • sticks with you: You’ll look back on the handful of
  • people you developed who proceeded to change the
  • world—and the multitude (if you’ve earned it) who
  • say, “I grew most when I worked with you.” Ever seen
  • a tombstone engraved with the deceased’s net worth?
  • EXCELLENCE. Now. EXCELLENCE. Always.
  • 2. You/me: Businesses no longer coddle. You’re in
  • charge!/ “Brand you” —stand out for something
  • valuable, or else; learn something new every day, or
  • else!/“Distinct or Extinct!”
  • 3. Organizations Exist to Serve. PERIOD.
  • 4. EXECUTION/ “Don’t forget to tuck the shower curtain
  • into the bath tub.” —Conrad Hilton on
  • his “sweat the details” obsession and #1 “success
  • secret”/ “Execution is strategy.”
  • —Fred Malek/ “Execution is the leader’s job #1.”—Larry
  • Bossidy
  • 4A. “They do … ONE BIG THING at a time.” —Drucker on
  • successful managers’ #1 trait.
  • 4B. Resilience circa 2011: Understand it. Hire for it.
  • Promote for it. Obsess on it.
  • EXCELLENCE. Now. EXCELLENCE. Always.
  • 5. MBWA/Managing By Wandering Around/ Starbucks’
  • Schultz visits 25 stores a week/ “In touch” is “not
  • optional”/You = Your calendar/Calendars never lie!
  • 5A. Listening per se = Candidate for Core Value #1/
  • Listening per se is a profession./“If you don’t listen,
  • you don’t sell anything.”/Docs interrupt patients after
  • … 18 seconds. And you?
  • 5B. “What do you think?” “How can I help?” —MBWA
  • 8/Eight words, repeated like a mantra while
  • “wandering around,” that unlock engagement/
  • success for multitudes.
  • 5C. Innovate by “Hanging out” /“You are what you
  • eat.”/ “You will become like the five people you
  • associate with the most —a blessing or a curse.”/
  • Want “cool”? Expose yourself to cool! /Manage
  • “hanging out” zealously-formally —with customers,
  • interesting outsiders, etc.
  • EXCELLENCE. Now. EXCELLENCE. Always.
  • 5D. K = R = P (Kindness = Repeat business = Profit.)
  • “Hard is soft. Soft is hard.” —#1 finding In Search of
  • Excellence. Kindness is “hard”—and pay off in $$$$.
  • 5E. Apology Power—Awesome power: 3-minute “I’m
  • sorry” call heals anything—do it religiously!/”Over-
  • the-top” response to even small booboo strengthens
  • customer relationships!
  • EXCELLENCE. Now. EXCELLENCE. Always.
  • “Little BIG Things”/Focus on “multipliers”: Wal*Mart
  • goes to big shopping cart = +50% “big stuff” sales boost!/“Wash your Hands” —save thousands of lives P.A. in hospitals!
  • 6A. “Little BIG Things”: SMEs bedrock of all economies. Nurture them. SME’s battle cry
  • per George Whalin: “Be the best. It’s the only market that’s not crowded.”
  • 7. Apple > Exxon in market cap courtesy … DESIGN! /The big “Duh”: “Cool beats un- cool!”/Design candidate for “best way to differentiate goods-services in competitive markets.”
  • 7A. TGRs/Things Gone Right. Wagon Wheel restaurant, Gill MA—clean restroom with fresh flowers.—we remember such touches more or less forever/
  • Manage-measure TGRs.
  • 7B. Scintillating Experiences. Howard Schultz on
  • Starbucks: “At our core, we’re a coffee
  • company, but the opportunity we have to extend the brand is beyond coffee; it’s entertainment.”
  • EXCELLENCE. Now. EXCELLENCE. Always.
  • 8. WOMEN Buy! WOMEN Rule! WOMEN’s World! Women buy
  • 80% of everything—$28T world market/“Why Warren
  • Buffett Invests Like a Girl”—e.g., studies harder-holds
  • longer-less frenzied buying and selling/Women’s
  • leadership style fits 21st century less-hierarchical
  • enterprise./Evidence clear— Women well on the way to
  • 21st century economic domination! Brazil’s President
  • Dilma Rousseff at UN: “the century of women.”
  • 9. Web-Social Media/ “Everyone becomes our valued
  • partner, a member of our community—and
  • watchdog”/The Power of Co-creation —my “Top Biz
  • Book for 2010”/SM can be lynchpin of transformative
  • strategy—for organizations of every shape and size!
  • 10. Value added via transformation from “Customer
  • satisfaction” to “ customer success” —huge difference-
  • opportunity! /E.g., IBM Global Services, from
  • afterthought to $60B/UPS Logistics/MasterCard
  • Advisors/ IDEO, help clients create “culture of
  • innovation”/“The Geek Squad”—Best Buy's #1 strategic
  • point of differentiation.
  • EXCELLENCE. Now. EXCELLENCE. Always.
  • 11. Innovation “secret” #1: “Most tries wins.” / “A Bias for
  • Action”—excellence trait #1, In Search of Excellence
  • /“Ready. Fire! Aim.” —Ross Perot//“Instead of trying to
  • figure out the best way to do something and sticking
  • to it, just try out an approach and keep fixing it.”
  • —Bert Rutan
  • 11A. Try a lot = Fail a lot /“Fail. Forward. Fast.”/ “Fail
  • faster, succeed sooner”—David Kelley /“Reward
  • excellent failures, punish mediocre successes”/
  • Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins —Richard
  • Farson
  • 11B. “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”
  • —Wayne Gretzky
  • EXCELLENCE. Now. EXCELLENCE. Always.
  • 12. Live WOW!/Zappos creed … “WOW Customers”/
  • eBay 14,000 employees, Amazon 20,000
  • employees, Craig’s List 30 employees; regardless of
  • issue, Where’s your “Wild and Wooly Craig’s
  • List Option”?/ Final point in superstar adman Kevin
  • Roberts’ Credo: “Avoid moderation!”
  • 13. EXCELLENCE is a personal choice … not an institutional choice!
  • EXCELLENCE is not an “aspiration” —it’s the next five minutes!
  • 13A. EXCELLENCE. Always. If not EXCELLENCE, What?
  • If not EXCELLENCE Now, When?
  • EXCELLENCE is a
  • personal choice
  • not an
  • institutional choice!
  • EXCELLENCE is not
  • an “aspiration” —it’s
  • the next five minutes!
  • Enough.
  • “At a party …
  • “At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller responds …
  • “At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Joseph Heller … that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller responds … ‘Yes, but I have something he will never have …
  • Source: John Bogle, Enough. The Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Bogle is founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group)
  • At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Joseph Heller … that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller responds … Yes, but I have something he will never have …
  • enough.
  • Source: John Bogle, Enough. The Measures of Money, Business, and Life (Bogle is founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group)
  • “Too Much Cost, Not Enough Value”
  • “Too Much Speculation, Not Enough Investment”
  • “Too Much Complexity, Not Enough Simplicity”
  • “Too Much Counting, Not Enough Trust”
  • “Too Much Business Conduct, Not Enough Professional Conduct”
  • “Too Much Salesmanship, Not Enough Stewardship”
  • “Too Much Focus on Things, Not Enough Focus on Commitment”
  • “Too Many Twenty-first Century Values, Not Enough Eighteenth-Century Values”
  • “Too Much ‘Success,’ Not Enough Character”
  • Source: Chapter titles from Jack Bogle, Enough.



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