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Tom Peters’ EXCELLENCE. ALWAYS. AIM/Adelaide/05 September 2006. Slides* at … *also “long”. The Irreducible209+/ Sales122/60TIBs Tom Peters/0607.2006. 1. Hare 1, Tortoise 0. (Hare-y times.) 2. Tempo. (O.O.D.A.) 3. MBWA. 4. Appreciation. (“Motivator” #1.)

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1. Hare 1, Tortoise 0. (Hare-y times.)

2. Tempo. (O.O.D.A.)

3. MBWA.

4. Appreciation. (“Motivator” #1.)

(Can’t be faked. Good.)

5. Decency.

6. Hurry.

7. Time out.

8. One matters.

9. Big change. Short time. (Alt not work.)

10. Excellence. Always.

11. Passion. Energy. Hustle. Enthusiasm.

Exuberance. (Move mountains. No alt.)

12. You must care.

13. Emotion.

14. Hard is soft. (Soft is hard.)


Execution. (Discipline.)Accountability.Action, a Bias for. (S.A.V./R.F.A.)Relentless.Experimentation. (“Innovate or Die.” “He who makes …”)Adaptability. (Plan B; “We eat …”)“In the moment.”(Bertolucci.)Senility.Exuberance.Fun.Technicolor. Wow! (Extreme Language.)Quest-Adventure.By Invitation.Talent. Roster.($21M.)Weird. (Hangin’ Out + Bottlenecks.)D-squared/“Dramatic Difference.”Up-Up-Up the “VA Ladder.”Trifecta: Wow Projects-Brand You-PSF.(No Option.)Design.Women.4-40/D.E.A.615. (60TIBs; IRR209.)EXCELLENCE.

there is no job that is america s god given right anymore carly fiorina hp january2004
“There is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore.”—Carly Fiorina/HP/January2004
deutsche bank moves half of its back office jobs to india headline ft 0327 500 of 900 research
“Deutsche Bank Moves Half of Its Back-office Jobs to India”/ headline/FT/0327 (500 of 900 Research)
“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”—General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff. U. S. Army

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”—Charles Darwin


“Forbes100” from 1917 to 1987:39members of the Class of ’17 were alive in ’87; 18 in ’87 F100; 18 F100 “survivors” significantly underperformed the market; just 2 (2%), GE & Kodak, outperformed the market from 1917 to 1987.S&P 500 from 1957 to 1997:74 members of the Class of ’57 were alive in ’97; 12(2.4%) of 500 outperformed the market from 1957 to 1997.Source: Dick Foster & Sarah Kaplan, Creative Destruction: Why Companies That Are Built to Last Underperform the Market

practical implication go for it why not alternative is slow death at best
(Practical)Implication?“Go for it!”(Why not—alternative is slow death, at best)
joe j jones 1942 2006 he woulda done some really cool stuff but his boss wouldn t let him

“Ford, GM and Chrysler do not just make cars expensively … they make bad cars expensively.”—Investec analyst, International Herald, 0805.06


“Not long ago, I heard one studio chief utter the unthinkable: ‘What would happen if I made a movie I actually looked forward to seeing?’”—Peter Bart, Editor in Chief, Variety; former Paramount exec, “Hollywood’s Model Doesn’t Produce Art, or Much Profit” (NYT/0721.06)


Did one of ’em ever turn to the other and say:“Wow, I wonder what unimaginable new tools, otherwise not possible, will be brought forth for my daughter Alice, age 17, because of this deal?”

p eople p roduct e xecution e nthusiasm r elentless r e invent e xcellence
p eople p roduct e xecution e nthusiasm r elentless r e invent e xcellence1
p eople p roduct e xecution e nthusiasm r elentless r e invent e xcellence s enility

Wanted* ** :Corporate Senility!


** “The problem is never how to get new,

innovative thoughts into your mind, but

how to get the old ones out.” —Dee Hock

Forget>“Learn”“The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get the old ones out.”—Dee Hock
s y non y ms purity transcendence virtue elegance majesty anton y ms mediocrity

Excellence1982: The Bedrock “Eight Basics”

1. A Bias for Action

2. Close to the Customer

3. Autonomy and Entrepreneurship

4. Productivity Through People

5. Hands On, Value-Driven

6. Stick to the Knitting

7. Simple Form, Lean Staff

8. Simultaneous Loose-Tight



ExIn*: 1982-2002/Forbes.comDJIA: $10,000 yields $85,000EI: $10,000 yields $140,050*Forbes/Excellence Index/Basket of 32 publicly traded stocks


Hardball: Are You Playing to Play or Playing to Win?by George Stalk & Rob Lachenauer/HBS Press“The winners in business have always played hardball.” “Unleash massive and overwhelming force.” “Exploit anomalies.” “Threaten your competitor’s profit sanctuaries.” “Entice your competitor into retreat.”Approximately 640 Index entries: Customer/s (service, retention, loyalty),4. People (employees, motivation, morale, worker/s),0. Innovation (product development, research & development, new products),0.


“Them” “Us”Strategy EXECUTIONPlanning ActionMarketing Selling/SalesMarkets CustomersCustomers ClientsMicro-segmentation Big Stuff (Women, Boomers)Cost minimization Revenue maximizationSynergy/“Efficiencies” Decentralization“Strategic” supplier Pioneering supplierProcess ProjectEffectiveness ExcellenceMen WomenLeadership Management + LeadershipStandardization Exceptionalism (53 = 53)Big clients COOL clientsPrestigious Board INTERESTING Board

“In the end, management doesn’t change culture. Management invitesthe workforce itself to change the culture.”—Lou Gerstner

The Peters Principles: Enthusiasm. Emotion. Excellence. Energy. Excitement. Service. Growth. Creativity. Imagination. Vitality. Joy. Surprise. Independence. Spirit. Community. Limitless human potential. Diversity. Profit. Innovation. Design. Quality. Entrepreneurialism. Wow.


Business* ** (*at its best):An emotional, vital, innovative, joyful, creative, entrepreneurial endeavor that elicits maximum concerted human potential in the wholehearted service of others.*****Excellence. Always.***Employees, Customers, Suppliers, Communities, Owners, Temporary partners


AGENDA SETTERS: “Set the Table”/ Pioneers/ Questors/ AdventurersUS Steel … Ford … Toyota … Sears … GM … ITT …The Gap …Limited …Wal*Mart…Tesco…P&G … 3M …Intel… IBM …Apple…Nokia…Cisco… Dell… MCI … Sun …Microsoft…Google… Enron …Schwab…GE… Laker … Southwest … People Express …Ogilvy…Virgin…eBay…Amazon… Sony…Amgen…BMW… CNN … Nike


TP#1*:Netscape!*Where would you rather have worked for those 5 years, Netscape or IBM-HP-Microsoft-Oracle? (Where, 25 years from now, would you rather to be able to tell someone—e.g., grandchild—that you worked?)


Built to Last vs Built for Impact“But what if [former head of strategic planning at Royal Dutch Shell] Arie De Geus is wrong in suggesting, in The Living Company, that firms should aspire to live forever? Greatness is fleeting and, for corporations, it will become ever more fleeting.The ultimate aim of a business organization, an artist, an athlete or a stockbroker may be to explode in a dramatic frenzy of value creation during a short space of time, rather than to live forever.”—Kjell Nordström and Jonas Ridderstråle, Funky Business

“The First step in a ‘dramatic’ ‘organizational change program’ is obvious—dramatic personal change!”—RG
work on me first kerry patterson joseph grenny ron mcmillan and al switzler crucial conversations
“Work on me first.”—Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler/Crucial Conversations

“Analysts … preferred cost cutting,as long as they could see two or three years of EPS growth. I preached revenue and the analysts’ eyes would glaze over. Now revenue is ‘in’ because so many got caught, and earnings went to hell.They said, ‘Oh mygosh, you need revenues to grow earnings over time.’ Well, Duh!”—Dick Kovacevich, Wells Fargo


“TAKE THIS QUICK QUIZ: Who manages more things at once?Who puts more effort into their appearance?Who usually takes care of the details?Who finds it easier to meet new people?Who asks more questions in a conversation?Who is a better listener?Who has more interest in communication skills?Who is more inclined to get involved?Who encourages harmony and agreement?Who has better intuition?Who works with a longer ‘to do’ list?Who enjoys a recap to the day’s events?Who is better at keeping in touch with others?”Source: Selling Is a Woman’s Game: 15 Powerful Reasons Why Women Can Outsell Men, Nicki Joy & Susan Kane-Benson

it s simple really tom hire for s and above all p romote for s starbucks middle manager field
“It’s simple, really, Tom. Hire fors, and, aboveall, promote fors.”—Starbucks middle manager/field

The “Missing 900M”

Will the Boat Sink the Water: The Life of China’s Peasants

—Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao


The “Small Guys” Guide: Wallop Wal*Mart16

*Niche-aimed. (Never, ever “all things for all people,” a “mini-Wal*Mart.)

*Never attack the monsters head on! (Instead steal niche business and lukewarm customers.)

*“Dramatically Different” (La Difference ... within our community, our industry regionally, etc … is as obvious as the end of one’s nose!) (THIS IS WHERE MOST MIDGETS COME UP SHORT.)

*Compete on value/experience/intimacy, not price. (You ain’t gonna beat the behemoths on cost-price in 9.99 out of 10 cases.)

*Emotional bond with Clients, Vendors. (BEAT THE BIGGIES ON EMOTION/CONNECTION!!)


Passion for PRODUCT.OBSESSION With Product.LOVE The Product.Aim To Be “ONLY ONES WHO DO WHAT WE DO.”Keep ADDIN’ Stuff.Invest “UNWISELY” in R&D.Reside Permanently In The DISCOMFORT Zone.“Unhealthy” PARANOIA Is A Good Thing.Add Clients That PUSH-PULL.SELL. SELL. SELL. SELL.Go For Broke: CUSTOMER CONTACT PEOPLE.PERFECTION: Customer Contact People.Hire for ATTITUDE.INVITE On An Adventure.GREAT CFO/Biz Guy-Gal. NASTY CFO/Biz Guy-Gal.QUADRANGULAR LEADERSHIP: Visionary-Talent Fanatic-Project Manager-I.P.M.(I.P.M. = Inspired Profit Mechanic)


I [“Bacteria Man”] HEREBY PLEDGE:When asked, “What are some examples of companies stepping up to today’s challenges?” … I will … NEVER AGAIN … offer an example of a Giant Company; instead I’ll refer to Cirque du Soleil, Donnelly’s Weatherstrip Service, 3K tanning salons, 10.6M women-owned businesses (or the typically/95+% female recipients of micro-lending) …**There is more to Biz Life than Giant Cos … LOTS MORE … that “hidden 99%”

big brown s new bag ups aims to be the traffic manager for cor p orate america headline bw 2004
“Big Brown’s New Bag: UPS Aims to Be theTraffic Manager for Corporate America”—Headline/BW/2004
gamechan g in g solutions bet the com p an y ibm ups xerox mastercard ge bestbuy
Gamechanging “Solutions”: Bet-the-CompanyIBMUPSXeroxMasterCardGEBestBuy

I. LAN Installation Co. (3%)II. Geek Squad. (30%.)III. Acquired by BestBuy.IV. Flagship of BestBuy Wholesale “Solutions” Strategy Makeover.


“ ‘Disintermediation’ is overrated. Those who fear disintermediation should in fact be afraid of irrelevance—disintermediation is just another way of saying that …you’ve become irrelevant to your customers.”—John Battelle/Point/AdvertisingAge/07.05


Core Mechanism:“Game-changing Solutions”PSF(Professional Service Firm “model”/The Organizing Principle)+Brand You(“Distinct” or “Extinct”/The Talent) +Wow! Projects (“Different” vs “Better”/The Work)


The New Enterprise Value-Added Equation/Mark2006(1) 100% “WOW PROJECTS” (New Org “DNA”/“The Work”)+ (2) Incredible “TALENT”Transformed into (3) Entrepreneurial “BRAND YOUs” and (4) Launched on Awesome “QUESTS FOR EXCELLENCE”= (5) Internal “Rockin’ PSFs” (Staff Depts. Morphed into Wildly Innovative Professional Service Firms) … (6) Which Coalesce to Transform the FEVP/Fundamental Enterprise Value Proposition from “Superior Products & Services” to “ENCOMPASSING SOLUTIONS” &“GAME-CHANGING CLIENT SUCCESS”



(E very Practice Group: “If you can’t explain your position in eight

words or less, you don’t have a position”—Seth Godin)2. DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE (“We are the only ones who do what

we do”—Jerry Garcia)3. Stretch Is Routine (“Never bite off less than you can chew”—anon.)4. Eye-Appetite for Game-changer Projects (Excellence at Assembling

“Best Team”—Fast) 5. “Playful” Clients (Adventurous folks who unfailingly Aim to Change

the World)6. Small “Uneconomic” Clients with Big Aims

7. Life Is Too Short to Work with Jerks (Fire lousy clients)8. OBSESSED WITH LEGACY (Practice Group and Individual: “Dent the

Universe”—Steve Jobs)9. Fire-on-the-spot Anyone Who Says, “Law/Architecture/Consulting/

I-banking/ Accounting/PR/Etc. has become a ‘commodity’ ”

10. Consistent with #9 above … DO NOT SHY AWAY FROM THE



“Purchasing Officer” Thrust #1:Cost (at All Costs*) Minimization Professional?Or/to:FullPartner-Leader in Lifetime Value-added Maximization?(*Lopez: “Arguably ‘Villain #1’ in GM tragedy”/Anon VSE-Spain)


HCare CIO: “Technology Executive”(workin’ in a hospital)Or/to:Full-scale, Accountable(life or death) Member-Partner of XYZ Hospital’s Senior Healing-Services Team(who happens to be a techie)


PSF Transformation: Credit Department/TrekWasIsCredit DeptFinancial ServicesHammer on dealers untilMake dealers successful so theythey payCAN payAR sold to 3rd partyTrek is the commercial financialcommercial co.Company23 employees12 employeesOversee peak AR of $70MOversee peak AR of $160MIdentify risky dealersIdentify opportunitiesCost CenterProfit CenterNo productsProducts: Consulting, MC/Visa,Stored value of gift cards, Gift cardperipherals, Online paymentsSource: John Burke/0330.06

the value added ladder opportunity seeking gamechanging solutions services goods raw materials
The Value-added Ladder/Opportunity-seekingGamechanging SolutionsServicesGoods Raw Materials

“Experiencesare as distinct from services as services are from goods.”—Joe Pine & Jim Gilmore, The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage


“The [Starbucks] Fix” Is on …“We have identified a ‘third place.’ And I really believe that sets us apart. The third place is that place that’s not work or home. It’s the place our customers come for refuge.”Nancy Orsolini, District Manager

The Value-added Ladder/Memorable ConnectionSpellbinding ExperiencesGamechanging SolutionsServicesGoods Raw Materials

Furniture vs. Dreams“We do not sell ‘furniture’ at Domain.We sell dreams.This is accomplished by addressing the half-formed needs in our customers’ heads. By uncovering these needs, we, in essence, fill in the blanks.We convert ‘needs’ into ‘dreams.’ Sales are the inevitable result.”— Judy George, Domain Home Fashions


DREAM: “A dream is a complete moment in the life of a client. Important experiences that tempt the client to commit substantial resources. The essence of the desires of the consumer. The opportunity to help clients become what they want to be.”—Gian Luigi Longinotti-Buitoni

The Value-added Ladder/EmotionDreams Come TrueSpellbinding Experiences Gamechanging SolutionsServicesGoods Raw Materials

“What Isn’t Matter Is What Matters”—section title, Branded Nation: The Marketing of Megachurch, College Inc., and Museumworld, James Twitchell


Top 10 “Tattoo Brands”*Harley .… 18.9%Disney .... 14.8Coke …. 7.7Google .... 6.6Pepsi .... 6.1Rolex …. 5.6Nike …. 4.6Adidas …. 3.1Absolut …. 2.6Nintendo …. 1.5*BRANDsense: Build Powerful Brands through Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight, and Sound, Martin Lindstrom

LovemarkDreams Come True Spellbinding ExperiencesGamechanging SolutionsServicesGoodsRaw Materials
Ladder2006: 4 of 7!Lovemark Dreams Come True Spellbinding ExperiencesGamechanging SolutionsServicesGoodsRaw Materials
“Storytelling is the core of culture.”—Branded Nation: The Marketing of Megachurch, College Inc., and Museumworld, James Twitchell

All Equal Except …“At Sony we assume that all products of our competitors have basically the same technology, price, performance and features.Design is the only thing that differentiates one product from another in the marketplace.”—NorioOhga


“We don’t have a good language to talk about this kind of thing. In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. … But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design.Design is the fundamentalsoul of a man-made creation.”—Steve Jobs

New ZealandSpainPortugalItalyIrelandSingapore TaiwanThailandMalaysiaSINGAPOREPhilippinesUAEOmanChileRomania

“That’s a very diverse* team.”

—Patrick Cescau, CEO, Unilever**

*1 of 14 Board of Directors members is a woman

(not an exec); 2 of 7 Exec Team members

are … Indians.(Source: FT/24-25 June.)

**Approximately 85% of Unilever’s products

are purchased by … women.


“That’s aVERYdiverse team.”

—Patrick Cescau, CEO, Unilever* **

*1 of 14 Board of Directors members is a woman

(not an exec); 2 of 7 Exec Team members

are … Indians. (Source: FT/24-25 June.)

**Approximately 85% of Unilever’s products

are purchased by … women.


“To be a leader in consumer products, it’s critical to have leaders who represent the population we serve.”—Steve Reinemund/PepsiCo


USA/F.Stats: Short ’n (Very) Sweet>50% of stock ownership, $13T total wealth (2X in 15 years)>$7T consumer & biz spending (>50% GDP; > Japan GDP); >80% consumer spdg (Consumer = 70% all spdg) 57% BA degrees (2002); = ed & social strata, no wage gap60% Internet users; >50% primary users of electronic equipment>50% biz tripsWimBiz: Employees > F500; 10M+: 33% all US BizPay from 62% in 1980 to 80% today; equal if education, social status, etc are equal60% work; 46M (divorced, widowed, never married)Source: Fara Warner, The Power of the Purse


The Perfect Answer

Jill and Jack buy slacks in black…


1. Men and women are different.2. Very different.3. VERY, VERY DIFFERENT.4. Women & Men have a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y nothing in common.5. Women buy lotsa stuff.6. WOMEN BUY A-L-L THE STUFF.7. Women’s Market = Opportunity No. 1.8. Men are (STILL) in charge.9. MEN ARE … TOTALLY, HOPELESSLY CLUELESS ABOUT WOMEN.


Cases!McDonald’s(“mom-centered” to “majority consumer”; not via kids)Home Depot(“Do it [everything!] Herself”)P&G(more than “house cleaner”) DeBeers(“right-hand rings”/$4B)AXA FinancialKodak(women = “emotional centers of the household”)Nike(> jock endorsements; new def sports; majority consumer)AvonBratz(young girls want “friends,” not a blond stereotype)Source: Fara Warner/The Power of the Purse


“Goldman Sachs in Tokyo has developed an index of 115 companies poised to benefit from women’s increased purchasingpower; over the past decade the value of shares in Goldman’s basket has risen by 96%, against the Tokyo stockmarket’s rise of 13%.”—Economist, April 15

44-65: “New Customer Majority” **45% larger than 18-43; 60% larger by 2010Source: Ageless Marketing, David Wolfe & Robert Snyder

“The New Customer Majority is the only adult market with realistic prospects for significant sales growth in dozens of product lines for thousands of companies.”—David Wolfe & Robert Snyder, Ageless Marketing

“Baby-boomer Women: The Sweetest of Sweet Spots for Marketers”—David Wolfe and Robert Snyder, Ageless Marketing
Fastest growing demographic: Single-person Households (>50% in London, Stockholm, etc)Source: Richard Scase

% of homes purchased by single women: 1981, 10%; 2005, 20%% of homes purchased by single men: 1981, 10%; 2005, 9%Source: USA Today/02.15.06



Women make [all] the financial decisions.Women control [all] the wealth.

Women [substantially] outlive men.

Women start most of the new businesses.

Women’s work force participation rates have

soared worldwide.

Women are closing in on “same pay for same


Women are penetrating senior ranks rapidly

[even if the pace is slow for the corner

office per se].

Women’s leadership strengths are exceptionally well

aligned with new organizational effectiveness


Women are better salespersons than men.

Women buy [almost] everything—commercial

as well as consumer goods.

So what exactly is the economic point of men?


“A focus on cost-cutting and efficiency has helped many organizations weather the downturn, but this approach will ultimately render them obsolete.Only the constant pursuit of innovation can ensure long-term success.”—Daniel Muzyka, Dean, Sauder School of Business, Univ of British Columbia (FT/09.17.04)

“Acquisitions are about buying market share. Our challenge is to create markets. There is a big difference.”—Peter Job, CEO, Reuters

“Forbes100” from 1917 to 1987: 39 members of the Class of ’17 were alive in ’87; 18 in ’87 F100; 18 F100 “survivors” underperformed the market by 20%; just 2 (2%), GE & Kodak, outperformed the market 1917 to 1987.S&P 500 from 1957 to 1997: 74 members of the Class of ’57 were alive in ’97; 12 (2.4%) of 500 outperformed the market from 1957 to 1997.Source: Dick Foster & Sarah Kaplan, Creative Destruction: Why Companies That Are Built to Last Underperform the Market


“I am often asked by would-be entrepreneurs seeking escape from life within huge corporate structures, ‘How do I build a small firm for myself?’ The answer seems obvious:Buy a very large one and just wait.”—Paul Ormerod, Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics


Sluggish + Obese + Unimaginative + More Sluggish + More Obese + More Unimaginative + Even More Sluggish + Even More Obese + Even More Unimaginative =NISSAN + RENAULT + GM= Innovative Challenger for Toyota????

crappy management gm arrogant overstretched management carlos g great management
??????????????Crappy Management (GM) + Arrogant-Overstretched Management (Carlos G) = Great Management

“I don’t believe in economies of scale.You don’t get better by being bigger. You get worse.”—Dick Kovacevich/Wells Fargo/Forbes/08.04 (ROA: Wells, 1.7%; Citi, 1.5%; BofA, 1.3%; J.P. Morgan Chase, 0.9%)


Scale?“Microsoft’s Struggle With Scale”—Headline, FT, 09.2005“TroublingExits at Microsoft” —Cover Story, BW, 09.2005“Too Big to Move Fast?”—Headline, BW, 09.2005


What “We” Know “For Sure” About InnovationBig mergers [by & large] don’t workScale is over-ratedStrategic planning is the last refuge of scoundrelsFocus groups are counter-productive“Built to last” is a chimera (stupid)Success kills“Forgetting” is impossibleRe-imagine is a charming idea“Orderly innovation process” is an oxymoronic phrase (= Believed only by morons with ox-like brains)“Tipping points” are easy to identify … long after they will do you any good“Facts” aren’tAll information making it to the top is filtered to the point of danger and hilarity“Success stories” are the illusions of egomaniacs (and “gurus”)If you believe the memoirs of CEOs you should be institutionalized“Herd behavior” (XYZ is “hot”) is ubiquitous … and amusing“Top teams” are “Dittoheads”CEOs have little effect on performance“Expert” prediction is rarely better than rolling the dice


The Mess Is the Message! Period!An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States —Charles Beard (1913)The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger —Marc LevinsonTube: The Invention of Television —David & Marshall FisherEmpires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World —Jill JonnesThe Soul of a New Machine —Tracy KidderRosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA —Brenda MaddoxThe Blitzkrieg Myth —John Mosier


“A man of great mediocrity.”—General George Patton about General Omar Bradley …… “A third-rate general. He never did anything or won any battle that any other general could not have won as well or better.”—General Omar Bradley about Sir Bernard Montgomery …… “If you want to end the war in any reasonable time, you will have to remove Ike’s hand from the control of the land battle.”—Sir Bernard Montgomery about General Dwight Eisenhower …… “One thing that might help win this war is to get someone to shoot King.”—General Dwight Eisenhower about Admiral Ernest King …… “Eisenhower, though supposed to be running the land war, is on the golf links at Rhiems—entirely detached and taking practically no part in running the war.”—Sir Alan Brooke …… “If the unhelpful British attitude continues, then I shall go home.”—General Dwight EisenhowerSource: David Irving, The War Between the Generals: Inside the Allied High Command


“Recently I asked three corporate executives what decisions they had made in the last year that would not have been made were it not for their corporate plans. All had difficulty identifying one such decision. Since all of the plans are marked ‘secret’ or ‘confidential,’ I asked them how their competitors might benefit from possession of their plans. Each answered with embarrassment that their competitors would not benefit.”

—Russell Ackoff (from Henry Mintzberg,

The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning)


“Good management was the most powerful reason [leading firms] failed to stay atop their industries.Precisely because these firms listened to their customers, invested aggressively in technologies that would provide their customers more and better products of the sort they wanted, and because they carefully studied market trends and systematically allocated investment capital to innovations that promised the best returns, they lost their positions of leadership.”—Clayton Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma


Parallel universe/Exec Ed v res MBA

End run regnant powers/JKC

Find done deals-practicing mavericks/Stone-ReGo

Bell curves2016 in 2006

Non-industry benchmarking

Everything = Portfolio

V.C.s all!

Hot language/Wow-Astonish me-Insanely great-immortal-Make something great

Lead customers/PW-Embraer

Lead suppliers /Top decile R&D

Weird alliances

Mottos/Paul Arden (“Whatever You Think Think the Opposite”)

Hire freaks/Enough weird people?

Weird Boards!!!


Measure “Strangeness”/Portfolio QualityStaffConsultantsVendorsOut-sourcing Partners (#, Quality)Innovation Alliance PartnersCustomersCompetitors (who we “benchmark” against)Strategic Initiatives Product Portfolio (LineEx v. Leap)IS/IT ProjectsHQ LocationLunch MatesLanguageBoard

“Don’t benchmark, futuremark!”Impetus: “The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed” —William Gibson

“Somewhere in your organization, groups of people are already doing things differently and better. To create lasting change, find these areas of positive deviance and fan the flames.”—Richard Pascale & Jerry Sternin, “Your Company’s Secret Change Agents,” HBR


“Some people look for things that went wrong and try to fix them. I look for things that went right, and try to build off them.”—Bob Stone (Mr ReGo)

skunkworks paralleluniverse the 1 solution source scott bedbury others 3m google shell navfac
“SkunkWorks”/ “ParallelUniverse”“the 1% solution”Source: Scott Bedbury (Others: 3M, Google, Shell, NAVFAC)

“Under his former boss, Jack Welch, the skills GE prized above all others were cost-cutting, efficiency and deal-making. What mattered was the continual improvement of operations, and that mindset helped the $152 billion industrial and finance behemoth become a marvel of earnings consistency. Immelt hasn’t turned his back on the old ways.But in his GE, the new imperatives are risk-taking, sophisticated marketing and, above all, innovation.”—BW/2005


Innovation Index:How many of your Top 5 Strategic Initiatives/Key Projects score 8 or higher[out of 10] on a “Weird”/ “Profound”/ “Wow”/“Game- changer” Scale?


JackWorld/1@T: (1) Neutron Jack.(Banish bureaucracy.) (2) “1, 2 or out” Jack.(Lead or leave.) (3) “Workout” Jack.(Empowerment, GE style.) (4) 6-Sigma Jack. (5) Internet Jack.(1-5/Throughout) TALENT JACK!


Excellence1982: The Bedrock “Eight Basics”

1. A Bias for Action

2. Close to the Customer

3. Autonomy and Entrepreneurship

4. Productivity Through People

5. Hands On, Value-Driven

6. Stick to the Knitting

7. Simple Form, Lean Staff

8. Simultaneous Loose-Tight


fail forward fast high tech ceo pennsylvania fail faster succeed sooner david kelley ideo
“Fail . Forward. Fast.”High Tech CEO, Pennsylvania“Fail faster. Succeed Sooner.”David Kelley/IDEO
reward excellent failures punish mediocre successes phil daniels sydney exec
“Rewardexcellent failures. Punishmediocre successes.”Phil Daniels, Sydney exec
read this richard farson ralph keyes whoever makes the most mistakes wins the paradox of innovation
Read This!Richard Farson & Ralph Keyes:Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins: The Paradox of Innovation

Parallel universe/Exec Ed v res MBA

End run regnant powers/JKC

Find done deals-practicing mavericks/Stone-ReGo

Bell curves2016 in 2006

Non-industry benchmarking

Everything = Portfolio

V.C.s all!

Hot language/Wow-Astonish me-Insanely great-immortal-Make something great

Lead customers/PW-Embraer

Lead suppliers /Top decile R&D

Weird alliances

Mottos/Paul Arden (“Whatever You Think Think the Opposite”)

Hire freaks/Enough weird people?

Weird Boards!!!


SE22/Origins of Sustainable Entrepreneurship

1. Genetically disposed to Innovations that upset apple carts (3M, Apple, FedEx, Virgin, BMW, Sony, Nike, Schwab, Starbucks, Oracle, Sun,

Fox, Stanford University, MIT)

2. Perpetually determined to outdo oneself, even to

the detriment of today’s $$$ winners (Apple, Cirque du Soleil, Nokia, FedEx)

3. Treat History as the Enemy (GE)

4. Love the Great Leap/Enjoy the Hunt (Apple, Oracle, Intel, Nokia, Sony)

5. Use “Strategic Thrust Overlays” to Attack Monster Problems (Sysco, GSK, GE, Microsoft)

6. Establish a “Be on the COOL Team” Ethos. (Most PSFs, Microsoft)

7. Encourage Vigorous Dissent/Genetically “Noisy” (Intel, Apple,

Microsoft, CitiGroup, PepsiCo)

8. “Culturally” as well as organizationally Decentralized

(GE, J&J, Omnicom)

9. Multi-entrepreneurship/Many Independent-minded Stars (GE,PepsiCo)


“HOW THE COAST GUARD GETS IT RIGHT”—Headline, Time, 10.31.2005*Autonomy*Flexibility*“Perhaps the most important distinction of the Coast Guard is that it trusts itself”


POTENTIAL MACHINES-ORGANISMS. Don’t know what’s coming next. But are ready to jump at opportunities, especially those that challenge-overturn our own “way of doing things.”


Small units … agile … lethal … invisible … guerrilla … network warfare … distributed … dispersed … mobile .. Flat [hierarchy] … improvisational … etc.

“‘Decentralization’ is not a piece of paper. It’s not me. It’s either in your heart, or not.”—Brian Joffe/BIDvest
“Execution is the jobof the business leader.”—Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan/ Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

“Execution isasystematic processof rigorously discussing hows and whats, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability.”—Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan/ Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done


“GE has set a standard of candor. … There is no puffery. … There isn’t an ounce of denial in the place.”—Kevin Sharer, CEO Amgen, on the “GE mystique” (Fortune)


A man approached JP Morgan, held up an envelope, and said, “Sir, in my hand I hold a guaranteed formula for success, which I will gladly sell you for $25,000.”“Sir,” JP Morgan replied, “I do not know what is in the envelope, however if you show me, and I like it, I give you my word as a gentleman that I will pay you what you ask.”The man agreed to the terms, and handed over the envelope.JP Morgan opened it, and extracted a single sheet of paper. He gave it one look, a mere glance, then handed the piece of paper back to the gent.And paid him the agreed-upon $25,000 …


1. Every morning, write a list of the things that need to be done that day.2.Do them.Source: Hugh MacLeod/

the only way to whip an army is to go out and fight it grant source john mosier grant
“The only way to whip an army is to go out and fight it.”—GrantSource: John Mosier, Grant

“recognized the value of momentum … throw [opponent] off balance … blitzkrieg … traveling light … headquarters in the saddle”—Jean Edward Smith/GRANT


"The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike at him as hard as you can and as often as you can, and keep moving on."—Grant, courtesy Richard Cauley at

(original source unknown)


“One of my superstitions had always been when I started to go anywhere or to do anything, not to turn back, or stop, until the thing intended was accomplished.”—Grant


The Nelson Baker’s Dozen

1. Simple-clear scheme (“Plan”) (Not wildly imaginative) (Patton: “A good plan

executed with vigor right now tops a ‘perfect’ plan executed next week.”)2. SOARING/BOLD/CLEAR/UNEQUIVOCAL/WORTHY/NOBLE/INSPIRING

“GOAL”/“MISSION”/“PURPOSE”/“QUEST”3. “Conversation”: Engagement of All Leaders4. Leeway for Leaders: Select the Best/Dip Deep/Initiative demanded/Accountability

swift/Micromanagement absent5. LED BY “LOVE”(Lambert),NOT “AUTHORITY”(Identify with sailors!)6. Instinct/Seize the Moment/“Impetuosity” (Boyd’s “OODA Loops”: React more

quickly than opponent, destroy his “world view”)7. VIGOR! (Zander: leader as “Dispenser of Enthusiasm”)8. Peerless Basic Skills/Mastery of Craft (Seamanship)9. Workaholic! (“Duty” first, second, and third)10. LEAD BY CONFIDENT & DETERMINED & CONTINUOUS & VISIBLE

EXAMPLE(In Harm’s Way)

11. Genius (“Transform the world to conform to their ideas,” “Triumph over rules”)

(Gandhi, Lee-Singapore) , not Greatness (“Make the most of their world”)

12. Luck! (Right time, right place; survivor) (“Lucky Eagle” vs “Bold Eagle”)


Source: Andrew Lambert, Nelson: Britannia’s God of War


“Blitzkrieg is far more than lightning thrusts that most people think of when they hear the term; rather it was all about high operational tempo and the rapid exploitation of opportunity.” —Robert Coram, Boyd“Re-arrange the mind of the enemy” —T.E. Lawrence“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”—AliBOYD: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War (Robert Coram)

“Execution is the jobof the business leader.”—Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan/ Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

“This is so simple it sounds stupid, but it is amazing how few oil people really understand that you only find oil if you drill wells.You may think you’re finding it when you’re drawing maps and

studying logs, but you have to drill.”

Source: The Hunters, by John Masters, Canadian O & G wildcatter


You only find oil if you

drill wells.

Source: The Hunters, by John Masters, Canadian O & G wildcatter


In Search of Excellence/1982/The Bedrock “Eight Basics”

1.A Bias for Action

2. Close to the Customer

3. Autonomy and Entrepreneurship

4. Productivity Through People

5. Hands On, Value-Driven

6. Stick to the Knitting

7. Simple Form, Lean Staff

8. Simultaneous Loose-Tight


do it fix it try it tom peters business week 07 1978 principal 1 first anticipation of excellence
“Do it. Fix it. Try it.”Tom Peters/Business Week/07.1978 (Principal #1/first anticipation of “Excellence”)

CK Chesterton:“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”

Reporter:“Mr Drucker, why are you still giving speeches at 90?”

PD:“How else can I figure out what I’m thinking?”

“Experiment fearlessly”Source: BW0821.06, Type A Organization Strategies/ “How to Hit a Moving Target”—Tactic #1

“We made mistakes, of course. Most of them were omissions we didn’t think of when we initially wrote the software. We fixed them by doing it over and over, again and again. We do the same today. While our competitors are still sucking their thumbs trying to make the design perfect, we’re already on prototype version No. 5. By the time our rivals are ready with wires and screws, we are on version No. 10.It gets back to planning versus acting: We act from day one; others plan how to plan—for months.”—Bloomberg by Bloomberg


“My only goal is to have no goals. The goal, every time, is that film, that very moment.”—Bernardo Bertolucci


“People want to be part of something larger than themselves. They want to be part of something they’re really proud of, that they’ll fight for, sacrifice for , trust.”—Howard Schultz, Starbucks (IBD/09.05)


“Management has a lot to do with answers. Leadership is a function of questions. And the first question for a leader always is:‘Whodowe intendtobe?’Not ‘What are we going to do?’ but ‘Who do we intend to be?’”—Max De Pree, Herman Miller


Ah, kids:“What is your vision for the future?” “What have you accomplished since your first book?” “Close your eyes and imagine me immediately doing something about what you’ve just said. What would it be?” “Do you feel you have an obligation to ‘Make the world a better place’?”

most important he u pp ed the ener gy level at motorola fortune on ed zander 08 05
“Most important, heuppedthe energy levelat Motorola.”—Fortune on Ed Zander/08.05
Q:“If it were your $50K [life’s savings] and my $50K, what sort of Waiters would we look for?”A: “Enthusiasts!”

“It is no use saying ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”—WSC

“Whenever anything is being accomplished, I have learned, it is being done by a monomaniac with a mission.”—Peter Drucker

“ARE YOU BEING REASONABLE? Most people are reasonable; that’s why they only do reasonably well.”Source: Paul Arden, Whatever You Think Think the Opposite


"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends upon the unreasonable man.”—GB Shaw,

Man and Superman: The Revolutionists' Handbook.


“The [Union senior] officers rode past the Confederates smugly without any sign of recognition except by one. ‘When General Grant reached the line of ragged, filthy, bloody, despairing prisoners strung out on each side of the bridge, he lifted his hat and held it over his head until he passed the last man of that living funeral cortege. He was the only officer in that whole train who recognized us as being on the face of the earth.’*”

*quote within a quote from diary of a Confederate soldier


“The onething you need to know about sustained individual success: Discover what you don’t like doing and stop doing it.”—Marcus Buckingham, The One Thing You Need to Know


“A year from now

you may wish

You had

started today.”

—Karen Lamb



Drill more wells






Action bias

Most mistakes wins





















Calendar rules

Calendar doesn’t lie

“To don’t

Max priorities = 3



5 min/5,000 miles




Innovate or Die


Fight irrelevance

Just Do It

Care (You Must)

Flowers (Say It With)

I’m sorry

Thank You

Insanely Great


2-cent candy







! (red)

Buy a Mirror

Know thyself





Brand You







Insanely great



Dramatic Difference

Only ones do what we do




Design rules

Beautiful Systems



Women buy all

Women lead better



Boomers-geezers own all






26 minutes

43 hours

Perception Is All There Is

Enthusiasm: The Ultimate Virus


Organizing Genius / Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman“Groups become great only when everyone in them, leaders and members alike, is free to do his or her absolute best.”“The best thing a leader can do for a Great Group is to allow its members to discover their greatness.”

Leadership’s Mt Everest/Mt Excellence“free to do his or her absolute best” … “allow its members to discover their greatness.”

“The role of the Director is to create a space where the actor or actress can become more than they’ve ever been before, more than they’ve dreamed of being.” —Robert Altman, Oscar acceptance


CRO/Chief Recruiting Officer: #1 strategic issue in “commoditized” world, enormous financial services company. Agent turnover. 15% retention after 4 years. (Industry average is 11% … “because that’s the way it is” )


“No matter what the situation, [the great manager’s]first response is always to think about the individual concerned and how things can be arranged to help that individual experience success.”—Marcus Buckingham, The One Thing You Need to Know


“The key difference between checkers and chess is that in checkers the pieces all move the same way, whereas in chess all the pieces move differently. … Discover what is unique about each person and capitalize on it.”—Marcus Buckingham,The One Thing You Need to Know


Our MissionTo develop and manage talent;to apply that talent,throughout the world, for the benefit of clients;to do so in partnership; to do so with profit.WPP


“The leaders of Great Groups love talent and know where to find it. They revel in the talent of others.”—Warren Bennis & Patricia Ward Biederman, Organizing Genius


“We believe companies can increase their market cap 50 percent in 3 years. Steve Macadam at Georgia-Pacificchanged 20 of his 40 box plant managers to put more talented, higher paid managers in charge.He increased profitability from $25 million to $80 million in 2 years.”—Ed Michaels, War for Talent


A review of Jack and Suzy Welch’s Winning claims there are but two key differentiators that set GE “culture” apart from the herd:

First:Separating financial forecasting and performance measurement.Performance measurement based, as it usually is, on budgeting leads to an epidemic of gaming the system. GE’s performance measurement is divorced from budgeting—and instead reflects how you do relative to your past performance and relative to competitors’ performance; i.e., it’s about how you actually do in the context of what happened in the real world, not as compared to a gamed-abstract plan developed last year.

Second:Putting HR on a par with finance and marketing.


A Few Lessons from the ArtsEach hired and developed and evaluated in unique ways (23 contributors; 23 unique contributions; 23 pathways; 23 personalities; 23 sets of motivators)Attitude/Enthusiasm/Energy paramountRe-lent-less!“Practice is cool” (G Leonard/Mastery)Team and individual Aspire to EXCELLENCE = ObviousEx-e-cu-tionTalent = Brand = Duh“The Project” rulesEmotional languageBit players. No.B.I.W. (everything)Delta events = Delta rosters (incl leader/s)

“In the end, management doesn’t change culture. Management invitesthe workforce itself to change the culture.”—Lou Gerstner

“If I could have chosen not to tackle the IBM culture head-on, I probably wouldn’t have. My bias coming in was toward strategy, analysis and measurement. In comparison, changing the attitude and behaviors of hundreds of thousands of people is very, very hard.[Yet] I came to see in my time at IBM that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game—it is the game.”—Lou Gerstner, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance


“AS LEADERS, WOMEN RULE:New Studies find that female managers outshine their male counterparts in almost every measure”Title, Special Report/BusinessWeek


Women’s Negotiating Strengths*Ability to put themselves in their counterparties’ shoes*Comprehensive, attentive and detailed communication style*Empathy that facilitates trust-building*Curious and attentive listening*Less competitive attitude*Strong sense of fairness and ability to persuade*Proactive risk manager*Collaborative decision-makingSource: Horacio Falcao, Cover story/May 2006, World Business, “Say It Like a Woman: Why the 21st-century negotiator will need the female touch”


“TAKE THIS QUICK QUIZ: Who manages more things at once?Who puts more effort into their appearance?Who usually takes care of the details?Who finds it easier to meet new people?Who asks more questions in a conversation?Who is a better listener?Who has more interest in communication skills?Who is more inclined to get involved?Who encourages harmony and agreement?Who has better intuition?Who works with a longer ‘to do’ list?Who enjoys a recap to the day’s events?Who is better at keeping in touch with others?”Source: Selling Is a Woman’s Game: 15 Powerful Reasons Why Women Can Outsell Men, Nicki Joy & Susan Kane-Benson


“Forget China, India and the Internet: Economic Growth Is Driven by Women.” —Headline, Economist,

April 15, 2006, Leader, page 14


Impact! Add It Up!Primary markets/Everything(“Men buy things that other men will buy for women. I buy things that women want.”—successful jeweler/F. “Women are the majority market” —Fara Warner/The Power of the Purse. Women as Purchasing Officers, CIOs, etc.)Greater global workforce participation rate(“bigger contributor to GDP growth than technology, China, India”—Economist)Higher wages(more seniority, promotions—even if not to CEO; greater pay equity—even if not equal)Business “decision makers”(more seniority, promotions—even if not to CEO)Women-owned businesses(answer to the Glass Ceiling—10.6M in USA; recipients of “micro-lending”—developing world)


“If there is nothing very special about your work,no matter how hard you apply yourself you won’t get noticed, and that increasingly means you won’t get paid much either.”—Michael Goldhaber, Wired


New Work SurvivalKit.2006

1. Mastery!(Best/Absurdly Good at Something!)2. “Manage” to Legacy(All Work = “Memorable”/“Braggable” WOW Projects!)

3. A “USP”/Unique Selling Proposition(R.POV8: Remarkable Point of

View … captured in 8 or less words) 4. Rolodex Obsession(From vertical/hierarchy/“suck up” loyalty to

horizontal/“colleague”/“mate” loyalty)5. Entrepreneurial Instinct(A sleepless … Eye for Opportunity! E.g.: Small

Opp for Independent Action beats faceless part of Monster Project)6. CEO/Leader/Businessperson/Closer (CEO, Me Inc. Period! 24/7!)7. Master of Improv(Play a dozen parts simultaneously, from

Chief Strategist to Chief Toilet Scrubber)8. Sense of Humor(A willingness to Screw Up & Move On)

9. Comfortable with Your Skin(Bring “interesting you” to work!)10. Intense Appetite for Technology(E.g.: How Cool-Active is your

Web site? Do you Blog?)11. Embrace “Marketing”(Your own CSO/Chief Storytelling Officer)12. Passion for Renewal(Your own CLO/Chief Learning Officer)

13. Execution Excellence!(Show up on time! Leave last!)

to be somebody or to do something boyd the fighter pilot who changed the art of war robert coram
“To Be somebody or to Do something”BOYD: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War (Robert Coram)
you are the storyteller of your own life and you can create your own legend or not isabel allende
“You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend or not.”—Isabel Allende

“In Tom’s world, it’s always better to try a swan dive and deliver a colossal belly flop than to step timidly off the board while holding your nose.”—Fast Company /October2003


“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body—but rather a skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow, what a ride!’ ”—anon.


“Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe.”—Winston Churchill


“To change minds effectively, leaders make particular use of two tools: the stories that they tell and the lives that they lead.” —Howard Gardner, Changing Minds


Leadership23/ML1. Enthusiasm. Energy. Exuberance.2. Action. Execution.3. Tempo. Metabolism.4. Relentless.5. Master of Plan B.6. Accountability.7. Meritocracy.8. Leaders “do” people. Mentor. (“Success

creation business.”)9. Women. Diversity.10. Integrity. Credibility. Humanity. Grace.11. Realism.12. Cause. Adventures. Quests.


Leadership23/ML13. Legacy.14. Best story wins.15. On the edge. (“Wildest chimera of a

moonstruck mind.”)

16. “Reward excellent failures. Punish

mediocre successes.”17. Different > Better. (“Only ones who do

what we do.”)18. MBWA. Customer MBWA.19. Laughs.20. Repot. Curiosity. Why?21. You = Calendar. “To Don’t.” Two.22. Excellence. Always.

23. Nelsonian! (“Other admirals more afraid

of losing than anxious to win.”)

EnthusiasmEnergyExuberanceVoracious CuriosityIrritability/Dis-satisfactionRelentlessnessSelf-reliance“Closer” (Execution)excellence

EnthusiasmEnergyExuberanceVoracious Curiosityartistic inclinationIrritability/Dis-satisfactionRelentlessnessSelf-reliance“Closer” (Execution)engagementexcellence


Kevin Roberts’ Credo1. Ready. Fire! Aim.2. If it ain’t broke ... Break it!3. Hire crazies.4. Ask dumb questions.5. Pursue failure.6. Lead, follow ... or get out of the way!7. Spread confusion.8. Ditch your office.9. Read odd stuff.10. Avoid moderation!


Sir Richard’s Rules:Follow your passions.Keep it simple.Get the best people to help you.Re-create yourself.Play.Source: Fortune on Branson


“In classical times when Cicero had finished speaking, the people said, ‘How well he spoke,’ but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, they said, ‘Let us march.’”—Adlai Stevenson


Message clarity =CALENDAR + MBWA + Language + Perceived INTENSITY/ENTHUSIASM/ ENERGY + Concrete-Visible support + Prototypes + Tolerance for Failure/“Good losses” + Promotions + Tempo + Resilience + Celebration + Perceived RELENTLESSNESS + Training

The greatest dangerfor most of usis not that our aim istoo highand we miss it,but that it istoo lowand we reach it.Michelangelo

“Beware of the tyranny of making SmallChanges to SmallThings. Rather, make BigChanges to BigThings.”—Roger Enrico, former Chairman, PepsiCo


Five MYTHS About Changing Behavior*Crisis is a powerful impetus for change*Change is motivated by fear*The facts will set us free*Small, gradual changes are always easier to make and sustain*We can’t change because our brains become “hardwired” early in lifeSource: Fast Company/05.2005


Radically Thrilling Language!

“Radically Thrilling.”

—BMW Z4 (ad)

s y non y ms purity transcendence virtue elegance majesty anton y ms mediocrity1

“A year from now

you may wish

You had

started today.”

—Karen Lamb


You only find oil if you drill wells.—T he Hunters, by John Masters,

Canadian O & G wildcatter


A frustrated participant at a seminar for investment bankers in Mauritius listened impatiently to my explanation of differences of opinion among me, Mike Porter, Gary Hamel, Jim Collins, etc. Finally, he’d had enough. “What, if anything,” he asked, “do you believe ‘for sure’?”I mumbled something, but his query started rumbling around in my mind. Three days later, wandering on a Sunday in London, the idea of “the irreducibles” occurred to me—and I started jotting down notes on stuff I do indeed believe “for sure.” Before I knew it, a few days later, the list had grown to 209 items. Hence “The Irreducible209” that follows.Tom Peters


1. Hare 1, Tortoise 0. (Hare-y times.)

2. Tempo. (O.O.D.A.)

3. MBWA.

4. Appreciation. (“Motivator” #1.)

(Can’t be faked. Good.)

5. Decency.

6. Hurry.

7. Time out.

8. One matters.

9. Big change. Short time. (Alt not work.)

10. Excellence. Always.

11. Passion. Energy. Hustle. Enthusiasm.

Exuberance. (Move mountains. No alt.)

12. You must care.

13. Emotion.

14. Hard is soft. (Soft is hard.)


15. Men. Women. Different. Contend. Connect.

16. Women. Buy. All. (RU listening?)

17. Quality. (“Mind-blowing.” Beyond 6-Sigma.)

18. Re-invent. Re-pot. (Required.)

19. Jaywalk.

20. Big change. Small # of people. (Always.)

21. Experiment. Now.

22. Failure. Normal.

23. Most failures, most success.

(Fail. Forward. Fast.)

24. “Reward excellent failures. Punish

mediocre successes.”

25. Women leaders. (Altered times.)

26. Extremism. (Good business. Bad politics.)

27. Innovation source. Only. Extreme irritation.

28. Smile.


29. You must care.

30. Mentor. (Highest ROI.)

31. Best “roster” wins.

32. Wow. (Okay in biz.)

33. We all have customers. (Biz. Personal.)

34. All contacts = Experiences.

35. Cirque du Soleil. (Peerless.)

36. Leaders create space for growth.

37. Quests. (Only.)

38. High aspirations, “high” results.

(Self-fulfilling prophecy.)

39. Attitude 1, Skills 0. (Mostly.)

(Attitude 1, Skill 0.3?)

40. Sometimes: Skill 1, Attitude 0.1.

41. Must “love,” not “like.”

42. Wegmans.” (No excuses. “Mere” groceries.)

43. Less than your best. Cheating.


44. Brand You. (No alt.)

45. Self-sufficiency. (Biggest LT turn-on.)

46. In the moment.

47. The moment wins.

48. Tomorrow = Never.

49. Action 1, Plan 0.1.

50. “Execution” can be a “system.”

51. Realism.

52. Own up. Move on.

53. Accountability.

54. Work hard > Work smart. (Mostly.)

55. Feedback. Necessary. Fast. (R.F.A. in

“RFA times.”)

56. Customers. Listen. Lead. (Paradox.)

57. “On stage.” Always. (GW, FDR, RG =

Supreme actors.)


58. Master statistical analysis.

59. Excellence = Set the table.

60. Legacy. (Will it have mattered?)

61. “Great.” (Why not?)

62. Radicals rule. (Think … Olympics.)

63. !!! = Good.

64. Red 1, Brown 0. (Red times.)

65. Talk. Listen. (“Big 2.” Master.)

66. Politics. (Normal-inevitable state

of affairs. Master.)

67. Student. Forever.

68. “Why?” (Question #1.)

69. Don’t belittle.

70. Respect.

71. All we have: this moment.

(“Moments matter most”?)

72. Now. (Procrastination. Death.)


73. Exercise.

74. Paint. (Leader. Portraits of Excellence.)

75. Best story wins.

76. “You must be the change you wish

to see in the world.”

77. Two “big ones.” Max. (Priorities.)

78. No “I” in Team. (“I” in Win.)

79. “I” in Win. (No “I” in Team.)

80. Different 1, Better 0. (Better = 0.1)

81. Imitation = Mistake. (Learn, from who?)

82. Choose/battle the “right” competitor.

83. Schools. Creativity. Entrepreneurship.


84. MBAs. Creativity. Entrepreneurship.

Leadership. (Not.)

85. Design. Under-rated. Wildly.

(Still.) (Everything.)


86. You = Calendar. (Calendar. Never. Lies.)

87. Laugh.

88. Handshake. (Quantity. Quality.)

89. Don’t fold your hands in front of your chest. Ever. (Never.)

90. Grace. (“Works” in biz.)

91. Weird. Wins. (Weird times.)

92. Crazy times. Crazy orgs.

93. Internet. All.

94. Women. Boomers-Geezers. Market. All.

95. Passion. (Repeat. So what?)

96. Energy. (Repeat. So what?)

97. Hustle. (Repeat. So what?)

98. Enthusiasm. (Repeat. So what?)

99. Exuberance. (Repeat. So what?)

100. Smile. (Repeat. So what?)

101. Care. (Repeat. So what?)


102. Simplicity. Redundancy. Resilience. Bloody-

mindedness. Visible optimism. (Success.)

103. Act. (Repeat. So what?)

104. Appreciate. (Repeat. So what?)

105. Fun. (Biz. Why not?)

106. Joy. (Biz. Why not?)

107. Sales = Life.

108. Marketing = Life.

109. Long-term. “Top line.”

110. Great company = Creates the most

individual success stories. (RE/MAX)

111. Talent first, performance byproduct.

112. Sustained Wow* 1, “Shareholder

value,” 0.2 (*Product, People.)

113. Commitment, by invitation only.

114. Creativity, by invitation only.

115. HR = #1. (Ought to.)

116. Face-to-face. (5K miles, 5 minutes.)


117. Negotiation. Make all winners.

(Save face.)

118. Grace makes enemies friends.

119. Network.

120. Invest in relationships. (Think ROIR.

Return On Investment inRelationships.)

118. Relationship investment. Forethought.

Calendar item. Intensity.

119. Innovation. Easy. (Hang out

with weird.)

120. Weird = Win. (Weird times.)

121. “The bottleneck is at the top

of the bottle.”

122. Good Board = Weird Board.

(At least, surprising.)

123. No contention, no progress.


124. “Crucial conversations.” “Crucial

confrontations.” (Study. Learn. Do.)

125. Honest feedback.

126. Gaspworthy. Yes.

127. “Insanely great.”

128. “Astonish me.”

129. “Make it immortal.”

130. “Will you remember it in 20 years?”

131. No small opportunities. (Reframe.)

132. One playmate, one playpen = Enough.

133. End run. Sensible.

134. Allies are there for the finding.

135. Find successes. Build on successes.

(Pos > Neg. Encourage > Fix.)

136. Somebody’s doing it today. Find ’em.

137. Someone is living 2016 in 2006.

(Find ’em. Study ’em.)


138. Don’t “benchmark,” “futuremark.”

(2016. Happening. Somewhere.)

139. “PMA.” It works.

140. There are no experts. (You are the expert.)

141. Life is short.

142. “Sustained success.” Fat chance.

Make today matter. (“Sustained.” Ha.)

143. Collaborate. (Networked world.)

144. Go solo. (Individual. Unit of

Intellectual Capital.)

145. There are no “perfect” plans. (Do. Wins.)

146. Plans motivate. (Right or wrong.

Sense of purpose.)

147. Never rest.

148. Get some sleep.

149. Winning = Embracing paradox.

150. Ambiguity = Opportunity.


151. Resilience.

152. Relentless-ness.

153. None. Above. Comeuppance.

(GM. Sears. U.S. Steel. DEC.)

154. Be yourself. Period.

155. Never work with jerks. Including

customers. (Life. Too short.)

156. Under-promise, over-deliver.

157. Talent. (Powerful word.)

158. “Customer = Anyone whose actions

affect your results.”

159. Competition stinks. (Seek the soft

spots where you can dominate.)

160. K.I.S.S./Keep It Simple, Stupid.

161. Beauty. (Good biz word.)

162. “See the beauty in a hamburger bun.”

(Go. Ray.)


163. Own up. Quick. ( Denial. Cancer.)164. Celebrate. Often.165. 78 people = 78 approaches. (Each. Unique.)166. Weed. Ceaselessly. (Prune. Stupid. Rules. Non-stop.)167. Get out of the way. (You = The problem.)168. Smile. Sunny. Optimism. (If it kills you.)169. Flowers. (Cheery workplace.)170. Enjoy. (Or get the hell.)171. Be intolerant of “sour.” (1 = Major pollution)172. No “quick trigger” on promotion. (Too important.)173. Evaluation = Lots of study-time.174. Evaluation = “Life or death” to evaluee.175. “360” evaluation. No fad.176. Exit when you’re done. (Done. Sooner than you think.)


177. Today. Now. My Project. Am. Is. I. Period.

178. “Beautiful” systems. (Good biz phrase.

Not oxymoron.)

179. Build on strengths > Fix weaknesses.

180. “To don’t” = “To do.” (“To don’t” >

“To do” ?)

181. Leaders “Do” People. (Period.)

182. Leaders enjoy leading.

183. Serious leadership training = Serious.

184. Priorities. Obvious. (Or else.)

185. 5 “Priorities” = 0 Priorities.

(3 “Priorities” = 0 Priorities?)

186. People. First. Last. Always.

187. It. Is. Always. The. People.


188. Handshake. (Quantity. Quality.)189. Don’t fold your hands in front of your chest. Ever. (Never.)190. Simplicity. Redundancy. Resilience. Bloody-mindedness. Visible optimism. (Success.) (Repeat.)191. Employee Entrance = GuestEntrance.192. Put the customer SECOND. (Thanks, Hal.)193. Flowers. (Or did I say that before? No matter if I did.)194. Big Mergers don’t work. Small acquisitions can/do work—if you don’t screw with their energy.


195. Instinctively “head for the front line.” (In all contexts.)196. Success = DDMMPR/"D-squared,

M-squared, PR” = DramDiff +

Money-Financial Acumen + Good

“Marketing” Instincts + Stellar People

+ Resilience (The “fab five”: What.

Every. Small. Biz. Needs.) (Big too.)

197. Core Mechanism (“Game-changing

Solutions”): PSF (Professional Service

Firm “model”) + Wow! Projects

(“Different” vs “Better”) + Brand You (“Distinct” or “Extinct”)

198. 2011/2016 has already happened.

Find it.


199. Kids “know” kids. Oldies “know” oldies. Women “know” women. (Staff accordingly.)200. Everybody is my customer.201. Cosset “vendors.”202. I want to run a Housekeeping department. (And you?)203. The military doesn’t follow the “military model.” (Initiative = Excellence.)204. No such thing as “going to absurd lengths” to serve the Customer. (HSM & Lefties.)205. Forget the “customer.” All = “Clients.”206. It takes decades to get over “sleights.” (So don’t sleight.)207. Don’t “dumb down.” Ever.


Work In ProgressXXX. One size fits. One. Only. (Evaluations. Period.)XXX. Teaching. Individualized. Only. (6 billion people = 6 billion learning trajectories.) (Montessori.)XXX. First impression. Matters. Shapes all that comes. Hard to overcome. (Understatement.)XXX. Jerks. Don’t work with. (Life = Too short.)XXX. Manage [the hell out of] first impressions.XXX. Last impression. Matters. Dominates memory. Hard to overcome. (Understatement.)XXX. Manage [the hell out of] last impressions.XXX. Plain English.XXX. K.I.S.S. (450/8.)XXX. $798. $55,000,000,000. 3,000,000,000. 7AM-7PM. 6:15AM.XXX. Donnelly Weatherstrip rules.XXX. Managers do things right. Leaders do the right thing. NOT.

GE (more or less):The Sales122: 122 Ridiculously Obvious Thoughts About Selling StuffTom Peters/0402.2006

This list was first prepared for GE Energy sales & marketing people in January. It started with a half-dozen items, and grew like Topsy. Possibly, given its origins, it’s a little tilted toward complex, engineering-based sales. In any event, it makes a perfect companion to “The Irreducibles209.” This, too, is effectively a list of “irreducibles.”Tom Peters


1. “Strategy” overrated, simply “doin’ stuff” underrated. See Kelleher and Bossidy: “We have a ‘strategic plan,’ it’s called doing things.”—Herb Kelleher. “Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing hows and whats, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability.” —Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan/ Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. Action has its own logic—ask Genghis Khan, Rommel, COL John Boyd, U.S. Grant, Patton, W.T. Sherman.

2. What are you personally great at? (Key word: “great.”) Play to strengths! “Distinct or Extinct.” You should aim to be “outrageously good”/B.I.W. at a niche area (or more).

3. Are you a “personality,” a de facto “brand” in the industry? The Dr Phil of ...

4. Opportunism (with a little forethought) mostly wins. (“Successful people are the ones who are good at Plan B.”)

5. Little starts can lead to big wins. Most true winners—think search & Google—start as something small. Many big deals—Disney & Pixar—could have been done as little-er deals if you’d had the guts to jump before the value became obvious.


6. Non-obvious targets have great potential. Among many other things, everybody goes after the obvious ones. Also, the “non-obvious” are often good Partners for technology experiments.

7. The best relationships are often (usually?) not “top to top”! (Often the best: hungry division GMs eager to make a mark.)


9. In any public-sector business, you must become an avid student of “the politics,” the incentives and constraints, mostly non-economic, facing all of the players. Politicians are usually incredibly logical—if you (deeply!) understand the matrix in which they exist.

10. Relationships from within our firm are as important—often more important—as those from outside—again broad is as important as deep. Allies—avid supporters!—within and from non-obvious places may be more important than relationships at the Client organization. Goal: an “insanely unfair ‘market share’” of insiders’ time devoted to your projects!


“Everyone lives by

selling something.”

—Robert Louis Stevenson


11. Interesting outsiders are essential to innovative proposal and sales teams. An “exciting” sales-proposal team is as important as a prestigious one.

12. Is the proposal-sales team weird enough—weirdos come up with the most interesting, game-changer ideas. Period.

13. Lunch with at least one weirdo per month. (Goal: always on the prowl for interesting new stuff.)

14. Gratuitous comment: Lunches with good friends are typically a waste of (professional) time.

15. Don’t short-change (time, money, depth) the proposal process. Miss one tiny nuance, one potential incentive that “makes my day” for a key Client player—and watch the whole gig be torpedoed.

16. “Sticking with it” sometimes pays, sometimes not—it takes a lot of tries to forge the best path in. Sometimes you never do, after a literal lifetime. (Ah, life.)

17. WOMEN ARE SIMPLY BETTER AT RELATIONSHIPS—don’t get hung up—particularly in tech firms—on what industries-countries “women can’t do.” (Or some such bullshit.)


18. Work incessantly on your “story”—most economic value springs from a good story (think Perrier)! In sensitive public or quasi-public negotiations, a compelling story is of immense value—politics is about the tension among competing stories. (If you don’t believe me, ask Karl Rove or James Carville.) (“Storytelling is the core of culture.” —Branded Nation: The Marketing of Megachurch, College Inc., and Museumworld, James Twitchell)

19. Call this 18A, or 18 repeat: Become a first-rate Storyteller! (“A key – perhaps the key – to leadership is the effective communication of a story.”—Howard Gardner, Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership)

20. Risk Assessment & Risk Management is more about stories than advanced math—i.e., brilliant scenario construction.

21. Good listeners are good sales people. Period.

22. Lousy listeners are lousy sales people. Period.

23. GREAT LISTENERS ARE GREAT SALES PEOPLE. (Listening “skills” are hard to learn and subject to immense effort in pursuit of Mastery. A virtuoso “listener” is as rare as a virtuoso cello player.) (“If you don’t listen, you don’t sell anything.”—Carolyn Marland/MD/Guardian Group)


24. Things that are funny to me (American) are often-mostly not funny to those in other cultures. (Humor is as fine-edged as it gets, and rarely travels.)

25. You don’t know Jack Squat about other peoples’ cultures—especially if you are a typically myopic American. (Like me.)

26. Are you a great interviewer? It’s a make or break skill. (Think Barbara Walters’ skill at extracting unwanted truths from pros in persona-protection ... in front of 10s of millions of people.

27. Are you a great (not merely “good”) presenter? Mastering presentation skills is a life’s work—with stupendous payoff.

28. Work like hell on the Big 2: LISTENING/INTERVIEWING, PRESENTING. These are “the essence of [sales] life”—and usually picked-up in an amateurish fashion. Mistake! (Become a “professional student” of these two areas, achieve Mastery.)

29. Are you good at flowers? Think: FLOWER POWER! (see Harvey Mackay’s “Mackay 66”—what you should know about a Client; e.g., birthdays & anniversaries.) (My “flowers budget” is out of control. Hooray for me.)

30. You can’t do it all—be clear at what you are good at, bad at, indifferent at. Hubris sucks.


“If you don’tlisten,

youdon’t sell

anything.”—Carolyn Marland/

Managing Director/

Guardian Group


31. The point is not to “prove yourself.” (That’s ego-talk.) Let the best person present to the Client—perhaps a “lower level” geek. (“Control freaks” get their just desserts in the long haul—or sooner.)

32. The numbers will more or less take care of themselves over the long haul—if the relationship/s is/are solid gold.

33. The Gold Standard in selling: INDISPENSABLE to the Client. No other goal is worthy.

34. Never stop growing-broadening-deepening the relationship. The key to “indispensability” is to get the Client more and more … and more … and then more … imbedded in “our” web. Hence the so-called “selling process” is only the first step!

35. USE THE WORD “WE” … CONSTANTLY & RELIGIOUSLY! (E.g.: “We”—the Client & me—“are going to change the world with this service.”)

36. Don’t waste your time on jerks—it’ll rarely work out in the mid- to long-term.

37. Genius is walking away from lousy “scores” (deals)—and accepting the attendant heat. Big Business is the premier home to Big Egos overpaying by a factor of 2 to 22 with billion$$$$ at stake. (Think Jerry Levin and AOL Time Warner.)


38. You haven’t a clue as to how this situation will actually play out—be prepared to move fast in a different direction.

39. Keep your word.


41. Underpromise (i.e., don’t over-promise; i.e., cut yourself a little slack) even if it costs you business—winning is a long-term affair. Over-promising is Sign #1 of a lack of integrity. You will pay the piper.

42. There is such a thing as a “good loss”—if you’ve tested something new and developed good relationships. A half-dozen honorable, ingenious losses over a two-year period can pave the way for a Big Victory in a New Space in year 3.

43. It’s a competitive world out there. New, innovative products are harder to sell than old stand-bys. Nonetheless, you will be a long-term star to the extent that you are willing to push the harder-to-sell-at-the-moment Innovative Products that cement long-term Client success (Indispensability!) —even if it means a #s hit this quarter. PART OF YOUR JOB: TAKE CLIENTS ON AN ADVENTURE THAT PUTS THEM AHEAD OF THE GAME CALLED (GAMECHANGING—hopefully) COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE!


44. Think “legacy”—what the hell is all this really about for you and the world? (“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” —Mary Oliver)


46. Keep it simple! (Damn it!) No matter how “sophisticated” the product. If you can’t explain it in a phrase, a page, or to your 14-year-old ... you haven’t got it right yet.

47. Know more than the next guy. Homework pays. (of course it’s obvious—but in my work it is too often honored in the breach.)

48. Regardless of project size, winning or losing invariably hinges on a raft of “little stuff.” Little stuff is and always has been everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!—or, “one man’s little stuff is another man’s 7.6 Richter deal-breaker.”

49. In public settings in particular, face saving is all. When something changes, allow the other guy to come out looking like a winner, especially if he has lost. (Even if you must accept the egg on your face—he will always remember you!)

50. Don’t hold grudges. (It is the ultimate in small mindedness—and incredibly wasteful and ineffective. There’s always tomorrow.)


51. IT’S ALWAYS “THE POLITICS”—wee private-sector deal or giant public sector deal. (Every player, small or large, is angling for something. Master the calculus of advantage.)

52. To beat the “turnover problem” in key Client posts amidst long negotiations, invest outrageous amounts of time building a wide & deep set of relationships with mid-level (& lower!!) “plodding” “careerists.” The invisible careerists are the bedrock upon which repeated success is built! (My “Capitol Hill Axiom”: It’s the 24-year-old LA who in the end briefs the Senator right before she goes to the Floor to vote.)

53. Speaking of “she”: Gender differences are Enormous—dealing with a woman and dealing with a man are different kettles of fish—you must become an A+ student of gender differences. (E.g.: Men are typically more interested in the short-term “score.” Women are more interested in the long-term consequences.)


55. This is not war, damn it. All parties can win (or not lose, anyway). And losing bidders can walk away from a deal with increased respect for you and your team.


56. Never, ever dump on a competitor—the Tom Watson IBM glory-days mantra.

57. Never forget the “Law of Cousins!” In developing nations in particular, power brokers at all levels are at least cousins! Consideration for a second cousin can pay off big time.

58. Speaking of “favors,” jail sucks.

59. Work hard beats work smart. (Mostly.)


61. Mano v mano “hardball” is seldom the answer—end runs based and patient multi-level relationship building via deeper-wider networks win.

62. If the deal is wired from below, truly wired, than the so-called “big negotiations” are essentially irrelevant.

63. If every quarter is a “little better” than the prior quarter—then you are not taking any serious risks.

64. Phones beat email.


“Nothing is so

contagious as


—Samuel Taylor Coleridge


65. A THREE-MINUTE CALL TODAY CAN AVOID A GAME-LOSER OF A FIASCO NEXT MONTH. There was always a time when a little thing could have been addressed that headed off a subsequent big thing. As to avoiding that call, didn’t someone say, “Pride goeth before the fall”?

66. Be hyper-organized about relationship management—you are in the anthropology business. Study the great pols! Brilliant NRM (network relationship management) is not accidental! It is not catch-as-catch can. (Football analogies are cute—but deep political understanding pays the private-school tuition.)

67. Obsess on ROIR (Return On Investment In Relationships).

68. “THANK YOU” NOTES: World’s highest-return investment!!

69. The way to anyone’s heart: Doing a nice thing for their kid. (But, gawd, does this take a gentle touch.)

70. Scoring off other people is stupid. Winners are always in the business of creating the maximum # of winners—among adversaries at least as much as among “partners.”

71. Your colleagues’ successes are your successes. Period. (Trust me, my greatest personal success—financially as well as artistically—has been creating a bigger pond in which everyone wins, even if my “market share” is down.)


72. Lend a helping hand, especially when you don’t have the time. E.g. share relationships—the more you give away the more you get in return (just like they say in church).

73. Listen up: “It was much later that I realized Dad’s secret. He gained respect by giving it. He talked and listened to the fourth-grade kids in Spring Valley who shined shoes the same way he talked and listened to a bishop or a college president. He was seriously interested in who you were and what you had to say.”—Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Respect. (I.e., Respect is Cool.)

74. Mentoring is a thrill—and the practical payoff is enormous. The best mentors have the whole world working its buns off for them!

75. Hire for enthusiasm. Promote for enthusiasm. Cherish enthusiasm. REMOVE NON-ENTHUSIASTS—THEY ARE CANCERS. (“Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm.”—Samuel Taylor Coleridge. “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.”—Chinese Proverb.)

76. IT’S ALWAYS YOUR PROBLEM—you sold it to them.


77. It’s never over: While there may be an excellent service activity in your company, the “relationship” belongs to You! Hence the “aftersales” “moments of truth” are at least as—if not more than*--important to the Continuing Relationship as the sale “transaction” itself. (*I vote for “more than.”) You’ll get your biggest “points” with the Client for being an effective after-the-fact go-between with your company.

78. Don’t get too hung up on “systems integration”—first & foremost, the individual bits have got to work.

79. For God’s sake don’t over promise on “systems integration”—it’s nigh on impossible to deliver.

80. On the other hand … winners clamber Up the Value-added Ladder, and offer ever so much more than “mere” product. ALL SUCCESSFUL SALES PEOPLE ARE IN THE “SOLUTIONS BUSINESS”—no matter how jargony that may sound.


81. “Systems” / “Solutions” selling means grappling directly with “culture change” in Client organizations. (“The business of selling is not just about matching viable solutions to the customers that require them. It’s equally about managing the change process the customer will need to go through to implement the solution and achieve the value promised by the solution”—Jeff Thull, The Prime Solution: Close the Value Gap, Increase Margins, and Win the Complex Sale)

82. Shit happens. That’s what they pay you for.

83. This is not a “GE” or “Ben & Jerry’s” sale—it is a Joe Jones/Jane Jones sale. YOU ARE THE “BRAND” THE CLIENT BUYS—especially over the long haul.

84. Duh: You make money, the company makes money—on repeat business.

85. Master—yes, you—the “PR” Game. “Word of Mouth” is not accidental! You want Word of Mouth? Make it happen!

86. GOAL #1: MAKE YOUR CLIENT A HERO—YOU ARE NOT THERE TO GET CREDIT. (“Taking credit” is for egomaniacs. And losers.)

87. “Decent margins,” over the mid- to long-term, are a product of better relationships, not better “negotiating skill.” (Mostly.)


“You can’t behave

in a calm, rational

manner. You’ve got

to be out there on

the lunatic fringe.”

—Jack Welch


88. In the immortal words of ex-GE Vice Chairman Larry Bossidy, more or less, “Realism rocks.” (“Bullshit artist” and “great salesperson,” contrary to conventional wisdom, are Diametric Opposites. “Truthteller” and Great Salesperson is more like it.)

89. Be the first to tell the Client bad news (e.g., slipped delivery); his intelligence sources will tell him fast—you want to be there first with your story and to enhance your rep as Truthteller!

90. Work like hell to get a reputation as a valued industry expert, to become an industry resource.

91. Work the Trade Association angle for all its worth—it may take a decade to pay off—e.g., when you become an officer or are on an important panel or testify Before Congress.


93. It’s all bloody tactics.

94. You must ... LOVE .... the product! (Period.)


96. Don’t over-schedule. “Running late” is inexcusable at any level of seniority; it is the ultimate mark of self-importance mixed with contempt.


97. Women are better salespeople. (See Addendum.)

98. Women alone understand Women.

99. Actually, Women by and large understand Men better than Men understand Men.

100.Women purchasers buy Stories and recommendations.

101. Women take longer to become Loyal purchasers, but then stay Loyal.

102. Men buy Stats.

103. Men decide fast, but are fickle.

104. Men & Women are … VERY, VERY … Different.

105. Women buy most things. Consumer. Increasingly, professional goods and services.

106. Women’s Market is Opportunity #1.

107. Boomers. Many, many. Lots & lots & lots of … $$$.

108. Boomers-Geezers are very different purchasers than those in other categories.


109. It takes time to get to know people. (DUH.)

110. The very idea of “efficiency” in relationship development is ... STUPID.

111. MBWA (still) rules.

112. “Preparing the soil” is the “first 98 percent.” (Or more.)


114. Rule 5K-5M: 5K miles for a 5-Minute meeting often makes sense. (Yes, often.) (Even with constrained travel budgets.) (Thanks, super-agent Mark McCormack.)

115. Become a student! Study great salespeople! (Including Presidents.) (“Natural” is a little bit true—but then Naturals are always the ones who study hardest—e.g., Jerry Rice.)

116. Become a student! Yes, you can study Relationship Building. So, study …

117. Beware complexifiers and complicators. (Truly “smart people” ... Simplify things.)


118. The smartest guy in the room rarely wins—alas, he usually is aware he’s the

smartest guy. (And needn’t waste his time on that “soft relationship crap.”)

119. Be kind. It works.

120. Be especially kind when there are screw-ups. (There’s plenty of time later to

Play the Great Accountability Game.)

121. Presidents never tire of being treated like Presidents.

122. Luck matters.

So: Good luck!


ADDENDUM: Women Rock … as Salespersons (From Item #98.)

And the answers are?

“TAKE THIS QUICK QUIZ: Who manages more things at once? Who puts more effort into their appearance? Who usually takes care of the details? Who finds it easier to meet new people? Who asks more questions in a conversation? Who is a better listener? Who has more interest in communication skills? Who is more inclined to get involved? Who encourages harmony and agreement? Who has better intuition? Who works with a longer ‘to do’ list? Who enjoys a recap to the day’s events? Who is better at keeping in touch with others?”Source: Selling Is a Woman’s Game: 15 Powerful Reasons Why Women Can Outsell Men, Nicki Joy & Susan Kane-Benson


1. TECHNICOLOR RULES! (Passion Moves Mountains!)2. Audacity Matters!3. Revolution Now!4. Question Authority! (& Hire Disrespectful People.) 5. Disorganization Wins! (LOVE THE MESS!)


6. Think 3M: Markets Matter Most. ONLY EXTREME COMPETITION STAVES OFF STALENESS. (You can take the boy out of Silicon Valley, but you can’t take Silicon Valley out of the boy!)7. Three Hearty Cheers for Weirdos. (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Scott McNealy, Craig Venter et al.) 8. Message 2003: Technology Change (Info-sciences, Biosciences) Is in Its Infancy! (WE AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET!)9. Everything Is Up For Grabs! Volatility Is Thy Name! (Forever & Ever. Amen.) RE-INVENT … OR DIE! 10. Big Sucks. (Mostly.) (VERY Mostly.)


11. “Permanence” Is a Snare & a Delusion. (Forget “Built to Last.” It’s Yesterday’s Idea.)12. Kaizen” (Continuous Improvement) Is …Dangerous.13. DESTRUCTION RULES!14. Forget It! (“Learning” = Easy. “Forgetting” = Nigh on Impossible.) 15. Innovation Is Easy: Hang Out with Freaks. (Employees, Board Members, Customers, Suppliers, Alliance Partners, Consultants.)


16. Boring Begets Boring. (Cool Begets Cool.)17. Think “Portfolio.” (We’re All V.C.s.)18. Perception Is All There Is. (“Insiders” … ALWAYS … overestimate the Radicalism of What They’re Up To.)19. Action … ALWAYS … Takes Precedence. Think: R.F!A./Ready. Fire! Aim. (REWARD SUCCESS. REWARD FAILURE. PUNISH … INACTION.) 20. He Who Makes & Tests the Quickest & Coolest Prototypes Reigns!


21. Haste Makes Waste. (SO GO WASTE!)22. Screw-ups are … the … Mark of Excellence. (“Do It Right the First Time” Is a Very Stupid Idea.) 23. Play Hard! Play Now! (Cherish Play!)24. TALENT TIME! (He/She Who Has the Best “Roster” Rules!)25. Re-do Education. Totally. (FOSTER CREATIVITY … NOT UNIFORMITY.) (THE NOISIEST CLASSROOM WINS.)


26. Diversity’s Hour Is Now!27. SHE … Is the Best Leader!28. MARKETING MANTRA: Embrace the “BIG THREE” Demographics. (1) SHE … is the Customer. (For everything.) (2) Rapidly Aging Boomers Have … ALL THE MONEY. (3) Green … Matters. (TRILLIONS OF $$$$$ Are at Stake.) (NOBODY … Gets It.) (Mere “Programs” Will Not Suffice.)29. Re-boot Healthcare. (UNDERSTATEMENT.)30. WHAT ARE WE SELLING? “Experiences” & “Solutions” > “Quality” & “Satisfaction.” (The Traditional Value-added Equation Is Being Set on Its Ear.)


31. DESIGN = New Seat of the Soul. 32. Branding Is for … EVERYONE. He Who Has the … BEST STORY … Takes Home the Marbles.33. DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE = Only Difference.34. WORDS/Language Matters … a Lot. (E.g.: Three Hearty Cheers for “Wow”!)35. WHAT MATTERS IS STUFF THAT MATTERS. (Query #1: “Are You Proud of It?”)


36. eALL. (IS/IT: Half-way = No Way.)37. DREAM … Big! DREAM … Enormous. DREAM … Gargantuan. (These Are XXXL Times.)38. THINK MIKE! (Michelangelo: “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”)39. There Is Only … ONE BIG ISSUE. Cross- functional Communication.40. Stop Doing Dumb Shit. (SYSTEMATIZE THE PROCESS OF “UN-DUMBING.”)


41. Beautiful Systems Are … BEAUTIFUL.42. The … WHITE-COLLAR REVOLUTION … Will Devour Everything in Its Path. 43. Take Charge of Your Destiny! BrandYou Moment! DISTINCT … OR EXTINCT!44. “Powerlessness” Is a State of Mind! Think: King. Gandhi. De Gaulle.45. Pursue Adventure … in Every Task.


46. EXCELLENCE … Is a State of Mind. (Excellence Takes a Minute.) (No Bull.)47. SHOW UP! (If You Care, You’re There.)48. YOUR CALENDAR KNOWS ALL. (You = Calendar.) (Mind Your “TO DON’T” List.)49. LIFE IS SALES. (The Rest Is Details.)50. Boss Mantra #1: “I DON’T KNOW.” (“I Don’t Know” = Permission to Explore.)


51. Management Role 1: GET OUT OF THE WAY. (Clear the Way.) (“Manager” = Hurdle Removal Professional.)52. Epitaph from Hell: “He Woulda Done Some Truly Cool Stuff … But His Boss Wouldn’t Let Him.”53. Change Takes However Long You Think It Takes. (Eschew … “Incrementalism.”)54. Respect! (Rule 1: Don’t Belittle!)55. “Thank You” Trumps All!


56. Integrity Matters! Integrity = Credibility. (Dennis K. Is a Jerk.)57. SOFT IS HARD. HARD IS SOFT. (Numbers Are Soft. People Are Not.)58. Try Sunny! (Sunny Begets Sunny. Gloomy Begets Gloomy.)59. DISPENSE ENTHUSIASM!60. FUN …Is Not a 4-Letter Word. So, too … JOY. (And … GRACE.)