Tom Peter - Speaker Profile
Recently called “the Red Bull of management thinkers” by Inc. Magazine, Tom Peters is co-author of In Search of Excellence—the book that changed the way the world does business and often tagged as the best business book ever. Sixteen books and nearly thirty years later, he’s still at the forefront of the “management guru industry” he single-handedly invented. What’s new? A lot. As CNN said, “While most business gurus milk the same mantra for all its worth, the one-man brand called Tom Peters is still re-inventing himself.” His most recent effort, released in March 2010: The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence. Tom’s bedrock belief: “Execution is strategy—it’s all about the people and the doing, not the talking and the theory.” Tom was also recently named to the Thinkers50 list of the world’s top business thinkers.
More Than Just A Speech - When you engage Tom Peters for one of the presentations described below, you get more than just the talk. Following his presentation Peters will provide, at no additional cost, an executive session where your VIPs and/or top executives will meet and interact in a unique leadership chat. This informal "no-need-to-prepare" forum allows leaders to pose questions about the challenges they're facing and, with Peters as catalyst, discover new strategies for leadership and career success.
The Basics Are the Basics Are the Basics Are the Basics: The Worse the Times, the Better They Work
The “engine” of the current economic mess is losing total touch with the basics: that is, lending money to people, by the millions in the end, who “obviously” couldn’t pay it back. In many ways, that is the whole story—at the bottom of the bottom of the bottom of the pile of derivatives of derivatives of derivatives are truly stupid loans that any fool would say should never have been made.
Grandfather Owen had run a country store and he’d been counselor, banker, and friend, as well as shopkeeper, to thousands over the years. He was a math whiz (he passed a bit of that on to me), but those thousands showed up at his funeral because he never forgot the basics of taking the time to listen and putting people first!
The great news for today: The worst of the worst can be managed if we remember, and assiduously apply, the principals of Peters’ grandfather:
Does that sound simplistic?
But remember: We’re deep in doggy doo-doo because of nothing more than lending money to people who obviously (!!!) couldn’t pay it back.
A CEO of a mid-sized bank attended a seminar of mine in Northern California many years ago—but I remember the following as if it were yesterday. I’ve forgotten the specific context, but I recall him saying to me, “Tom, let me tell you the definition of the good lending officer. After church on Sunday, on the way home with the family, he takes a little detour to drive by the factory he just lent money to. Doesn’t go in or any such thing, just drives by and takes a look.”
Surviving and Even Thriving Amidst the "Perfect Storm"
While many businesses will fail amidst the current economic crisis through no fault of their own, some will survive in spite of the odds—and a few will surprise everyone by turning a messy situation into economic-competitive advantage. Tough times are, in fact, golden opportunities to get the drop—and the long-term drop at that—on those who respond to bad news by panicky across-the-board slash and burn tactics and moves that de-motivate and alienate the workforce at exactly the wrong moment.
Tough times, indeed, require tough decisions—but thriving, not just surviving, is an option for those who mix the wisdom and boldness of leadership along with transparency and maximized employee involvement and engagement. Without suggesting that there is anything humorous about the pain that bad times cause, one couldsay that “this is when it gets fun” for truly talented and imaginative leaders at all levels and in businesses of every sort and size.
(Tom’s aptly-named book, Thriving on Chaos, published on the day the stock market crashed in 1987, suggests his extensive familiarity with the possibility of success in uncertain times.)
Ways to tailor this presentation:
Re-imagine: Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age
Background: All bets are off … a brief tour of dramatic forces at work, from changing technologies and demographics to the rise of China and India and the profound effects of a new corporate risk profile. Strategies and tactics are laid out for accomplishing necessary, radical enterprise change. Plus: A “how to” for creating perpetually adaptive enterprises—ready for anything, prepared to turn on a dime. “The very ‘metabolism’ of the enterprise must be altered,” Peters says. In that vein, Re-Imagine! discusses:
Ways to tailor this presentation:
Excellence: Continuing The Search
2007 marked the 25th anniversary of the publication of one of the most influential business books ever written: Tom Peters and Bob Waterman’s In Search of Excellence. Upon publication, the book immediately ushered in a management revolution, forever changing the way entrepreneurs and leaders viewed their relationships with their employees and customers. In the book, the authors reemphasized what Tom calls the “obvious ideas”: the paramount importance of an abiding orientation toward action over talk, matchless customer intimacy, a wholehearted devotion to acquiring and developing the best talent, entrepreneurship spurred internally, the ever-difficult task of “keeping it simple,” and leadership as “a product of passion, passion, passion.” These ideas are now considered “standard operating procedure” in businesses around the world—though often implementation does not live up to the standards practiced by the world’s best.
In this compelling presentation, Peters revisits and boldly extends the ideas that helped make In Search of Excellence a watershed event in both business and publishing—and launched the now mammoth “management guru industry.” Admitting that “the older I get, the less boring these ‘basics’ such as ‘people first’ become,” Peters says that these same ideas “that led us to take a gamble on Wal*Mart in 1982 animate the likes of Google, Starbucks and Commerce Bank today. In fact, the 100% implementation of these ideas is far more important—for survival’s sake—than it was 25 years ago.”
This presentation promises to inspire audiences of any type, anywhere. Peters’ own passion and intensity, audiences around the world report, has only grown with the passage of time.
The Excellence Dividend
For decades Tom Peters has been preaching the gospel of putting people first, and in today's rapidly changing business environment, this message is more important than ever. With his unparalleled expertise and inimitable charisma, Peters offers brilliantly simple, actionable guidelines for success that any business leader can immediately implement. The audience will leave with a roadmap for any organization and for individuals to thrive amidst the tech tsunami.