Archives: December 2004

A Different New Year’s Eve?!

One might presume that the horrors in SEAsia would cause us to revise our New Year's Resolutions. If ever a sense of Global Community is called for, it's now. And as we craft those Resolutions—that often focus no more deeply than on shedding the 2.9 pounds we put on over the Holidays—I would hope that Community, local and global, would be on and perhaps at the top of many of our lists. Go ahead, today, and volunteer to put your time in on the Community Center expansion drive this Winter! Frankly, it would be a marvelous tribute to the dead of SEAsia if 12.31.2004 was marked by a renewed commitment to Faith, Hope & Charity at home. Prayers are great, but let's go beyond the talk to ... Action! Now! Get High on Volunteer Activities in 2005! (And keep those disaster relief Donations rolling out, too!)

My best wishes for a Thoughtful, Caring, Community-centric and Action-besotted 2005!

Tom Peters posted this on December 31, 2004, in News.
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More Opportunities to Give

CNN names more than 30 aid agencies that are taking donations for disaster victims. You can use this link to go to their list to find your charity of choice. Or the Red Cross donations page is here. We hope you'll make a contribution.

Unspeakable Tragedy: Lend A Hand!

The death toll from the Southeast Asian tsunami staggers the imagination. And, alas, more is surely to come. In addition to our prayers, I urge each of you to contribute to disaster relief. $$$$ do matter! FYI, I chose to send my initial donation to Doctors Without Borders (

Tom Peters posted this on December 29, 2004, in News.
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Tom Goes Live on AOL Coaches!

Tom is working with Minneapolis-based Better Life Media. BLM in turn is working with AOL. The "product" launched ... TODAY! Go to Keyword "coaches" at AOL, and get Tom on Brand You, or John Gray and others in the BLM stable. This link will also take you there—non-members must sign up free.

Peace on Earth

The apparent Viktor Yushchenko victory at the polls in the Ukraine is a wonderful way to end Y2004! Let none of us ever take Democracy for granted! Let all of us make Participation in local (or more) Political Change a Resolution2005. Getting riled up once every 48 months is, simply, not Satisfactory Exercise of our Democratic Gift!

Musings in PowerPoint!

A couple of new Special Presentations, concocted while taking a "time out" from too much Christmas pudding. "New 'C-Levels'" is a suggestion about the sorts of "Chief" Officers we might have ... if we were truly intent upon achieving Dramatic Difference2005. This flowed from a conversation with Blog-queen Halley Suitt about designing entire Companies (and WebSites) around the explicit idea of Better/More Encompassing/More Exciting ... CONVERSATIONS. (Hence the Chief Conversations Officer in the attached.) The Second SP is titled "We Live In A 'Brand You' World"—a short riff about dealing with the BrandYou Reality. Msg2005: Long-Term Jobs ... GET OVER IT!

Lost Bags

I hope none of you were ensnared in the Comair-USAir fiascos! The story reminded me of a brief conversation with a United check-in employee at O'Hare on December 19. My transaction went just fine, but I commented on the generally long lines and obviously small # of UAL employees. Her response, "Yes, United is running an experiment called 'Fly the Airline with no employees.'" Uh huh.

Quote/s of the Day & for Y2005

"Take away that pudding—it has no theme!"—Churchill

May all of our puddings & projects have Technicolor themes in 2005!* (*Or why get out of bed?)

"If I had any epitaph that I would rather have more than any other, it would be to say that I had disturbed the sleep of my generation."—Adlai Stevenson

May all of our projects disturb the sleep of the establishment in 2005!* (*Or why get out of bed?)

"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

I vow that I will try my damnedest to be Demosthenes in 2005!* (*Or why get out of bed?)

Pursuit of 80 Degrees (F)!

Off to Kaua'i today/Monday ... for 10 days. Dial-up at about 14400bps ... plus a determination to truly take a vacation ... will doubtless limit Blogging. (First cut ... 209 "finalist" book candidates. Susan insists ... 10 max! Ouch.) (My North Shore cottage-shack is about 200 yards from a tall yellow tower with a giant siren on top ... mid-Pacific tsunami warning. Hope it stays silent!)

Peace On Earth …

It's a little difficult to square the Christmas message of "peace on earth ..." and the body bags arriving from Mosul. Or is it? The rise of Christianity was, as is true with all innovations, spiritual or material, a reaction to a bankrupt & intolerable status quo. And then, a thousand or so years after the First Christmas, Martin Luther had had enough with what he saw as the corruption of the dominant church, posted his theses ... and launched the Protestant Reformation.

The masterwork of the great philosopher of science, Karl Popper, was titled Conjectures and Refutations. We create a hypothesis, test it, and if it stands up to scrutiny it supplants what came before. For a while! There is no definitive "last word," but merely today's best effort. In short, to paraphrase the political scientist Charles Lindbloom, whose work I assiduously studied three decades ago, man "muddles through"—in war, peace, religion, economics, management, a career.

Iraq may eventually be judged a disaster. Or it may in fact have begun a Middle Eastern march to democracy and modernity. We don't know. For heaven's sake, I spent Christmas 1966 and Christmas 1967 in Vietnam; nearly 40 years later, I'm still not sure whether or not that war was necessary!

Yes, we muddle through. But that's not as bad as it sounds. The idea: We do indeed try our damnedest ... to create a safer and more liberated world, a less corrupt version of the spiritual life (the Reformation). And at Christmas and during this "holiday season," and despite grotesque commercialization, most of us pause and spend more than the usual amount of time appreciating friends and relatives. Take the company Christmas lunch. Sure, it is often a boozy affair, a little short on conventional "spirituality," but it is also a rare opportunity to relax and joke with colleagues, to swap stories about what your kids and their kids are up to ... that is, to pause and for a moment be quintessentially human.

Consider me. I had a lovely day yesterday amidst the hustle and bustle (and honking horns) of little Manchester, VT. Sure, the lines in various stores were "annoyingly long" ... or were they? In the course of a 4-hour shop, and many a line wait, the highlights were clearly not the gifts I was purchasing. The highlights, the true gifts, were the dozen or more conversations with pals and acquaintances I rarely see. In fact, I'm going on a mostly unnecessary shop today ... mostly on the off chance of a few more conversations. That's perhaps the deepest meaning of the Season.

Speaking of Conversations ...

Tom Peters posted this on December 24, 2004, in News.
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