Archives: August 2010

The Little BIG Things
Synopsis Series, Introduction

Tom is simply determined to get the content of The Little BIG Things:163 Ways to Pursue Excellence in front of as many people in as many ways as is humanly possible. Most recently, he has written a new, abbreviated version of the book. It includes new material, but has been compressed in a way that features the main idea of each of the 163 sections, while mostly omitting the "How tos" and supporting case examples. While we think the lengthier version of the material—with its pragmatic calls to action—is the ideal way to absorb the content, we are also delighted to offer up the nuggets from each of the 163 bits. Moreover, since In Search of Excellence in 1982, and especially at tompeters.com in the last six years, the goal is to give away as much material as we can in order to engage you with the ideas that have animated Tom in his writing and thousands of speeches. Of course, we hope this "edition" will spur you to buy a zillion copies of the hardcover edition of the book—but we'll gladly accept your interest in these ideas in any way, shape or form.

Download the introduction to the synopsis format of The Little BIG Things, wherein Tom describes exactly why he wanted to produce this version of the content. We'll be posting around two sections each week, starting next week. Find out more about The Little BIG Things here. We also have related videos, an audio version read by Tom, and apps.

New Audio: Tom Reads The Little BIG Things

This week's additions to the audio files on the book page are in the section titled "CUSTOMERS":

#72. It's 11 A.M.- Have You Called a Customer Today?

#73. There's Nothing But Nothing Better Than an Angry Customer.

#74. What We Have Here Is a Failure to Overcommunicate.

Collect them all, and when we're finished, you'll have an audio version of the entire book.

Little BIG Video #37
Excellence:
MBWA

In video number 37 from The Little BIG Things Video Series, Tom recounts how he discovered the term MBWA, Managing By Wandering Around, in the late seventies, and argues for you to practice it.

You can find the video in the right column of the front page of tompeters.com or you can watch the video on YouTube. [Time: 2 minutes, 23 seconds] You can also download a PDF transcript of the video's content: Excellence: MBWA.

FT Kindness Column

Tom wrote a column for the Financial Times called "Kindness can be the hardest word." You can find it here (free registration required).

HSM/Sao Paulo

Tom is in Sao Paulo with his old pals (especially Jose Salibi Neto) at HSM. This is about year 25! At "Forum HSM De Estrategia" he has a morning general session. Then a private company session in the afternoon. His fellow provocateurs include Michael Porter and Renee Mauborgne—Tom, the "execution dude" and two great strategists. Fun for all, presumably.

Download the slides:
General Session
Private Session

PowerPoint "Stuff"

As I prepare for a series of presentations, I'm bringing together my new slides. Many are derived from Blog posts. I decided to share the set with you—you'll find it here.

Enjoy!

New Audio: Tom Reads The Little BIG Things

This week's additions to the audio files on the book page are in the section titled "No":
#70. "To-Don'ts" Are More Important Than "To-Dos."
#71. Some Things Worth Doing Are Worth Doing Not Particularly Well.

Collect them all, and when we're finished, you'll have an audio version of the entire book.

Little BIG Video #36
Brand You:
Engage Your Brain

In video number 36 from The Little BIG Things Video Series, Tom uses an example from Cool Friend Dan Coyle's The Talent Code to show how much more effective you are when you're engaged with what you're doing. Sounds simple, but the example provides an argument for adding challenges to your work.

You can find the video in the right column here at tompeters.com or you can watch the video on YouTube. [Time: 2 minutes, 23 seconds] You can also download a PDF transcript of the video's content: Brand You: Engage Your Brain.

90 Years Ago Today!

In the end it was, to be precise, Harry Burn's mother who made all the difference. A suffragette, she wrote to her son, age 24 and Tennessee's youngest legislator, saying, "Don't forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt ..." He did as his mother bid, tipped the scales on a 49-47 vote, and brought, effectively, to an end a struggle that in its most open form had lasted 72 years, 1 month, and 7 days, and compassed 909 distinct political campaigns.* With Mrs. Burn's urging and Harry's courageous vote on 18 August 1920, 90 years ago today, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, and some 26 million American women were franchised in one fell swoop.

(*The generally agreed upon starting point was a luncheon, hosted by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, on July 13, 1848 at Seneca Falls, New York.)

While I wish here to do no more than note and cheer this monumental anniversary, I will nonetheless add a nod to one of my Great American Heroes—the aforesaid Elizabeth Cady Stanton, clearly, to my mind, the most important suffragette. Some words about Ms. Stanton should inspire us all. From Elisabeth Griffith, In Her Own Right: The Life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton:

"She was defeated again and again and again, but she continued the struggle with passionate impatience."

"She had survived her husband, outlived most of her enemies, and exhausted her allies. Her mind remained alert, her mood optimistic, and her manner combative." [Observation on the occasion of ECS 80TH birthday celebration, attended by 6,000 people.]

Would that "they" would say the same of you or me in pursuit of some mighty and honorable dream.

Below: Yours truly at a 2007 costume party, dressed as the heroic Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Cool Friend #150:
James Strock

Who are you serving? How can you best serve? Are you making your unique contribution? Are you getting better every day? These are the four questions central to the book Serve to Lead, by James Strock. Jim is our new Cool Friend. In the interview, he and Erik Hansen discuss how your thinking shifts when you start asking these questions on a regular basis and how they apply to current events. Read the interview and find out more about Jim at ServetoLead.org.