Archives: February 2012


The next installment of Tom's "Mother of All Presentations," or MOAP, is now available at You can download the PowerPoint version or a PDF. We'll be releasing a section every other week throughout 2012.

Part 6 revisits Tom's clamorous call for attention to people with LOTS of money to spend: Boomers and Geezers. Tom has read a new book or two, adding fuel to his passion on this topic, and providing some fresh insights for you to consider in Part 6 of his Mother of All Presentations.

Downton Abbey and MBWA

The most recent New York Times Sunday magazine included an article on the popular PBS drama, "Downton Abbey." Titled "The Upside-Down Appeal of 'Downton Abbey,'" the author was clearly attempting to suss out the attraction to the show. Along the way, she explains that she found the leadership style of lord of the manor an unexpected twist. Apparently he engaged in leadership techniques that would make Tom proud, including Managing by Wandering Around. She went so far as to call the lord a "devotee of Tom Peters." Although we joke with Tom about the length of his career, we're fairly certain In Search of Excellence cannot be found on a feudal lord's bookshelf. Regardless, it's fascinating to find leadership lessons so far from the typical corporate office, and we hope the article provides plenty of food for thought.

Bias for Action

Quotes Concerning "A Bias for Action"

"Attribute No. 1," In Search of Excellence

Messing around with my favorite topic—the primacy of action over blah blah blah. Put together two attachments. One is a PowerPoint. The other is a set of quotes—the first ten of which are offered up below.

The "Big 10":

"We have a 'strategic plan.' It's called doing things."—Herb Kelleher

"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."—John Masters, Canadian oil and gas wildcatter, The Hunters

"Can do!"—Motto, U.S. Navy Seabees (U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalions)

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

"Ready. FIRE! Aim."—H. Ross Perot (versus, he said, the far more common "Aim! Aim! Aim! ...")

posted by NFL football coach Bill Parcells

"Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You simply must ... Do things."—Ray Bradbury

"To Be somebody or to Do something."—John Boyd

"Fall seven times, stand up eight."—Japanese proverb

"You miss 100% of the shots you never take."—Wayne Gretzky


We continue on, to the next installment of Tom's "Mother of All Presentations," or MOAP, available now at You can download the PowerPoint version or a PDF. We'll be releasing a section every other week throughout 2012.

Part 5 advocates practice in the art of listening. Tom states that mastery of this talent is difficult, but the effort pays big dividends. Try it today. Get Tom's three rules to follow and more in Part 5 of Tom's Mother of All Presentations.

Share Your Love (and, Do So Before It's Too Late)

(This is a guest post by Raj Setty to introduce, just in time for Valentine's Day. Rajesh Setty serves as the president of Foresight Plus, LLC. He is an entrepreneur, author, and speaker based in Silicon Valley. You can follow him on Twitter at

When I look back at my engineering days a couple of decades ago, I remember a few teachers that made a huge difference in my life—even today. One of them was the late Dr. Sudhakar Samuel. Dr. Samuel was special. Very special. I still remember the sixth semester where he taught us Digital Electronics. Long story short—every single student in the class became an expert on the topic by the end of the semester.

I had an opportunity to thank Dr. Samuel at the end of the class. I don't know whether I did justice to what he had given to all of us. My appreciation for what and how he taught me in those days grew over these years. A few years ago, I thought I should go back and thank him again for the difference he made in my life. For some or the other reason, that time did not come. One day, all of a sudden, I got an email from an old friend that Dr. Samuel had passed away. There were tears in my eyes instantly, but there was also a feeling of guilt that I had left something incomplete.

Intentions do count. But, not much in such situations. Actions are what matter most.


Off the Cuff #2

Our Off the Cuff video series is a direct response from Tom to your questions. This is the second video in the series, which poses the question, "What is the greatest piece of advice you ever received that has made you a better writer or communicator?" It's a terrific question for Tom, and he discusses not only writing influences, but touches on public speaking as well. Don't miss the Dan Pink technique at the end; it may feel excruciating in practice, but there's no denying the improvement gained.

TLBT Video #73
Strategy: Measure Innovation

We've posted the latest video in The Little BIG Things series on YouTube. Do you think it's impossible to measure innovation? In this video, Tom offers a brilliantly simple, easy-to-implement method for ensuring that a good portion of your work meets the mark on innovation.

You can find the video in the right-hand column of this page or watch it at YouTube (time: 2 minutes 3 seconds). Or, get a PDF transcript of the video's content: Strategy: Measure Innovation.