Tom is proud to be included among the honorees on this list: The Top 50 Social Employee Advocacy Leaders (SEAL) on Twitter. We think it's a great accomplishment for a thinker born before the baby boomers to be in the forefront of an issue born with the Millennials.
Summary to a colleague of my recent 15-minute speech ("pep talk"):
Don't worry about '21st century leadership' (my assigned topic). If you are just decent to people, listen instead of talk, respect and encourage them, are religious about 'managing by wandering around,' most things will work out. And I said that, in the end, taking good care of people was the only thing worthy of a tombstone epitaph. My closing line, 'My ex-father-in-law carved tombstones. Nobody ever gets their net worth carved on their tombstone.'"
The 15-second version of the 15-minute talk, in the form of a tweet:
Do your MBWA and take good care of people. No one has their net worth on their tombstone."
More tweets inspired by the short talk:
Listening rules. Listening effectively is a "profession" as much as neurosurgery—though much more powerful than neurosurgery.
Listening is the ultimate mark of respect.
Listening is the ultimate motivator.
Listening is the ultimate source of knowledge.
Listening is the ultimate—and only trustworthy—"culture barometer."
Listening rocks, rolls, and rules. Do your MBWA first thing this morning, last thing in the afternoon.
(Response tweet from Leslie Ann Howard: "When two people are talking, only one is communicating, the person who is listening.")
If you think "small talk" is small, then resign your leadership role this morning.
Friendships are the lubricant of effective leadership. So says Bill George. So said Dwight David Eisenhower.
Being pleasant is not antithetical to being tough-minded. In fact, though it's counterintuitive, they are handmaidens.
Internal impatience is a virtue. External impatience is a vice.
SIN OF "SEND." Edgy email? Hold it for 6 hours before sending.
Tom's halfway around the world from home once again. In Sydney, he's one of the speakers at the World Business Forum 2015, along with movie director Oliver Stone, former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, and other excellent company.
Tom bumped into a Cool Friend at the HOW Design Conference in Chicago. Not surprisingly, John Maeda was among the speakers, and he and Tom got a chance to have a bit of conversation. We interviewed Maeda in 2006, when he was part of the Simplicity Consortium at the MIT Media Lab. From there he progressed to being the president of RISD, and now he's a design partner at Kleiner Perkins.
Today's event takes Tom to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business 2015 Distinguished Leadership and Innovation Conference in Port of Spain. The other principal speaker at this premier annual regional event is Tom’s long time colleague Peter Senge—Peter, the world’s leading evangelist for “systems thinking,” is best known for his book The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. Public and private sector leaders from numerous Caribbean nations will be in attendance.
Tom is speaking to the HSM Management & Leadership Forum in São Paulo today. He reckons it's about his 15th or so visit to SP in the last, say, 25 years. As usual, he's working with his colleague and HSM founder Jose Salibi Neto. From the start Tom has called HSM events "peerless." Over the years, HSM has branched out far beyond Brazil—including an annual extravaganza for thousands in Radio City Music Hall. (Tom called his appearance on the Radio City stage "beyond belief, a 'pinch me' moment.")
In conversation with Tom before the current event, Jose shared his "secret" of sustaining: "Every year is a start-up. As is every event. You begin the year and the event with ZERO satisfied customers. You must earn your reputation each time out." Tom says it's a sentiment he can "very much relate to."
As to Tom's talk, he says it will be built around "something new that's not new." Preparing for the event, he read a relatively new book, The Customer Service Revolution by customer service guru and wildly successful entrepreneur John DiJulius. Tom continued, "Sure, this is a sentiment that has been my 'calling' for years, but John said it so very very perfectly: 'YOUR CUSTOMERS WILL NEVER BE ANY HAPPIER THAN YOUR EMPLOYEES.'"