"Master" Presentation

Tom is preparing for his Dubai adventure. He has concocted a "master presentation" which is consistent with his most up-to-date thinking and work.

All yours ...

[Updated 10.22.13: Master, 22 October 2013]

Nordic Business Forum 2013

Tom is speaking today at the Nordic Business Forum 2013 in Jyvaskyla, Finland. (Jyvaskyla is about 200KM north of Helsinki.) The 3-day program of which he is part also includes presentations by Malcolm Gladwell, Jack Welch, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, among others.

Nordic Business Forum 2013

PULPIT // 2013

Tom's in Stavanger, Norway, and he spoke at a conference titled PULPIT // 2013. There is a popular hiking spot nearby with the same name, Pulpit Rock, or Preikestolen in Norwegian. The presentation is linked below.

PULPIT, Norway
PULPIT, Long Version

Review Reviewed

Via Sally Helgesen writing at strategy+business.com, we get a book recommendation, that is, Laura Rittenhouse's Investing Between the Lines: How to Make Smarter Decisions by Decoding CEO Communications. Sally explains the background of the book and Laura's Rittenhouse Rankings, where companies' CEO letters and other forms of corporate communications are scored on transparency and language that indicates truth-telling, using techniques of forensic investigators and SEC analysts. Points are deducted for FOG, "fact-deficient, obfuscating generalities." I love that term. Who hasn't been frustrated by jargon-filled messages with no apparent meaning?

Tom started a Twitter thread on 18 August, and people jumped in enthusiastically with their faves (see the whole list, with credits, at "read more" below): mind-mapping, blue sky thinking, business transformation, discuss off-line, there's a disconnect, war room and all military metaphors, team player, bang for buck. And the winners are! ... "firm up over the grey areas" and "may or may not be related to." FOG? Absolutely.

In her book review, Sally goes on to say that Rittenhouse garnered criticism for trying to quantify something as soft as words. As Tom has said many times, "Hard is soft. Soft is hard," i.e., it's a cinch to make the numbers show whatever you want to prove, but the soft stuff like words is much harder. And, with forensic analysis, harder to hide behind. Trying to obscure the truth will reveal itself, and be publicized in the Rittenhouse Rankings.

Thanks to Sally Helgesen for sending this story our way.


Slides: Corporate Visions

Tom spoke to a group at Corporate Visions, a firm that provides "marketing and sales messaging, tools and training products and services" to globally recognized companies. The PPT presentation is linked below, and it includes many new insights Tom has culled from books he's read recently, most notably, books about gaming.

Corporate Visions, 19 September 2013
Corporate Visions Long Version


In many circles, the book was anxiously awaited. It was anxiously awaited by Tom, too. He assumed the book would be a hatchet job—and that one of the hatchets would be imbedded in his back.

He need not have worried. The book: The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business, by Duff McDonald. It produces as many positives about McKinsey as negatives. But Tom and In Search of Excellence are treated in glowing terms. "I was stunned," he told us. There are numerous references to Tom and Bob Waterman, but the brief excerpt below is indicative:

"Though his tenure was relatively short and he left under contentious circumstances, Peters is the most famous consultant McKinsey has ever produced. His influence on the firm was enormous and helped raise its profile beyond Bower's wildest dreams. ... Peters helped rebrand McKinsey as a group of thinkers, while at the same time revealing some less-than-great qualities of McKinsey, such as its utter incapacity to deal with a star in its midst."

Brand You

This week on the blog at the NewYorker.com, an article titled "You Are What You Tweet" discussed the subject of personal branding. It gives credit to Tom for sparking the phenomenon in his Fast Company piece, "The Brand Called You," which outlined the idea that all workers (receptionists to CEOs) must be in control of their own careers. Sixteen years after publication, Tom's article is still the go-to resource on the subject, though he couldn't predict the impact of social media, as explored in the New Yorker blog. We suggest you read them both.

Watch and Wait

Continuing his exploration of the subject he introduced here in a blog titled Quiet!, Tom wrote an article for the Financial Times about the value of introverts in a position of leadership. Tom begins with acknowledging that the idea may be opposite to theories he's espoused in the past. Bottom line: There's room at the top for quiet thinkers along with the take-action leaders he's cheered on for years. Registration at ft.com is required for viewing the article. We think you'll find it worth the effort:

"Leaders Must Watch and Wait More Often" (posted at ft.com on Monday, 26 August 2013).

Leadership by Diagram

A few weeks ago, Jean-Jacques Dubray, from a website called b-mc2.com, sent a direct tweet to Tom alerting him to a BOLT diagram he'd assembled from Tom's Leadership Reductionist Self-Assessment. Tom liked it and asked us to post a link. The graphical representation of Tom's desirable leadership traits brings into focus what he considers the most important skills in a leader, and also provides a pathway for studying these skills or putting them into practice. Enjoy!

Tom's Leadership Self-Assessment
BOLT Diagram on b-mc2.com

New Weekly Quote Design

For those who are subscribed to receive a weekly quote from Tom in their inbox, we're excited to announce that a new design will launch on Monday, the 19th. We think you'll enjoy the new look, as it has a much stronger focus on why you subscribed: the content. We'd love to hear what you think; email us at tom@tompeters.com. And if you haven't signed up yet to have Tom's words start your week with a bang, now's the time: Subscribe!



Puzzled at work? Discover ways to put Tom’s ideas into Action.