WSJ on Leadership

Carol Hymowitz writes about the obvious in today's issue of the Wall Street Journal. (subscription required):

Good governance depends primarily on leaders who put integrity and the interest of their companies ahead of their self-interests. These executives are willing to grapple with difficult decisions that may involve personal sacrifice.

Tom’s Observation

"Commit! Engage! Try! Fail! Get up! Try again! Fail again! Try again! But never, ever stop moving on! Progress for humanity is engendered by those who join and savor the fray by giving one hundred percent of themselves to their dreams! Not by those timid souls who remain glued to the sidelines, stifled by tradition, and fearful of losing face or giving offense to the incumbent authorities." Read more ...

Education in the Gulf

The Gulf Daily News reports on Tom's recent speech in Bahrain to business leaders at the Gulf International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gulf Hotel. "Education and only education can contribute to [your] overall development." You can download Tom's PowerPoint slides from the event here.

Humungous Gap

Book CoverIn her book Marketing to Women, Marti Barletta presents a compelling business case on the buying power of women. She told us last year that she wrote the book because there is "a humungous marketing opportunity that no one, except Tom, has written about. There was a gap."

Cool Friend: Silverstein

"In order for consumers to adopt a new product, they need to know the basis for interest. They need to have a reason to
believe. The narrative, and the story, and the history are critical to
explaining to the consumer why they should become emotionally involved, emotionally connected with this product. It is a requirement for a new luxury company to be able to describe how did we happen to get where we are, and how did we happen to get to create what you want." Read the interview here.

Michael Silverstein is coauthor with Neil Fiske of Trading Up: The New American Luxury.

UK Women Roar

Tom's publisher recruited these fans for a picture in London on the day of Re-imagine!'s UK release.

What Tom’s Reading

Tom is very excited about a just-released book, Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands, by Kevin Roberts. Here's his quote—it will give you an indication why the book is so exciting:
"Trustmarks come after brands; Lovemarks come after Trustmarks. Think about how you make the most money. You make it when loyal users, heavy users, use your product all the time. So having a long-term Love affair is better than having a trusting relationship."

We recommend Roberts' book highly!

This next group of books comes under Tom's heading of "Must Marketing Reads." He created a special PowerPoint presentation to highlight them, which you can download here. (Some of the seven have been mentioned in What Tom's Reading previously, but we think they warrant repetition.)


Tom's Must Marketing Reads:

Marketing to Women: How to Understand, Reach, and Increase Your Share of the World's Largest Market Segment, Martha Barletta
Quote: "Women are not a 'niche'; so get this out of the 'Specialty Markets' group." AND, "The competition is starting to catch on."
See Marti's website,


EVEolution: The Eight Truths of Marketing to Women, Faith Popcorn & Lys Marigold
Quote: "Men and women don't think the same way, don't communicate the same way, don't buy for the same reasons. ... He simply wants the transaction to take place. She's interested in creating a relationship. Every place women go, they make connections."


Ageless Marketing: Strategies for Reaching the Hearts and Minds of the New Customer Majority, David Wolfe & Robert Snyder
Quote: "The New Customer Majority is the only adult market with realistic prospects for significant sales growth in dozens of product lines for thousands of companies."
You can read about the authors here.


Marketing to the Mindset of Boomers and Their Elders, Carol Morgan & Doran Levy
Quote: "The mature market is the dominant market in the U.S. economy, making the majority of expenditures in virtually every category."
Read Carol Morgan's Cool Friend interview here.


Selling Dreams: How to Make Any Product Irresistible, Gian Luigi Longinotti-Buitoni
Quote: "A dream is a complete moment in the life of a client. Important experiences that tempt the client to commit substantial resources. The essence of the desires of the consumer. The opportunity to help clients become who they want to be."


The Dream Society: How the Coming Shift from Information to Imagination Will Transform Your Business, Rolf Jensen
Quote: "We have lived as hunters and as farmers, we have worked in factories and now we live in an information-based society whose icon is the computer. We stand facing the fifth kind of society: the Dream Society. ... The Dream Society is emerging this very instant—the shape of the future is visible today. ... Future products will have to appeal to our hearts, not to our heads. Now is the time to add emotional value to products and services."


Trading Up: The New American Luxury, Michael Silverstein & Neil Fiske
Quote: "A shipping clerk earning $25,000 a year treats herself to silk pajamas at Victoria's Secret. A dual-income couple earning $125,000 orders a $4,000 Viking range for their townhouse even though the developer offered to throw in a perfectly serviceable generic range at no extra charge. These purchases reflect an important worldwide behavioral shift. Consumers today are willing to pay a significant premium for goods and services that are emotionally important to them and that deliver the perceived values of quality, performance and engagement."


Other books:

Authentic: How to Make a Living by Being Yourself, Neil Crofts
Quote: "My education was a prolonged and concerted attack on my individuality."


The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, Twyla Tharp
Quote: "I'm looking for insane commitment."
Read a bio of Twyla Tharp here.


The Wellness Revolution: How to Make a Fortune in the Next Trillion Dollar Industry, Paul Zane Pilzer
Stats: "Currently $200B, $1T by 2013."


Marketing Health Care to Women: Meeting New Demands for Products and Services, Patricia Braus
Two of Tom's favorite themes in one volume!
Sample: "Women are more dissatisfied. Women are frustrated by the way they are treated and spoken to by physicians. Women seek more information. Women are more pressed for time. Women make most healthcare decisions and purchases."


The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty-first Century, Robert Cooper
This is another book Tom recommends highly.
Quote: "What has been emerging into the daylight since 1989 is not a rearrangement of the old system but a new system. Behind this lies a new form of statehood, or at least states that are behaving in a radically different way from the past." "We may not be interested in chaos but chaos is interested in us."


Evil: An Investigation, Lance Morrow
Quote: "The world's new dimension (computers, Internet, globalization, instantaneous communication, widely available instruments of mass destruction and so on) amounts to a new metaphysics that, by empowering individual zealots or agitated tribes with unappeasable grievances, makes the world unstable and dangerous in radically new ways."


The Power to Persuade: How to Be Effective in Any Unruly Organization, Richard N. Haass
Quote: "I used to have a rule for myself that at any point in time I wanted to have in mind ... the three big things I was trying to get done. Three. Not two. Not four. Not five. Not ten. Three."


Leading Change: The Argument for Values-based Leadership, James O'Toole
An important theme by anybody's reckoning.
Quote: "What creates trust, in the end, is the leader's manifest respect for the followers."



John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy, Evan Thomas


Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, Jon Meacham


Emerson, Lawrence Buell



Pattern Recognition, William Gibson


The Cobra Event, Richard Preston


What Tom’s Reading

Tom's new book, Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age, is in bookstores now. Naturally, he's filled it with quotes from a lot of books that he's read since we last posted What Tom's Reading, or that he's gone back to for some of his favorite quoteables. Herewith a list of recommendations (and an overview of the themes in Re-imagine!):

From Chapter 4, Infotech Changes Everything: "On the Bus" or ... "Off the Bus."

Real Time: Preparing for the Age of the Never Satisfied Customer, by Regis McKenna.
What Tom says: Regis McKenna, the Silicon Valley marketing guru, wrote an entire book on the topic [of the Never Satisfied Customer]. I love the title (as well as the innards).

McKenna's website, and his latest book Total Access.

From Chapter 5, From "Cost Center" to Stardom: The PSF Transformation.

Managing the Professional Service Firm, by David Maister.
What Tom says: Professional Service Firms. Nobody takes them seriously. They do "sissy work" ... compared to "real men" who toil in "steel mills." (Oops, the latter are about gone.) Almost nobody studies PSFs. Exception: David Maister.

Interview with David Maister on

From Chapter 8, Beyond Solutions: Providing Memorable "Experiences."
Pour Your Heart into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, by Howard Schultz.
What Tom says: They have transformed an "innocent cup of java" into a "Starbucks way of life" that, wittingly or not, many of us subscribe to.

From Chapter 9, Experiences Plus: Embracing the "Dream Business."
Selling Dreams: How to Make Any Product Irresistible, by Gian Luigi Longinotti-Buitoni and his wife, Kip Longinotti-Buitoni.
Quote: "A dream is a complete moment in the life of a client. Important experiences that tempt the client to commit substantial resources. The essence of the desires of the consumer. The opportunity to help clients become what they want to be."

Also from Chapter 9.

The Synonym Finder, by J.I. Rodale, et al.
Even Tom doesn't read a thesaurus. But, in researching the meanings of words, he always refers to Rodale's The Synonym Finder. In Re-imagine! he offers us entries from this book for "dream" and "experience," important words in Tom's approach to business excellence in a disruptive age.

From Chapter 10, Design: The "Soul" of New Enterprise.

The Design of Everyday Things, "courtesy design observer and curmudgeon Donald Norman."
Quote, though not from this book: "STOP BLAMING YOURSELF."
Tom says: Norman insists that one of the Primary Problems that we have in ... Paying Attention to Design ... is assuming ... whenever there is a screw-up ... that it's because ... we are such klutzes.

Don Norman partners with Jakob Nielsen in the Nielsen Norman Group. Their website has many resources for people who strive for simplicity in Web design,

From Chapter 11, Design's Long Coattails: Beautiful Systems.
The One Page Business Plan, by Jim Horan.
What Tom says: On a single page, Mr. Horan claimed, we could travel all the way from the over-arching vision to tactical details of execution. ... An absurd idea at face value. ... Putting together a 70-page business plan—replete with charts and graphs and spreadsheets—is a walk in the park. Getting it all right—exactly right—on a single page. Whoa! ... The results ... beautiful.

Also from Chapter 11.

Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution, Michael Hammer and Jim Champy.
What Tom says: The Bible on re-engineering. ... (Champy) keeps executive audiences enthralled as he recounts tale after tale ... of critical business processes gone to flab. Consider a process for verifying an insurance claim. It takes 22 working days. Yet when Champy looks inside with an electron microscope, he discovers that, literally, 17 minutes of actual work are performed.

About Michael Hammer and Reengineering.

From Chapter 12, The Ultimate Value Proposition: The Heart of Branding.
Corporate Identity: Making Business Strategies Visible through Design, Wally Olins.
Quote: "Products from the major competing companies around the world will become increasingly similar. Inevitably, this means that the whole of the company's personality, its identity, will become the most significant factor in making a choice between one company and its products and another."

Interview with Wally Olins on and his latest book On Brand.

Also from Chapter 12.
Unique Now ... or Never, by Jesper Kunde.

Interview with Jesper Kunde on

And again from Chapter 12.
A New Brand World: 8 Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the 21st Century, by Scott Bedbury, who "had a hand in the branding of both Nike and Starbucks (Wow!)."
Quote: "A Great Brand taps into emotions. Emotions drive most, if not all, of our decisions. ... A brand reaches out with a powerful connecting experience. It's an emotional connection point that transcends the product. ... A great brand is a story that's never completely told."

Interview with Scott Bedbury on
Bedbury's BrandStream website.

From Chapter 14, Trends Worth Trillion$$$: Boomer Bonanza.
Marketing to the Mindset of Boomers and Their Elders, Carol Morgan and Doran Levy.
Quote: "Households headed by someone 40 and older enjoy 91 percent [$9.7 trillion] of our population's net worth." And: "The mature market is the dominant market in the U.S. economy, making the majority of expenditures in virtually every category." ... Key words: EVERY. CATEGORY.

From Chapter 19, Re-imagining the Individual: Life in a Brand You World.
Mastery, George Leonard.
What Tom says: For a profound discussion of the "tradecraft" ethos, go buy George Leonard's slender gem of a book on that topic. The title (what else?): Mastery.

About George Leonard.

Also from Chapter 19.
Thriving in 24/7: Six Strategies for Taming the New World of Work, by Sally Helgesen.
What Tom says: Sally Helgesen, author of The Female Advantage and several other great books, provides a list of key attitudinal attributes in her most recent book, Thriving in 24/7. She and I arrived at our ideas separately, but not surprisingly, her approach to 24/7 World matches my approach to ... Brand You World:

About Sally Helgesen.
Interview on

And another from Chapter 19.
The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, Richard Florida.
What Tom says: The Age of Creation Intensification is no chimera. It's here. In his extraordinary The Rise of the Creative Class, Carnegie-Mellon Professor Richard Florida claims that the "creative class" in the U.S. already encompasses 38 million people, or 30 percent of the work force. ... "The Creative Class," Florida writes, "derives its identity from its members' roles as purveyors of creativity. Because creativity is the driving force of economic growth, in terms of influence the Creative Class has become the dominant class in society."

About Richard Florida.

From Chapter 20, Boss Job One: The Talent25.
The War for Talent, Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, Beth Axelrod.
Quote: "Talented people are less likely to wait their turn. We used to view young people as 'trainees'; now they are authorities. Arguably this is the first time the older generation can—and must—leverage the younger generation very early in their careers."

Interview with Ed Michaels on

From Chapter 21, Meet the New Boss: Women Rule.
I Don't Know How She Does It, by Allison Pearson.
What Tom says: Not "must read." But ... MUST DAMN WELL READ. NOW. ... It's a great read; but also a profound one, especially on this topic ... E.g.: When a woman ("businessperson") skips a meeting to go to a kid's soccer game, she gets points off for doing "the Softie Mom Thing." When a guy takes off to do the same, he scores a bushel of points for "having the guts to do the family thing." It is that bad!

Book review.

From Chapter 22, Getting It Right at the Start: Education for a Creative & Self-reliant Age.
Aha!: 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas, by Jordan Ayan.
Quote: "My wife and I went to a [kindergarten] parent-teacher conference, and were informed that our budding refrigerator artist [Christopher] would be receiving a grade of Unsatisfactory in art. We were shocked. How could any child—let alone our child—receive a poor grade in art at such a young age? His teacher informed us that he had refused to color within the lines, which was a state requirement for demonstrating 'grade-level motor skills.'"

Interview with Jordan Ayan on
Jordan Ayan's Website,

Also from Chapter 22.
Socrates Café: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy, by Christopher Phillips.
What Tom says: If "learning" is more about "good questions" than "correct answers," consider this from Christopher Phillips ... "Questions, questions, questions. They disturb. They provoke. They exhilarate. They intimidate. They make you feel a little bit like you've at least temporarily lost your marbles. So much so that at times I'm positive that the ground is shaking and shifting under our feet ... Welcome to Socrates Café"

Review of the book.

From Chapter 25, Pursuing Excellence in a Disruptive Age: The Leadership50.
Cold Calling: Business the Nokia Way, Trevor Merriden.
What Tom says: Jorma Ollila has a secret. Ollila transformed a hodgepodge "conglomerate" into a focused, ferocious global power. Ollila is CEO of an ... Invention Machine ... called ... Nokia. And in Cold Calling: Business the Nokia Way, author Trevor Merriden attributes much of Nokia's success to a purposefully blame-free, go-ahead-and-try-it corporate culture.

That's it. We hope you enjoy some of what Tom's reading!

What Tom’s Reading

Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution, Howard Rheingold

Tom calls it extraordinary. It can be ordered from booksellers and through Rheingold's website. Check out the amusing, and join the discussion there about the book's topics and issues.



Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround, Lou Gerstner

Quote: "I came to see in my time at IBM that culture isn't just one aspect of the game—it is the game. ... If I could have chosen not to tackle the IBM culture head-on, I probably wouldn't have. My bias coming in was toward strategy, analysis and measurement. In comparison, changing the attitude and behaviors of hundreds of thousands of people is very, very hard."

Book review on


Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War, Robert Coram


Tom sent it to a long list of friends and business leaders. Colonel John Boyd is the originator of the O.O.D.A. loop: Observe. Orient. Decide. Act.

Fast Company article re Boyd


The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History, Philip Bobbitt & Michael Howard


Quote: "We are at a pivotal point in history. ... We are at one of a half dozen turning points that have fundamentally changed the way societies are organized for governance." article about the author and the book


Natural Capitalism, Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, & L. Hunter Lovins


Paul Hawken is the founder of Smith & Hawken, the garden store/catalog recognized for environmental concern (he is no longer with the company). In Tom's ramkings of catalogs with a plot, a story, he gives Smith & Hawken an 8+ out of 10.

What Hawken is up to now


Marketing to Women: How to Understand, Reach, and Increase Your Market Share of the World's Largest Market, Martha Barletta


Since June 2000, Tom has called Faith Popcorn's EVEolution the only book on this topic. Martha Barletta now adds her voice! Fun fact from the book: Between 1970 and 1998 men's median income rose 6%; women's, 63%.

Barletta's bio on

The Support Economy: Why Corporations are Failing Individuals and the Next Episode of Capitalism, Shoshana Zuboff & James Maxmin

Quote: "In the second half of the twentieth century a new society of individuals emerged -- a breed of people unlike any the world has ever seen. Educated, informed, traveled, they work with their brains, not their bodies. They do not assume that their lives can be patterned after their parents' or grandparents'. ... But in a discontinuous and irreversible break with the past, today's individuals seek the experiences and insights that enable them to find the elusive pattern in the stone, the singular pattern that is 'me.'"
Book review

The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America, Louis Menand



The Mask of Command, John Keegan


A historian looks at past leaders for similarities and differences. Major theme: "The warfare of any one society may differ so sharply from that of another that commonality of trait and behavior in those who direct it is overlaid altogether in importance by differences in the purposes they serve and the functions they perform."



The Timeless Way of Building, Christopher Alexander


Quote: "The fact is, a person is so far formed by his surroundings, that his state of harmony depends entirely on his harmony with his surroundings."

All about Alexander


The Spike: How Our Lives Are Being Transformed by Rapidly Advancing Technologies, Damien Broderick


Statement by San Diego State Math Prof Vernor Vinge (now retired) at the NASA VISION-21 Symposium, quoted in the book: "Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended." And the Symposium was held ten years ago.

"The Singularity" according to Vinge
Broderick's bibliography



In the same vein: The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, by Ray Kurzweil, was listed in What Tom's Reading in September 1999.



Polite Revolutionary: Lessons from an Uncivil Servant, Bob Stone

Stone's commentary on the book

More recent ideas from Stone

Where We Stand: 30 Reasons for Loving Our Country, Roger Rosenblatt


Rosenblatt presents his reflections post September 11, 2001.



A re-read for Tom, new to What Tom's Reading:

The Total Package: The Secret History and Hidden Meanings of Boxes, Cans, and Other Persuasive Containers, by Thomas Hine


Tom calls it Design Case I. Quote: "The most fundamental difference between a traditional market and the places through which you push your cart is that in modern retailing all the selling is done without people. It replaces people with packages."





Corpsing, Toby Litt


What Tom’s Reading

Survival Is Not Enough: Zooming, Evolution, and the Future of Your Company, Seth Godin

Tom?s quote: "If Microsoft is good at anything, it's avoiding the trap of worrying about criticism. Microsoft fails constantly. They're eviscerated in public for lousy products. Yet they persist, through version after version, until they get something good enough. Then they leverage the power they've gained in other markets to enforce their standard."


Buy it direct or read Seth's blog.



Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web, David Weinberger


Quote: "Suppose—just suppose—that the Web is a new world we're just beginning to inhabit. We're like the earlier European settlers in the United States, living on the edge of the forest. We don't know what's there and we don't know exactly what we need to do to find out: Do we pack mountain climbing gear, desert wear, canoes, or all three? Of course while the settlers may not have known what the geography of the New World was going to be, they at least knew that there was a geography. The Web, on the other hand, has no geography, no landscape. It has no distance. It has nothing natural in it. It has few rules of behavior and fewer lines of authority. Common sense doesn't hold here, and uncommon sense hasn't yet emerged."

Read David's blog.


Disruption: Overturning Conventions and Shaking Up the Marketplace,
Jean-Marie Dru


"Sony is the epitome of discontinuity. It sees all its competitors' accomplishments merely as conventions to be overturned."


"Apple opposes, IBM solves, Nike exhorts, Virgin enlightens, Sony dreams, Benetton protests. ... Brands are not nouns but verbs."

Beyond Disruption is his follow-up. Read a review.


Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, by Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan, Charles Burck (contributor)


Quote: "When assessing candidates, the first thing I looked for was energy and enthusiasm for execution. Does she talk about the thrill of getting things done, the obstacles overcome, the role her people played—or does she keep wandering back to strategy or philosophy?"

See a Q&A with Larry Bossidy about the book, on


Zero Space: Moving Beyond Organizational Limits, Frank Lekanne Deprez & Rene Tissen


"The organizations we created have become tyrants. They have taken control, holding us fettered, creating barriers that hinder rather than help our businesses. The lines that we drew on our neat organizational diagrams have turned into walls that no one can scale or penetrate or even peer over."

Read a summary.


Why Men Don't Listen & Women Can't Read Maps: How We're Different & What to Do About It, Barbara & Allan Pease


Quote (there are many more like this!): ?As a hunter, a man needed vision that would allow him to zero in on targets in the distance ? whereas a woman needed eyes to allow a wide arc of vision so that she could monitor any predators sneaking up on the nest. This is why modern men can find their way effortlessly to a distant pub, but can never find things in fridges, cupboards or drawers."

See a press release (re storm in Japan over the book!).


The Leader's Voice, Boyd Clarke & Ron Crossland. The CEO and vice chair of tompeterscompany! put their two cents in.


Quote: "Vision is a love affair with an idea."

Buy the book.


Marketing to the Mindset of Boomers and Their Elders, Carol Morgan & Doran Levy


Quote: "Households headed by someone 40 or older enjoy 91% ($9.7T) of our population's net worth. ... The mature market is the dominant market in the U.S. economy, making the majority of expenditures in virtually every category."



Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science, Atul Gawande


The Weather Channel: The Improbable Rise of a Media Phenomenon, Frank Batten (Big Boss) with Jeffrey L. Cruikshank (Collaborator) 


Wide Angle Vision: Beat your competition by focusing on fringe competitors, lost customers, and rogue employees, Wayne Burkan


Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will: How Jack Welch Is Making GE the World's Most Competitive Corporation, Noel M. Tichy, Stratford Sherman (Contributor)


An old read, but worth mention:

Results-Based Leadership, Dave Ulrich, Jack Zenger, Norm Smallwood 


Quote from a Harley-Davidson exec:"What we sell is the ability for a 43-year-old accountant to dress in black leather, ride through small towns and have people be afraid of him."





Hard Times, Charles Dickens



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