The Little BIG Things Video series

Our friends at Enterprise Media captured Tom’s thoughts during an early draft stage of his book, The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence. This collection of 80 videos covers his distinctive wisdom in seven categories.

Excellence

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Bias for Action

Tom goes back to his roots, revisiting the first of the basics from In Search of Excellence, A Bias for Action.
2 minutes
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Cross-Functional Communication

Cross-functional communication is often listed as issue #1 within organizations, and, Tom says, it boils down to one main variable that’s extraordinarily simple.
2 minutes, 56 seconds
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It Can Happen Anywhere

Tom finds an answer to the question, “But how can what you describe work in my little shop?”
2 minutes 19 seconds
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Don’t Fear Failure

Tom tells a story about a man who was unafraid to fail, and why that makes him an Excellent role model.
2 minutes
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Courtesy Matters

Tom reminds us that grand gestures aren’t always necessary, it’s the little things that matter.
1 minute, 16 seconds
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Language Matters

Tom says pay attention to the language you use. “If you want an energetic place, use energetic language.” Are you measuring whether things are “Insanely Great”?
2 minutes, 45 seconds
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MBWA

Tom recounts how he discovered the term MBWA, Managing By Wandering Around, in the late seventies, and urges you to practice it.
2 minutes, 23 seconds
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Thoughts on Tom Watson

Tom shares the secret of Excellence according to the founder of IBM, Tom Watson.
1 minute, 49 seconds
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Tuck in the Shower Curtain

Tom’s lesson from Conrad Hilton, master hotelier, is to be sure the little things get done. In Hilton’s view, you should tuck in the shower curtain.
Time: 2 minutes 34 seconds
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On Enterprise

Tom defines the aspiration of organizations. After all, “organizations exist for one and only one reason, and that is to be of service.”
2 minutes, 26 seconds
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Organizations as Cathedrals

Tom gives his definition of excellent organizations. He says that they should be “no less than cathedrals.”
2 minutes, 17 seconds
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Innovation

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Angry People Make Change

Tom tells us the single source of innovation is angry people. Their anger allows them to penetrate the resistance they encounter.
2 minutes, 57 seconds
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Leadership

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Listening

Tom uses an example from the healthcare industry to highlight the importance of listening, “the single most significant strategic strength that an organization can have.”
3 minutes, 37 seconds
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The 4 Most Important Words

Tom says that if you’re really interested in engaging your workforce, you’ll use four simple words.
1 minute, 51 seconds
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Building Success

Tom shares the philosophy of Dave Liniger of RE/MAX: your goal should be to make the people who work for you successful to increase the odds of your own success.
2 minutes, 2 seconds
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Don’t Use Standardized Forms

Tom compares your business to an NFL franchise or a Symphony Orchestra. Can you imagine either of these groups using a standard HR assessment to choose their talent?
3 minutes, 14 seconds
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Hire the Last One Percenters

Tom explains that, when hiring, you should look for a special class of people who can’t rest until the job is finished—through that last one percent.
2 minutes 48 seconds
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Key Question

Tom says, “When you become a senior leader, you’re not supposed to be the number one strategist, you’re supposed to hire the number one strategist.”
3 minutes, 37 seconds
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Lead by Example

Quoting David D’Alessandro, Tom says “It’s always show time.” If you’re in a leadership position, you lead by example whether trying to or not.
2 minutes 30 seconds
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Listening and … Four Words

Tom describes his “essence of leadership” formula in two compelling ideas.
2 minutes 28 seconds
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Love Politics

Tom Peters suggests that you should love office politics, but don’t lose sight of the big questions, like “Why am I here?”
2 minutes 4 seconds
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Managing by Wandering Around

Tom uses Starbucks’ Howard Schultz as an example to expound his favorite basic from In Search of Excellence: Managing by Wandering Around.
2 minutes 12 seconds
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Milestones Matter

Tom describes his drive from Tinmouth VT to Boston MA with milestones (short-term goals) along the way. Do you have a milestone/goal for the next 24, 48, or 72 hours?
3 minutes, 40 seconds
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The Power of Apology

Tom encourages us to become students of apology, saying “Learning how to apologize effectively is the real essence of strategic strength.”
3 minutes, 2 seconds
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Servant Leadership

“What have you done in the past 24 hours to be of service to your organization?” is the question Tom asks in this manifesto.
2 minutes, 32 seconds
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The Squint Test

Tom explains that you don’t have to be exact, but your project team should resemble the market it serves or something is very wrong.
2 minutes, 21 seconds
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The Problem Isn’t the Problem

Tom argues that the reaction to the problem often becomes more of a problem than the original misstep would have been if dealt with honestly.
2 minutes, 10 seconds
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The 3 H’s

Howard (Schultz), Herb (Kelleher), and (Conrad) Hilton. Tom says, “If you understand the 3 H’s, you don’t need to understand anything else about business success.”
1 minute, 24 seconds
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American vs Southwest

Tom gives a powerful example of what happens when you treat your employees like customers.
2 minutes, 33 seconds
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