If You Want To Find Oil, You Must Drill Wells

(The “Do It” Imperative)

Was on the treadmill yesterday. (Hey, it was -5ºF outside.) My straining eye caught the cover of a book I’d surveyed for In Search of Excellence; it’s The Hunters, by John Masters, a successful Canadian O & G wildcatter. Here are some of the excerpts I underlined 25 years ago:

“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.”


“I don’t know what it is that makes an oil finder. But while I can’t define it, I can generally recognize it when I see it. Mostly, it’s attitude. Focus. Intensity. It seems to be associated with a fierce desire to know everything, to rub your nose in every piece of information. And yet there is a playfulness about the expert finders. A sense of fun. Beware of the too serious man.”

“A really new idea at first has only one believer.”

(Selfishly, I cherish the book’s inscription that I also reread, “To Tom Peters, who knows all about these ideas of how to make a company work.” Thanks, John. Wow!)