A Danish serial entrepreneur, Jonathan Løw, has written a book of advice to other entrepreneurs on vision, culture, and best practices. He calls it The Guru Book, and he included some thoughts by Tom on the subject of listening. The international edition is out today. Visit the book website for further info.
Tom introduced The Excellence Dividend at the University of Auckland Business School. The first of his appearances for the book promotion was at their event for International Women's Day. If you were in the audience, we hope you enjoyed it!
One of Tom's first duties in his new role as Distinguished Adjunct Professor of the University of Auckland Business School is to give a speech about his new book, The Excellence Dividend: Meeting the Tech Tide with Work That Wows and Jobs That Last. The speech is free, so we hope all our Kiwi friends are able to attend.
Details: 8 March 2018, noon to 1:00 p.m., University of Auckland School of Business, Glenn Building, Grafton Road, Auckland. Invitation and registration.
"The most important personal 'core competence' by far is a rich set of relationships."—Tom Peters
In a recent seminar for a New York-based construction management company, our team of 24 senior supervisors was surprised by a realization about the real key to their success.
Trained as engineers, the group assumed that their technical expertise was their most important "core competence." But as we contemplated the skills that were most critical to the functioning of the company's safety effort, and to marketing their services, and in their ability to manage huge projects by coordinating the efforts of carpenters, electricians, architects, in the midst of other workers pouring concrete and operating giant cranes in the crowded Manhattan landscape, it became clear that the quality of communication was the most important element in their work.
One of the participants experienced this as an epiphany. He exclaimed, "Oh my God. I get it: We're not in the construction business, we are in the relationship business."
We are all in the relationship business!
Leaders who cultivate the "core competence" of relationship building will have an increasingly powerful competitive advantage. But, skills of listening and communicating seem to be declining rapidly as we are awash in a tsunami of spam, bloated by infobesity, and addicted to electronic substitutes for face-to-face communication.
The single greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place successfully, according to George Bernard Shaw. The illusion is compounded by email and texting.
So, make it a priority to meet with the important people in your life one-on-one, face-to face, and practice giving them your full attention as you embrace humility. Contemporary research* confirms that humble leaders are more effective at facilitating employee engagement and encouraging a collaborative approach to learning.
Humility generates curiosity and a commitment to continuous learning—the foundation for developing the relationship building skills every leader needs now.
[CM: Guest post by Michael J. Gelb, a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, executive coaching, and innovative leadership. He is the author of 15 books including How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci and The Art of Connection. Website: www.michaelgelb.com]
*("Expressed Humility in Organizations: Implications for Performance, Teams, and Leadership," Bradley Owens et.al. Organization Science 4, 10/13)
Visit ExcellenceNow.com right now! Today is launch day. We've done a major overhaul of the site just for you. We promise you'll find hundreds of thought-provoking slides, documents, and videos, all from Tom. This is a singular location for inspiration. Enjoy!
The 29 January 2018 issue of Publisher's Weekly includes a starred review of Tom's book, The Excellence Dividend, to be published in March by Vintage. Tom is very pleased with the special recognition from the insider's source of info on upcoming books.
Publisher's Weekly has subscription only website access, so if you're one of their subscribers, you can find the review on page 178 of the print publication, or by searching on PublishersWeekly.com.
Here's a sample:
Peters, a veteran business writer, delivers a superb business tome intended to capture his 'thinking over the past five decades' and show its applicability to the 21st century. Peters does a commendable job of parsing an impressive amount of material into easily digestible bites, beginning with simple and elegant definitions of what excellence looks like at work ... ”
Kudos to Tom!
Profit Through Putting People First Business Book Club
Business by and large has a lousy rep, and management books by and large focus on things that are broken and how to fix them. Yet there is also a robust body of "good news by putting people (REALLY) first" books—e.g., the informal list below. How about a year-long ... "Profit Through Putting People First Business Book Club" for you and/or your leadership team?
- Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management Is Over—and Collaboration Is In, by Peter Shankman with Karen Kelly
- Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Business Where Everyone Thrives, by Kip Tindell, CEO Container Store
- Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, by John Mackey, CEO Whole Foods, and Raj Sisodia
- Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose, by Raj Sisodia, Jag Sheth, and David Wolfe
- The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits, by Zeynep Ton
- Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love, by Richard Sheridan, CEO Menlo Innovations
- Joy at Work: A Revolutionary Approach to Fun on the Job, by Dennis Bakke, former CEO, AES
- Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down, by Vineet Nayar, CEO, HCL Technologies
- The Customer Comes Second: Put Your People First and Watch 'Em Kick Butt, by Hal Rosenbluth, former CEO, Rosenbluth International, and Diane McFerrin Peters
- Patients Come Second: Leading Change by Changing the Way You Lead, by Paul Spiegelman and Britt Berrett
- It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy, by Mike Abrashoff, former commander, USS Benfold
- Turn the Ship Around: How to Create Leadership at Every Level, by David Marquet
- Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, by Bo Burlingham
- Hidden Champions: Success Strategies of Unknown World Market Leaders, by Hermann Simon (#1 "management guru"/Germany)
- Retail Superstars: Inside the 25 Best Independent Stores in America, by George Whalin
- The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success, by Rich Karlgaard, publisher, Forbes
- Everybody Wins: The Story and Lessons Behind RE/MAX, by Phil Harkins and Keith Hollihan
- The Dream Manager, by Matthew Kelly
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, by Tony Hsieh, Zappos
- Camellia: A Very Different Company (company publication)
- Fans, Not Customers: How to Create Growth Companies in a No Growth World,
by Vernon Hill
- Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School, by Richard Branson
- Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning, by
- Enough. The Measures of Money, Business, and Life, by John Bogle
- An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization, by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
We created ExcellenceNow.com as a way to showcase a very special slide presentation that Tom had been working on. We've done a complete redesign of the site, and it will now be the knowledge center for all of Tom's work. You will find slides, thought pieces, and videos there. We're launching the new version of ExcellenceNow.com on Thursday, February 1. Stay tuned!
The Excellence Dividend is about three things. (1) How to survive/thrive in the Age of AI: emphasize humanity of what you do, sharpen your curiosity & playfulness, commit to radical growth for yourself & anyone you supervise. (2) Summary of 51 years' learnings. (3) Tribute to supercool SMEs.
800-CEO-READ is the go-to place for businesspeople at all levels to find suggestions for books that they should be reading now. Founder Jack Covert established an eponymous annual award for those who have made a significant contribution to the business book industry, publishers, agents, etc. Tom is thrilled to have been honored with the 2017 Award—he's the first author receive it—which he will be given at the 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards on January 18, 2018, in New York City. Jack notes in the press release about the choice, "When you look at authors who established 'business books' as a significant genre within publishing, Tom Peters is the stand out. Tom's first book took business books from the dusty part of the bookstore to the window. It showed the industry that a well written, intelligent business book can sell, and it's never stopped selling. Tom's contribution to the genre has lasted well over three decades." Read more here.