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The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence
Tom Peters

Retail Price: $24.99
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Format: Hardcover, 240pp.
ISBN: 9780061894084
Publisher: HarperStudio
Pub. Date: March 9, 2010

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

THE UBER-GURU OF MANAGEMENT: There is little doubt that no one, with the exception of Peter Drucker, has had more influence in shaping the idea of modern management than Tom Peters. Peters still has the same vigor and enthusiasm he had when the classic In Search of Excellence was published in 1982. He does approximately 30 speaking events a year around the world and his site, tompeters.com, receives over 32,000 unique visitors (90,000 page views) per month.

THIS IS NOT YOUR AVERAGE BUSINESS BOOK: Unlike so many dry, boring books on business, Tom Peters has a compelling, in-your-face style that makes this book as fun to read as it is insightful. An enemy of conformist “suits,” mindless mega-mergers, and the status quo, Peters urges readers to embrace diversity, cherish weirdness, and manage by turning off the computer and hitting the streets.

WISDOM FOR US ALL: This is one of those rare business books that is as essential for the small business owner or freelancer as it is for the head of a major corporation. Beginning with a fiery call-to-arms to companies and businesspeople to get “back to basics,” this book is the guidebook on how to excel at the people side of business and a reminder to “never forget why you’re here.”

Some examples of Tom’s timeless wisdom:

LOVE YOUR COMPETITORS: “At the top of my business priority list is a desire for my overall market to grow by leaps and bounds. Sure… my market share will go down…But my revenue will also soar.”

LEAVE YOUR WALLET AT HOME: “Pay for your groceries with cash next time. Your car repair, too. The office supply bill? Ditto. By hook or by crook, bring Realism in the office door.”

APPOINT AN OMBUDSMAN FOR COMMON SENSE: “A lot of the giant financial-economic mess we’re in can be chalked up to a failure of common sense-sometimes, often actually, by the so-called bestest of the best and brightest… I suggest routinely running proposals or budgets, or whatever, minor as well as major, by a “common sense ombudsman.”

CUT RED TAPE: When a project is unusual-risky, never, ever waste time or capital going “up the chain of command.”… Be polite to your boss, but do not waste time on him!

Now more than ever, businesspeople need a voice of experience and wisdom to guide us through this time of financial uncertainty. Tom Peters is – as he always has been – just that voice.

“Tom Peters has probably done more than anyone else to shift the debate on management from the confines of boardrooms, academia, and consultancies to a broader, worldwide audience, where it has become the staple diet of the media and managers alike. Peter Drucker has written more and his ideas have withstood a longer test of time, but it is Peters—as consultant, writer, columnist, seminar lecturer, and stage performer—whose energy, style, influence, and ideas have shaped new management thinking.” —Movers and Shakers: The 100 Most Influential Figures in Modern Business

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About the Author

Tom Peters is the most influential business thinker of our age. He’s been hailed as the “uber guru” by the Economist and the “father of the post-modern corporation” by the Los Angeles Times. Fortune adds, “We live in a Tom Peters world.”

In Search of Excellence, Tom’s first book, coauthored with Robert Waterman, was published in 1982 and became an instant bestseller. In 1999 NPR named it one of the “Top Three Business Books of the Century.” He followed that with A Passion for Excellence, coauthored with Nancy Austin, and a further string of international bestsellers including Thriving on Chaos, Liberation Management, The Tom Peters Seminar, The Pursuit of WOW!, The Circle of Innovation, The Brand You50, The Project50, and The Professional Service Firm50. His book Re-imagine! has four topical companions, Leadership, Design, Trends, and Talent.

In addition to writing, Tom presents about 50 seminars a year all over the world. Tom is a graduate of Cornell and Stanford Universities, and he has worked as a senior White House drug abuse adviser, been a partner at McKinsey & Co., and spent four years on active duty in the U.S. Navy (including 2 tours in Vietnam). Tom and his family live on a farm in Vermont.

Table of Contents

Introduction - PDFxix
1It’s All About the Restrooms!1
2“Small Stuff” Matters A Lot!3
3Flower Power!3
4Master the Fine Art of … Nudgery!4
5If Not Excellence, What? If Not Excellence Now, When?10
6Whither Excellence? Or: Asleep at the Wheel13
7“Quality”: You’ll Know It When You See It14
8Excellence Is …15
9That Which Goeth Up and Up and Up Doth Not Goeth More Up and More Up and More Up Forever and Ever and Ever25
10Good Things (Especially in Bad Times?) Come in Threes28
11Get China on Your Mind! Get India on Your Mind!31
12Tough Times? Matchless Opportunity!33
13Boring Is Beautiful! (Or at Least It Can Be)34
14“Old” Rules (Yes, Even in the “Age of the Internet”)37
15Build Green Now (No Excuses!)39
16Bottom Line in Bad Times: Obsess Over the Top Line42
17Swan Dive: A Guide to Getting On with Getting On45
18Lifetime Employment Is Dead Your Career Is Not50
19“Failure”—Celebrate It!52
20The World’s Worst Advice (Please Ignore It)55
SPECIAL SECTION: The Recession 46
Forty-Six “Secrets” and “Strategies” for Dealing with the Gut-Wrenching Downturn of 2007++
21You Are Your Product—Develop It63
22Job One: Amuse Yourself!66
23Fitness Power = Staying Power68
24Mental Gymnastics, Urgency Of69
25You Are Your Story! So Work on It!70
26Develop Your RPOV8—ASAP!74
27Kindness Is Free!77
28Civil! Civil! Civil!79
29Listen to Ann—and “Act Accordingly”82
30“Being There” (Or: How I Learned First Principles from My Grandfather’s Last Rites)83
31Appreciating the Great Battle: A Case for Consideration85
32Thoughtfulness Is Free (or Close Thereto)88
33Only Connect … 93
34They Liked Ike (Because Ike Liked Them)95
35Always Make It Personal97
36Commit “Acts of Deliberate Relationship Enhancement”100
37Put the “Eye-Sparkle Factor” on Your Menu103
38Pleasant, Caring, Engaged—at 6 AM!105
39Hire “Cheerful”—Or: That Damned AV Guy!107
40Which “Flag” Are You Waving?109
41It’s Showtime! All the Time!74
42Work (Like a Demon) on Your First Impressions113
43Work (Like a Demon) on Your Last Impressions119
44Work on Your Presentation Skills (Or: 17 Minutes Can Change the World!)121
45On Being a “Professional”125
46“Everything Passes Through Finance” (And So Should You)126
47What’s on the Agenda? Why Don’t You Decide?128
48We Are All in Sales Period130
49Make That “Three-Minute Call”! Today! Now!133
50Show Up! (It’s a Start)136
51Get Up Earlier Than the Next (in This Case) Gal138
52Make an Insane Public Effort139
53To Lead Is to Measurably Help Others Succeed143
54At Their Service145
55Have You “Hosted” Any Good Employees Lately?146
56A Sacred Trust147
57Rat Psych Rules!—Or: Deploying Positive Reinforcement’s Incredible Potency149
58“What Do You Think?”155
59“Thank You”156
60“I’m Sorry”157
61Words of Truth—from a Fiction Writer161
62One Line of Code: The Shortest Distance Between “Critic” and “Champion”163
63“Suck Down” for Success167
64Formula for Success: C(I) > C(E)169
65How Does Your “Inside Game” Measure Up?173
66Across the Board: Cross-Functional Collaboration Is Issue #1177
67Getting Along and Going to Lunch: Solving the Cross-Functional Cooperation Problem178
An Engineer’s View of the … Secrets of Effective Implementation
68Just Say Yes!—Or: A Lesson from My Mother-in-Law189
69For the Sheer Glorious 24/7 Fun of It!190
70“To-Don’ts” Are More Important Than “To-Dos”195
71Some Things Worth Doing Are Worth Doing Not Particularly Well197
72It’s 11 AM—Have You Called a Customer Today?201
73There’s Nothing But Nothing Better Than an Angry Customer!203
74What We Have Here Is a Failure to Overcommunicate204
75“Trying My Damnedest!” Wrong Answer!207
76It Is Not Enough to Care!209
77Captain “Day” and Captain “Night”: A Tale of Two Deployments And Two Suggestions212
78If You Want to Find Oil, You Must Drill Wells215
79Zen and the Art of Achieving Change Where It Already Exists219
80The Way of the Demo222
81Big Change—All at Once!224
82Big Change—in a Short Time228
83Clever? Never!230
SPECIAL SECTION: You, Me, and Charlie Wilson’s War235
84I Second That Emotion!247
85One Rule! Much Gold!!248
86Seize the Moments251
87Managing By Wandering Around—It’s All Around You!255
88All Senses! Or Nonsense!258
89Leave Your Wallet (or Pocketbook) at Home260
90Get Down from Your Pedestal—and Beware the Sound of Laughter!262
91Big Plan? No, Small Steps (Steps on the Ground)264
92Hiring: Do You Approach It with Unabashed Fanaticism?271
93Promotion: Are You Building a “Two Per Year” Legacy?272
94Development: Are You Finding and Cultivating First-Rate (“Godlike”) First-Line Supervisors?273
95People Who Lead People: You = Your Development Track Record277
96It’s All (ALL!) About … the Quality of the Workforce281
97Up with People! Up Your People Budget!286
98Cherish the Last Two-Percenters289
99The Excitement Axiom—and the People Corollary290
100Pronoun Power!—Or: The Customer Is “She”293
101Women Lead! (Can Men Learn to Be Good Sports About It?)295
102Men, “Get the Facts”: Women Are Different298
103Dressed for Success? Or: What the History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement Taught Me About Hanging In and Hanging In300
104The Audacity of … Research!307
105Adhocracy—Love It or Leave It309
106Beyond Excellence: The “Berserk Standard”311
107Out of the Shadows: Skunkworks, Revisited313
108SAV (No, It’s Not a Kind of Truck)316
109What Have You Prototyped Lately?318
110Hell Hath No Fury: Celebrate “Disturbers of the Peace”320
111The Innovation15: What We Know So Far … 322
112Now Hear This! Listening Is the Ultimate “Core Competence”327
113Are You an “18-Second Manager”?332
114Get the Story Give the Respect334
SPECIAL SECTION: Quotations 34338
115 If You Have to Ask … Then Ask (and Ask and Ask)345
116Reward DNK (Do Not Know)347
117Work the Watercooler—Or: Are You Gossiping Enough?348
118Making the Grade: Lifelong Learning Is a Mission-Statement Must351
119Out-Study ’Em!353
120Out-Read ’Em!355
121Out-Write ’Em!356
122Now Enrolling: “The People’s MBA”358
123It Might Be Later Than You Think363
124Time Off for Smart Behavior364
125Time Out for … Daydreaming!366
126Master the Art of Milestoning369
127Design Is … Everywhere!373
128Is It “Lickable”?377
129Design Sign: Can You Get There from Here?378
130Love + Hate = Design Power382
131The Case of the Two-Cent Candy385
132If the Envelope Doesn’t Fit, Forget It!389
133It’s All About the Mud391
134Think Billboard Sign “We Care” “We Don’t Care”394
135The Enemy Within—Or: There Is No Cost Higher Than the Cost of Rigidity397
136Become a Decentralization Dervish!400
137Play the … Great Grunge Removal Game!405
138The 1 Percent Drill: Clearing Away a World of “Slop” in Just 45 Minutes407
139Goal: To Make “Common Sense” More Common408
140An Organization Is “People Serving People” (Period!)411
141The PSF Mandate: “Work Worth Paying For”414
142Don’t Let the “Enemy” Rule Your Life416
143Love Your Competitors418
SPECIAL SECTION: The Top 50 “Have-Yous”421
144Create a “Cathedral”! (If Not, What?)431
145Enable Dreams (If Not, What?)434
146Launch “Project Ray”436
147Realism? Not on My Watch!437
148If No WOW, Then … No Go441
149What Makes You So Special?—Or: “Only” Beats “Best”443
150Is It “Gaspworthy”?447
151Extremism in the Defense of WOW Is No Vice450
152Welcome to the Age of Metabolic Management453
153Walls of “Yesterdays” Walls of “Tomorrows”455
154Pissing Away Your Life: Like It or Not, Work Is Life!456
155Forget Longevity—Think “Dramatic Frenzy”459
156How About Replacing Your “Wish It Were” List with a “Do It Now” List?463
SPECIAL SECTION: The Heart of Business Strategy465
157The “3H Model” of Success489
158A 5-Word, 5-Point “Complete” “Excellence Manifesto”491
159The Full Nelson—Or: 13 Lessons on “Navigating” Excellence493
160A Cheat Sheet for Tough Times (and Other Times, Too)498
161Retirement Sucks501
162Think Legacy!503
163Don’t Forget Why You’re Here!505

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