Tom Peters – Still going strong!

In the last couple of weeks Tom Peters has put out some outstanding stuff in the domain of management and leadership. Maybe not new new new, but put forward in the context of today’s business world and in Tom’s unique style I would like to re-enforce his message – also to a Swedish audience.


Message number one – The Speed Trap – READ IT. NOW. TAKE THE TIME ;) There is so much in this paper. Read it many times. Reflect. Apply. I believe Tom nails and expands brilliantly on a fundamental paradox of our times.

You may be aware he has a recent book out, The Excellence Dividend. I’m an avid Tom Peters fan, but must confess I have not yet read it. But it certainly is on my list.

Message number two – Summary of the Summary (of The Excellence Dividend) – Download the slides. Be happy there are only seven. Tom is famous for his HUGE slide decks ;) Read one of the seven slides a day for a week. Talk to your colleagues about each of them. Make commitments. Follow through. These slides cover the essence of WHY we exist as organizations and HOW leaders need to view their part of the work.

Do carry on reading if you’d like to know a little about my special interest in Tom’s work.

Tom Peters has been an inspiration for me ever since I came across his writing and thinking. I was in business school trying to figure out why it all felt so dated. At the time my dad was an executive at SAS and had met Tom several times and had books and pamphlets Tom had written. This was really something different than the boring literature we had in class.

After university I ended up starting a mail order management book store. The first book I imported to Sweden (cutting deliver times in half) was Tom’s Liberation Management. This is roughly 25 years ago and that book has meant a lot to me in many ways.

Tom is quite popular in Sweden and over the years we sold quite a few of his books. I later moved on to other endeavours but continued to read and follow Tom’s work. One of my reflections is that he has been remarkably consistent over the years. And also very productive! And energetic! And curious!

A couple of years ago I found Tom on Twitter. This added a new experience to his work and once in a while we’ve had a few exchanges. I really enjoy his keen observations and small outbursts. In my view he is still one of the more interesting voices in the the broad field of management and leadership.

And interestingly, when I am now rediscovering my interest in leadership and organisational culture that I started exploring 25 years ago, it is once again Tom who is an inspiration when I carry that work forward. As I see it there are timeless principles and practices that are getting ever more lost in this world of tech, data, money and metrics. It is like we are collectively forgetting that we are in the service of people.



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