S4-EP8: Tom Peters on [B]OLDLY Turning 80: His Childhood, His Passion, His Outrage, His Mission
Debbie talks to legendary business author and speaker Tom Peters about his childhood, his passion and outrage, what matters most to him, and his relationship to work on the eve of turning 80.
Said Tom on Twitter: “Debbie got the hat trick. She got stuff out of my mouth that I have never revealed before. And she wouldn’t let me waffle. She was a real pain in the ass that way, and I loved every minute of it.”
Debbie talks to legendary business author and speaker Tom Peters. And if you’re wondering why she’s interviewing a business management guru, it’s because Tom exemplifies the new name of the podcast: [B]OLDER. I.e. getting bolder as you grow older.
Tom is the co-author of In Search of Excellence, published 40 years ago and considered one of the most influential business books ever written.
The book makes the argument that excellent companies treat their employees with respect. They put people first.
Tom is known for being brash, fanatical, even outrageous (a combination of Billy Graham and Sid Vicious as one commentator put it) and he’s been haranguing audiences and readers around the world for decades with his philosophy of people first.
Haranguing, because many companies are still not doing it. Although the pandemic may have changed that a bit.
In 2017 he received the Thinkers50 Lifetime Achievement Award. He also coined the term Personal Branding.
And he’s not stopping as he turns 80.
In this conversation, he reflects on why women should be leading; passion and outrage and why they are the most important quality in a good speaker; his love for research and data and the concept of compassionomics.
He also gets personal, opening up about his childhood and his mother’s influence and reiterating why he is not done yet.
He’s as fanatical as ever (especially on the topic of women getting things done) and you’ll hear Debbie occasionally interrupting or trying to interrupt him in this conversation. Not something Debbie normally does but Tom’s Director of Programs, Shelley Dolley, encouraged her to do so.
Coincidentally, he is married to a high school classmate of Debbie’s, designer Susan Sargent.
His newest book, Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism, is more relevant than ever with its emphasis on creating a humane workplace. It’s his eighteenth book and it may be his last, he tells Debbie.
Enjoy this spirited and wide-ranging conversation with a legendary thinker.
Mentioned in this episode or useful:
- Tom Peters on Twitter
- In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies by Tom Peters and Bob Waterman (Harper Business; Reprint edition 2006)
- Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism by Tom Peters (Networlding Publishing, March 2021)
- Complete listing of Tom’s books
- The Brand Called You by Tom Peters (Fast Company, August 31 1997)
- Tom Peters remembers Bob Waterman (who died Jan. 2, 2022)
- Debbie’s Cool Friends interview with Tom Peters (2008)
- Susan Sargent (married to Tom Peters and, coincidentally, Debbie’s high school classmate)
- Rebecca Eaton – Masterpiece Theater
- Dopesick (TV Mini Series 2021)
- Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe (Doubleday; 2021)
- McKinsey & Co
- The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business by Duff McDonald (Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition 2014)
- The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Eliteby Duff McDonald (Harper Business; Reprint edition 2017)
- Tickled: A Commonsense Guide to the Present Moment by Duff McDonald (Harper; 2021)
- Should Women Rule? (The Atlantic, November 2008)
- Compassionomics – The Website
- Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference by Stephen Trzeciack and Anthony Mazzarelli (Studer Group; 2019)
- Amazon.com: The Social Psychology of Organizing by Karl E. Weick (McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 1979)
- Thomas Keneally, the Australian writer Tom has been enjoying recently
Note from Debbie
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