Leading Blog






11.22.08

Lunch with the FT: Tom Peters

Weekend Supplement

In the weekend edition of the Financial Times there is a great interview with Tom Peters by Stefan Stern. It’s candid and worth a read. Here’s a sample:
Few have criticized what he does for a living as ferociously as Peters himself. “I say to people, ‘You got a bad deal, paying money to see me,’” he tells me. “I have utterly nothing new to say. I am simply going to remind you of what you’ve known since the age of 22 and in the heat of battle, you forgot. You’d have to be one of those television preachers to believe that you’re going to work with a group of 500 people and change their lives. First of all, most of them agree with you. You’re not going to pay £1,000 [a head] to go and see someone if you think the guy’s a jerk.

“In a room of 500 managers, there are going to be four who are on the verge of doing something really interesting, whether inside or outside the company, and you simply give them the will. In American football terms, they are five yards short and you push them over the line. To claim anything more than that is grotesque egocentrism,” he says.
Later, Stern writes:
Fortified, I give him my best shot. Is management getting harder? “No,” he replies firmly – and in defiance of the conventional wisdom. But what about all that new technology, the end of deference, the increased pace of life, and the heightened expectations of employees? Doesn’t that all make management harder?

On the whole, Peters thinks not. We exaggerate the extent of change, he feels. It is the arrogance of modernity to believe that we face unique and unprecedented challenges. What people say now about the internet they used to say about the railways, the telegraph, the radio ...
You can find the quick, entertaining interview at the Financial Times: Lunch with the FT

leadership blog

Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:20 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Weekend Supplement



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