Tom Peters. Photo courtesy of The Growth Faculty

Tom Peters came to Australia to keynote the Growth Summit.

At 68 years of age, Tom’s energy is amazing and his presentation was like a roller coaster ride.

Drawing upon a lifetime of experience, he shoots off gems of knowledge at a rapid fire rate. It was tough to keep up, but I tried!

He opened with a quote that I liked.

“Business has to give people enriching, rewarding, lives… or it’s simply not worth doing.”  – Richard Branson

The overall message for the day was: You must treat people right!

Tom says he’d rather go out of business in 2 weeks & treat people well than stay in business 200 years with treatment verging on abuse.

Tom shared a tremendous amount and it was a privilege to witness him live.  These are Tom’s Top 3 Tips (although Tom says they are all equal Number One in importance).

No.1: Hire great front line managers.

The No.1 cause of employee dissatisfaction is overwhelmingly based on their front line manager.  Tom urged us to hire the very best front-line managers you can and provide the best training possible. These hiring decisions are way more important than hiring VPs [vice presidents – Tom is American :)]

No.2:  Cross functional excellence

The biggest mistake businesses make is not communicating across divisions.  Tom instructs us to “never waste a lunch” (something I’m sure Keith Ferrzzi would agree with). Allow humans to lunch together. In fact everyone in your organisation should be evaluated on the percentage of lunches they have with people from other divisions. We must be obsessed with this and passionate about it.

Ideas don’t come from smart people. Ideas come when smart people talk with smart people in different divisions!  – Tom Peters

No. 3: LISTEN.

Listening is the ultimate mark of respect.  Don’t interrupt. Be obsessed with listening. Nod and take notes. Train people to listen – it is a skill.

Finally here’s a few more quotes I loved.

“Execution IS strategy” – Fred Malek

“In real-life strategy is quite straight forward. Pick a general direction and IMPLEMENT like hell” – Jack Welch

“There’s ONE secret to effectiveness. Do ONE thing at a time” – Peter Drucker

Tom Peter's latest book

You can follow @Tom_Peters on twitter and see all his slides at His latest book is The Little Big Things which I’ve read and I’ll  be reviewing it soon!

And thanks again to Karen Beattie and her team at The Growth Faculty for organising the Growth Summit again this year.

PS. An interesting note is that Tom Peters and his friend and fellow uber-guru, the late Peter Drucker both disliked MBAs.  He said:

If you have kids, don’t send them to business school – Tom Peters


growth summit, Tom Peters

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