Tom Peters: 80% good, 20% overboard

Tom Peters has a list on how to lead during what he calls “weird” times (post here, also read the comments here).  As always, he’s thought-provoking.  My biggest concern is that folks like to cherry-pick from Tom without understanding that the points in his “lists” often build on or reinforce each other. 

With that caveat, here is Tom’s list.  My comments are below in bold.

  1. Be conscious in the Zen sense. Think about what you are doing more than usual. Think about how you project.  (Crossderry: The last is critical at these times.)
  2. Meet daily, first thing, with your leadership team—to discuss whatever, check assumptions. Perhaps meet again late afternoon. Meetings max 30 minutes. (Crossderry: All good, harder for me to implement in a global team.)
  3. If you are a “big boss,” use a private sounding board—check in daily. (Crossderry: Interesting… hadn’t thought of that.)
  4. Concoct scenarios by the bushel, test ’em, play with ’em, short-term, long-term, sane, insane. (Crossderry: Too many leaders think that this means “just throw s*** against the wall” by rearranging everything or withdrawing to a bunker to do scenario planning.  Prime example of a topic that gets cherry-picked from a list. If you aren’t doing this w/ managing by walking around [MBWA] and working the phones, experts, customers, vendors, etc., you’re missing the point.)
  5. MBWA. Wander. Sample attitudes. Visible but not frenzied.  (Crossderry: The last is critical at these times.)
  6. Work the phones, chat up experts, customers, vendors. Seek enormous diversity of opinion.  (Crossderry: Oh yeah, no time to head for the bunker!) 
  7. “Over”communicate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Crossderry: Yup.)
  8. Exercise—encourage your leadership team to double up on their exercise.  (Crossderry: This verges on “double plus good” Motivation-speak.  How about “If you don’t exercise, start; if you’re not exercising enough, do more; if you’re already exercising enough, don’t stop.”)
  9. Underscore “excellence in every transaction.”    (Crossderry: You betcha… and it’s a nice loop back to point 1.)

Hat tip: Bas de Baar

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