[B]OLD AGE With Debbie Weil

Tom Peters on [B]OLDLY Turning 80: His Childhood, His Passion, His Outrage, His Mission

Episode Summary

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.

Episode Notes

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.

Debbie met Tom almost 15 years ago when he interviewed her for his Cool Friends series, shortly after her book (The Corporate Blogging Book) came out.

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. 

Much of his written and speech material is available—free to download—at tompeters.com and excellencenow.com.

Enjoy this spirited and wide-ranging conversation with a legendary thinker. 

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