June 13, 2018

Tom Peters, known as the excellence guru and author of In Search of Excellence, speaks more directly than most. He doesn’t mince words and prefers everyday language over flowery terms. His delivery is relatable, easily understood and often humorous, which leaves a strong impact on his audience – there’s no misunderstanding his message. Now 75, Peters presented at the Gazelles ScaleUp Summit in May and landed us with a few knockout points that were unmistakably clear:

I don’t care about Fortune 500 companies; I care about you, middle-market companies that are creating all the jobs.

Everyone is proposing we do everything faster. Speed for speed’s sake is crap.  Everything that is important in life takes time.

There is no excuse for not making any organization a great place to work.  Every leader has a moral obligation to develop people so that when they leave, they are better prepared for tomorrow.

Managing is a pain in the butt, but it is the pinnacle of human achievement.  The greatest life opportunities that one has is to help team members grow and flourish as individuals.

If you want to win, promote women. Women outperform men on 12 of the 16 characteristics of leadership. We have millions of stats that support this. Boards with gender balance outperform others in operating profit by 56%.  Balance means five women on a 10-person board. Half.

If you don’t focus on women, you are stupid.  Women buy everything.  85% of consumer products.  Women make up over 50% of professional purchasing officers at companies.

The two biggest market opportunities on earth, 98% of us suck at. Number one is women, number two is old people. We talk about the all-important millennials market… What the hell is all-important about marketing to a bunch of people who don’t have any money?

Peters gave us a big dose of his straight talk and where he believes we, as business owners, should focus.  Whether you agree with him or not, he gives clarity a good name.