Tom Peters on Practicing Extreme Humanism


April 12, 2021

tom peters back on brand

“Every day we spend with our fellow human beings, we can contribute to making their life a little bit better—making them a little bit smarter, a little bit more thoughtful, and so on—or not.” It’s rare that a single guest has appeared three times on the On Brand podcast. However, when Tom Peters calls and wants to talk about empathy and extreme humanism in the middle of one of the most challenging times in work and life, you answer the call. I’m thrilled to share my most recent conversation with Tom Peters on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Tom Peters

Called “the Red Bull of management consultants,” Tom Peters is a leading business management guru and founder of the Tom Peters Company. He continues to be in constant demand for lectures and seminars. In 2017, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Thinkers50 and the Jack Covert Award for Contribution to the Business Book Industry from 800-CEO-READ. Peters is the bestselling author of seventeen books, including In Search of Excellence (with Robert H. Waterman, Jr.), which is often cited as among the best business books ever written.

These tumultuous times demand deep engagement, human connection, and, yes, Excellence. In response, Tom has launched his Excellence Now campaign, which includes a trio of tools designed to help you and your team take action.

Episode Highlights

“We (management gurus) are carrying a sin around on our shoulders. We behave as if the Fortune 500 is the economy.” In fact, this over-indexed group is only a microcosm of the jobs in the modern world of work. Furthermore, when it comes to impact, Tom stressed the importance of what local small businesses can do.

TTDN–Things To Do Now. This feature pops up in Tom’s new Excellence Now course but, as I reminded him, it was a big part of the Tom Peters Seminar cassette tapes I listened to on my way to my first post-college job. (“How old are you?!?” Tom jokingly asked me.) So what’s one thing listeners should do now? “Know your people. Really know them.”

Resume values vs. eulogy values. One topic we kept coming back to was David Brooks’ philosophy on resume values vs. eulogy values.

“Hard is soft and soft is hard.” We came back to this oldie/goodie once again as well. Why is Tom still talking about all of this? This simple quote provides an answer.

What brand has made Tom smile recently? Tom shared a remarkable experience he had during a visit to the town hall in his hometown of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. “They were decent—they were the human face of the town.”

To learn more, go to tompeters.com and excellencenow.com.

As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.




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