A collection of Tom Peters’ appearances

Here’s a collection of appearances with Tom Peters from YouTube:

Short and simple, not necessarily rocket science, but sometimes we need to be reminded even of the simplest of things:




7 keys to stress relief

Just before Christmas i picked up some reducing tips from from Dr. Randall Hansen which featured on the Swedish website Shortcut.nu. Here are a few of them:

1. Keep things in perspective.
What does work mean to you  in relation to friends, family and health? If the job requires too much from you it may be the right time to look for something new.

2. Take breaks.
Taking a break where you do something completely different IS good for you once in a while – go for a walk around the block, exercise, or perhaps sit at a quiet cafe  and listen to some music. Anything that can get you to relieve your mind from work-related thoughts if only for a little while.

3. Be organized – even if you’re not.
Clean Desk. It can provide you with a sense of control. To-do lists and making clear agreements and appointments may also be of help to get you organized.

4. Talk with someone.
Tell someone about the stress you feel on the job, it can reduce some pressure.

5. Have good relations with your employees.
If you know you have staff who will be there when push comes to shove, this can also reduce the  perceived levels of stress. Just remember to stick up for them, too.

6. Set realistic goals.
Even if you want to achieve more, there are still only 24-hours a day. Setting unrealistically high goals, will only increases the stress and lead to failyre.

7. Try to stay positive.
Try to stay away from people with negative attitudes, it drains your energy and motivation. Reward yourself when you succeed, even if nobody else does it or even sees it.



5 management tips from Swedens “Boss of the year” Eva Hamilton

The Swedish magazine Affärldsvärlden awarded their “Boss of the year” award for 2009 to Eva Hamilton. In an interview with the magazine “Ny teknik”, she says that her leadership rests on five pillars, New Technic.

1. Communication.
Never underestimate people’s desire to know the reality of the situation, or their desire to understand complex relationships.

2. Build a strong management team with an open climate.
Within the group, ensure there is an environment in which you can “lose face”

3. “Move” the people in your organization.
Sow the seed as an idea, then make them believe it is their own decision

4. Be visible.

5. Respect and trust in trade unions.

I guess these are ingredients of what you could call the “Scandinavian model”…


Coaching in a nutshell

The following post is a short reflection I made on the art and science of coaching.

We create our experience of life by crafting beliefs.  Our beliefs change throughout our lives; they are fluid and mutable. We can trace our development  by identifying adjustments in our beliefs.  But this  goes against hos many individuals perceive beliefs.  This I believe is the fundamental principles of the multi billion dollar industry that has come to constitute the coaching industry.

In coaching the first step is to make clients aware that they have beliefs.  This may sound absurd, but beliefs are often invisible to us.  We don’t frame our assumptions as beliefs but as truths; rather they are simply descriptions of the way the world works.

As your coachees begin to be sensitive to how much of their thinking is driven by the beliefs they hold, they will choose to shape beliefs that will serve them.  This may lead to a discussion about how beliefs are changed.

  • Make your coachee aware he/she has beliefs
  • Make your coachee aware of the beliefs that are not helpful and that they are free to choose otherwise
  • Help your coachee create beliefs that are helpful

How do you do this? By asking the right questions… THAT is the hard part!


How to prepare your “elevator pitch”

“An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea for a product, service or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch should be possible to deliver in the time span of an elevator ride, meaning in a maximum of 30 seconds and in 130 words or fewer.” [from Wikipedia]

It should cover the following information:

  • What is the CORE (of your produc, service or project)
  • What are the benefites (for the buyer, investor or sponsor)
  • Who are you (and why will YOU be successful)

Here are a few more pointers when preparing your pitch, as presented by HBR:

  1. Think relevant, not recent. There’s no rule that says you must talk about your resume in reverse chronological order. Mike was a marketing executive who took a sales position abroad for two years. Yet when he returned to marketing, he kept introducing himself as a someone who had just made a career switch, always leading off with an anecdote about his short stint in sales. Instead, Mike should have started with the fact that he was a seasoned marketing professional who had taken a sabbatical but was now back where he belonged — putting his marketing prowess to work and thinking about what drives consumer spending habits.
  2. Focus on skills-based versus situation or industry-based qualifications. You don’t have to have a background in finance to be good at finance. Alex was a chemist and researcher who had gone back to business school to get her MBA. She decided she wanted to work in corporate finance for a large pharmaceutical company but she was afraid no one would take her seriously given her background. When I pressed Alex to explain to me why she chose finance, she exclaimed, “That’s the way my brain works.” Her thinking was methodical, mathematical and formulaic — all of which translated to someone who was a natural fit within a corporate finance department. Instead of focusing on the fact that her background was in academia, Alex could emphasize to colleagues and clients that she was a numbers person at her core.
  3. Connect the dots — what ties it all together? If you are a chemist turned finance professional or a marketing executive with experience in international sales, you should find a way to bring together the richness of your experiences and show how each one complements the other. For me, personally, I had a significant hurdle to clear with clients as a former Peace Corps volunteer turned investment banker. I explained away the dichotomy of the two by emphasizing to others that I was big picture thinker by nature and a numbers person by training. Banking was a perfect combination of the two — I liked looking at client’s challenges and issues from 30,000 feet and then digging down into the details to come up with creative financing solutions. Whether the client was the mayor of my Peace Corps town in Chile or the CEO of a healthcare company, I could start at a high level and drill down quickly and effectively.

People often think of the elevator pitch as something you use when you’re interviewing for a new job, trying to raise capital for a new venture or trying to lobby for you project. The elevator pitch, however, is no less important once you’ve got the job as it is when you’re looking.

In fact, your 30-second “play” about who you are, how you’re different, and why you’re memorable is arguably more important once you’ve landed that great position or won the support of investors and now interact with senior colleagues and important clients regularly.

Be prepared!!!



Here’s what it takes to be a good CEO

(By JOSE RAMON PIN and GUIDO STEIN, From The New York Times Syndicate — 03.11.2009 09:06)

A lot of managers stretch for the position as the CEO, a position that they view as the peak of their carreer. But before they start climbing for the apex, leaders should ask themselves : Is it really worth it?

To answer this question, Spanish school of management, IESE’s International Research Center on Organization, in cooperation with the PR-agency Burston-Marsteller. The survey, included 1000 spanish managers, had a question searching for the pros and cons of becoming the “top dog”.

Based on the answers, you can identify two main reasons for becoming the CEO – not surprising:

The opportunity of putting your own ideas into action, and the challenge and responsibility that comes with the job.

When it comes to the negative sides, the respondents pointed out two disadvantages: Difficulties combining a private life and carreer, and the fact that executives sometimes have to make decision that are difficult from an interpersonal perspecitve, particularly when it comes to laying off people close to you. In the end, however, many say they think the pros outweigh the cons.

The achievement syndrome:

Potential CEO’s are characterized by what is often referred to as the “achievement syndrome”:

  • They accept reasonable challenges, i.e. challenges that are neither easy nor too difficult. Their goals have an acceptable chance of being achieved. They are not interrested in pursuing something that is too easy or totally out of reach.
  • They have their own view of reality, which sometimes creates discussion until they get their visions realized.
  • The work towards results – medium and long term, not just short term. Short term results are just a means for longer term ends.
  • They need indicators telling them whether or not they achieve planned results.
  • They want to change the environment in which they operate. This is more about chasing personal interrests: They aim to improve the working conditions of those around them.

The achievement syndrome, which in principle has positive effects, could easily end up becoming a power syndrome, particularly if you lose the broader motivation. When this happens, executives start pursuing their own interrests, and stop caring what is good for the organization.



Three decision traps

The signs that an economic crisis was coming were present and evident long before the reality was there. Some reasons why these signals are ignored by so many people, are that decision makers jump to conclusions that are likely (enough) and constitute the most comfortable situation , instead of investigating the matter in more depth. This is what scientists Paul J. H. Schoemaker og Georgde S. Day have presented in the MIT Sloan Management Review article “Why We Miss the Signs”.

Here they present the three of the most common decision traps. These traps constitute the so called confirmation bias (or myside bias) as “an irrational tendency to search for, interpret or remember information in a way that confirms preconceptions or working hypotheses.”. It includes:

Filtering out information
We focus on information we expect to get. Psychologist call this “selective perseption”, seeing what we want to see, reinforcing your mental model, plans and positions.

Distorting conclusions
We tend to see the information we get in a light that further enhances our perspective. An example of this could be shifting blame onto others. We can also be self-centered, and therefore overemphasize the impact we have. It is quite common to view ones own action as more important than those of others. Similarly, we tend to think that our own organization is a more significant player than it actually is.

Seeking information to confirms our view
In addition to filtering information, we have a tendency to protect our position by seeking more information that supports our view. Instead of choosing a more balanced strategy, we tend to seek sources that present even more evidence to confirm our position – reinforcing our beliefs and decisions.

A fourth and group-oriented aspect that easily comes into play – in addition to these personal level – is what Irving Janis calls “groupthink”. Group think is where members of a group think and influence one anothers views and positions in order to get harmony within its members.

Tips on what to do? (see this post)