Tom Peters on leading the 21st-century organisation

McKinsey Quarterly recently talked about how best to lead the 21st-century organisation with long-time management guru Tom Peters.

He had several very interesting things to say:

On Automation:

  • “I really do believe that the only defence against automation is the development of talent. What other choice is there if we’re going to deal with the forces that we’re talking about? You don’t have any choice except to develop people.”

On Culture:

  • Corporate culture is not part of the game: it is the game. You’ve got to do the corporate culture first.”

On Developing People:

  • If you’re a leader, your whole reason for living is to help human beings develop — to really develop people and make work a place that’s energetic and exciting and a growth opportunity, whether you’re running a Housekeeping Department or Google.”
  • If you take a leadership job, you’re in the people-development business. You do people. Period. It’s what you do. It’s what you’re paid to do. People, period. Should you have a great strategy? Yes, you should. How do you get a great strategy? By finding the world’s greatest strategist, not by being the world’s greatest strategist. You do people.”
  • “Any idiot with a high IQ can invent a great strategy. What’s really hard is fighting against the unwashed masses and pulling it off… Change is about recruiting allies and working each other up to have the nerve to try the next experiment. You find allies. You encircle the buggers. You don’t bring about change in real big meetings or virtual meetings. You bring it about one person at a time, face to face.”

On 21st-Century Leadership:

  • 21st-century-AD leadership is probably just about the same as 21st-century-BC leadership. And, fundamentally, it is about organising the affairs of our fellow human beings to provide some sort of a service to other people.”

The Churning, Inner Leadership is a structured framework and a set of tools for developing people, starting with yourself.

And once you know what most inspires you, and can see complex situations more clearly, find more opportunities to move forward, and inspire yourself to make happen whatever matters most, then you can develop others to learn to do the same.

Inner Leadership is a framework and a set of tools for creating people who not only survive the changes of the 21st century but who use those changes to become stronger, antifragile — starting with yourself. Because only once you know how to lead yourself, can you then begin to lead others.

That is our definition of 21st century leadership.

Are you leading yourself and the people around you to become able to use change to become stronger and more valuable, antifragile?

Inner Leadership is a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

You can sign up to daily posts here.

You can buy the book here and the workbook here.

(And remember: you can’t learn to swim just by reading about swimming, you also need to do the practice.)


Leave a Reply