The Little BIG Things Video series

Our friends at Enterprise Media captured Tom’s thoughts during an early draft stage of his book, The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence. This collection of 80 videos covers his distinctive wisdom in seven categories.

Excellence

tlbt-thumb-59

#60 Bias for Action

Tom goes back to his roots, revisiting the first of the basics from In Search of Excellence, A Bias for Action.
2 minutes
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-56

#56 Cross-Functional Communication

Cross-functional communication is often listed as issue #1 within organizations, and, Tom says, it boils down to one main variable that's extraordinarily simple.
2 minutes, 56 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#68 It Can Happen Anywhere

Tom finds an answer to the question, "But how can what you describe work in my little shop?"
2 minutes 19 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#6 Don't Fear Failure

Tom tells a story about a man who was unafraid to fail, and why that makes him an Excellent role model.
2 minutes
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-49

#49 Courtesy Matters

Tom reminds us that grand gestures aren't always necessary, it's the little things that matter.
1 minute, 16 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#28 Language Matters

Tom says pay attention to the language you use. "If you want an energetic place, use energetic language." Are you measuring whether things are "Insanely Great"?
2 minutes, 45 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#37 MBWA

Tom recounts how he discovered the term MBWA, Managing By Wandering Around, in the late seventies, and urges you to practice it.
2 minutes, 23 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-42

#42 Thoughts on Tom Watson

Tom shares the secret of Excellence according to the founder of IBM, Tom Watson.
1 minute, 49 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#76 Tuck in the Shower Curtain

Tom's lesson from Conrad Hilton, master hotelier, is to be sure the little things get done. In Hilton's view, you should tuck in the shower curtain.
Time: 2 minutes 34 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#21 On Enterprise

Tom defines the aspiration of organizations. After all, "organizations exist for one and only one reason, and that is to be of service."
2 minutes, 26 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#25 Organizations as Cathedrals

Tom gives his definition of excellent organizations. He says that they should be "no less than cathedrals."
2 minutes, 17 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

Innovation

tlbt-thumb-45

#45 Angry People Make Change

Tom tells us the single source of innovation is angry people. Their anger allows them to penetrate the resistance they encounter.
2 minutes, 57 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

Leadership

tlbt-thumb-37

#5 Listening

Tom uses an example from the healthcare industry to highlight the importance of listening, "the single most significant strategic strength that an organization can have."
3 minutes, 37 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#35 The 4 Most Important Words

Tom says that if you're really interested in engaging your workforce, you'll use four simple words.
1 minute, 51 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#27 Building Success

Tom shares the philosophy of Dave Liniger of RE/MAX: your goal should be to make the people who work for you successful to increase the odds of your own success.
2 minutes, 2 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#12 Don't Use Standardized Forms

Tom compares your business to an NFL franchise or a Symphony Orchestra. Can you imagine either of these groups using a standard HR assessment to choose their talent?
3 minutes, 14 seconds
watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#70 Hire the Last One Percenters

Tom explains that, when hiring, you should look for a special class of people who can't rest until the job is finished—through that last one percent.
2 minutes 48 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-57

#57 Key Question

Tom says, "When you become a senior leader, you're not supposed to be the number one strategist, you're supposed to hire the number one strategist."
3 minutes, 37 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#64 Lead by Example

Quoting David D'Alessandro, Tom says "It's always show time." If you're in a leadership position, you lead by example whether trying to or not.
2 minutes 30 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#74 Listening and ... Four Words

Tom describes his "essence of leadership" formula in two compelling ideas.
2 minutes 28 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#78 Love Politics

Tom Peters suggests that you should love office politics, but don't lose sight of the big questions, like "Why am I here?"
2 minutes 4 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#80 Managing by Wandering Around

Tom uses Starbucks' Howard Schultz as an example to expound his favorite basic from In Search of Excellence: Managing by Wandering Around.
2 minutes 12 seconds
Watch the video | Get a PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#10 Milestones Matter

Tom describes his drive from Tinmouth VT to Boston MA with milestones (short-term goals) along the way. Do you have a milestone/goal for the next 24, 48, or 72 hours?
3 minutes, 40 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-41

#41 The Power of Apology

Tom encourages us to become students of apology, saying "Learning how to apologize effectively is the real essence of strategic strength."
3 minutes, 2 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#18 Servant Leadership

"What have you done in the past 24 hours to be of service to your organization?" is the question Tom asks in this manifesto.
2 minutes, 32 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-46

#46 The Squint Test

Tom explains that you don't have to be exact, but your project team should resemble the market it serves or something is very wrong.
2 minutes, 21 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#9 The Problem Isn't the Problem

Tom argues that the reaction to the problem often becomes more of a problem than the original misstep would have been if dealt with honestly.
2 minutes, 10 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-51

#51 The 3 H's

Howard (Schultz), Herb (Kelleher), and (Conrad) Hilton. Tom says, "If you understand the 3 H's, you don't need to understand anything else about business success."
1 minute, 24 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#31 American vs Southwest

Tom gives a powerful example of what happens when you treat your employees like customers.
2 minutes, 33 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

Recession

tlbt-thumb-37

#4 Recession Thoughts: 44 Strategies

In answer to the frequently asked question about strategies for surviving and thriving in a great recession, Tom gives his 44 ideas.
4 minutes, 53 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#1 Recession Thoughts: Lending

Tom shares some thoughts on the recession. Business is ultimately all about individuals. Good lending officers understand this and pay attention to individuals.
2 minutes, 50 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#3 Recession Thoughts: Sacred Trust

Tom describes leadership as a sacred trust, says that the decision to lead is the decision to be responsible for the growth and development of your fellow human beings.
3 minutes, 25 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

Service

tlbt-thumb-59

#65 Customer Loyalty

Forget the complex data analysis, Tom says, and concentrate on the customer. You'll be amazed at the potential payoff.
2 minutes 18 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#26 Graniterock Company

As an example of how to remind customers of just how Excellent your service can be, Tom tells the story of Graniterock Company.
1 minute, 42 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#71 Invest in Your People

Tom reminds us that improving the appearance of a business is wasted effort if employee attitude isn't similarly upgraded. I.e., it's the people, people.
2 minutes 45 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#11 On Thoughtfulness

Presenting his case for including thoughtfulness in your vision statement, Tom says he believes it's the key to customer and employee satisfaction and retention.
2 minutes, 50 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#32 Problem with Perfection

Tom argues in favor of the brilliant comeback when compared to a perfect record.
1 minute, 56 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#77 TGW and TGR

Tom presents an alternative to minimizing Things Gone Wrong ... maximizing Things Gone Right. Which would you prefer to be remembered for?
1 minute 57 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-53

#53 Develop Internal Customers

Tom argues that your internal customers, co-workers, employees, are more important than your external customers.
2 minutes, 26 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

Strategy

tlbt-thumb-44

#44 12 x 20 = 240

Lunch. Tom runs the numbers on the potential opportunities you have to build your network and solve problems.
2 minutes, 18 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#14 Be Extraordinary

Tom describes a meeting with Barry Gibbons, former chief of Burger King, and Barry's notion that anything is better than being ordinary.
3 minutes, 5 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#67 Best Practices, Love 'Em and Hate 'Em

As Tom explains it, following best practices as a business strategy can be effective ... or not.
2 minutes 21 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#61 Brand Equals Talent

Tom reminds us that branding efforts go only so far if not accompanied by an emphasis on the talent.
1 minute 55 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#16 Diversity Wins

A book by Scott Page titled The Difference states that diverse groups beat expert groups, almost every time.
2 minutes, 55 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#13 First-line Supervisors

Tom reveals why choosing first-line supervisors is among the most important decisions a business can make, in this manifesto and in an accompanying blog entry.
2 minutes, 38 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-48

#48 Hold 'em and Fold 'em

Persistence. You've gotta have more than your share to succeed. Tom's advice? Hold out longer than anyone thinks is wise.
1 minute, 50 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#15 Innovation Equality

Tom suggests you implement an Innovation Equality Day.
1 minute, 37 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-50

#50 Kindness is Free

Tom uses a surprising example from the healthcare industry to highlight the kind of impact kindness can have, without any financial investment.
3 minutes, 24 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#73 Measure Innovation

In this video, Tom offers a brilliantly simple, easy-to-implement method for ensuring that a good portion of your work meets the mark on innovation.
2 minutes 3 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-58

#58 On People Turning 50

Tom argues for marketing to the over-50 population, quoting Bill Novelli of AARP: "People turning fifty today have more than half of their adult life ahead of them."
3 minutes, 6 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#63 Pay Attention to Boomers

Though young people are important to marketers, Tom points out that they had better keep an eye on boomers, too.
2 minutes 52 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#22 The Power of "I'm Sorry"

Given Tom's frequent focus on health care, of course it's mentioned in The Little BIG Things, wherein he notes a very little thing that makes a BIG difference to patients.
2 minutes, 45 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-40

#40 Sock Solution

A reminder from Tom that unsexy solutions can be tremendously valuable, on the scale of tens of thousands of lives saved.
2 minute, 54 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-38

#38 The Story is More Powerful than the Brand

Tom describes just how powerful storytelling can be and argues that it's essential to turn your brand into a story.
1 minute, 55 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#17 Thoughts on Budget

Some of the most noted engineering projects in the world came in over budget. Tom says don't ignore budget, but ...
3 minutes, 4 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#34 War on Systems

Systems are necessary, but they shouldn't strangle you. Tom's all in favor of attacking your own systems in order to better serve the customer.
1 minute, 29 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#54 Women & Relationships

"Women look at relationships with more depth and complexity than men do." Tom states you must understand this if you're working with women leaders or developing products for women.
2 minutes, 21 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#75 Personalization Is Important

Tom relates a personal experience to highlight his message—put a personal touch into any presentation to form that all-important connection with your audience.
2 minutes 30 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#29 Space Matters

Tom explains why who sits next to whom in your office can make a huge difference.
2 minutes, 41 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

YOU

tlbt-thumb-59

#62 2 Decisions a Year Define You

Tom insists that your legacy is determined by the people you leave behind—those you promote into strategic positions—so he asks you to choose wisely.
2 minutes 12 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#72 Three-Minute Apologies

According to Tom, one of the most important practices you adopt—perhaps for the New Year?—should be the apology.
1 minute 49 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#66 You Are the Company You Keep

Tom explains his theory that if you want to be more innovative, you must hang out with interesting people who pull you into the future.
1 minute 56 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#33 You Are Your Calendar

Tom tells it like it is: The calendar never lies. You can claim something is your priority, but if your calendar doesn't reflect it, you're lying to yourself.
2 minute, 28 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#20 Build Your Legacy

"What will your legacy be from today?" Since only your legacy lives on, you must consciously build it from day one, Tom tells us.
2 minutes, 5 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#36 Engage Your Brain

Using an example from Dan Coyle's The Talent Code, Tom theorizes that you are much more effective with what you're doing when you're engaged in your work.
2 minutes, 23 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#30 Everybody Is a Salesperson

According to Tom, when you interact with anyone outside your organization, you are in sales ... think of yourself as an ambassador.
2 minutes, 21 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#19 First Impressions

Tom relates that Roger Ailes says a person has only 7 seconds to make that all-important first impression.
2 minutes, 32 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-43

#43 GTHOOTO

Tom simplifies the Managing By Wandering Around strategy. If you're a leader, you should adopt it now.
1 minute, 40 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#24 More on Brand You

Brand You may be more important now than when Tom introduced the idea. He states that taking control of your own career is not an option.
3 minutes, 8 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-39

#39 Never Trash Your Competitors

It may be a simple truth, but it's a valuable one. Tom reminds us not to stoop so low as to badmouth the competition.
2 minute, 38 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#2 Out-Read the Other Guy

Tom reminds us that a key to success is reading. Staying informed and developing your analytical skills are essential habits.
2 minutes, 4 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#59 Read These Books

Tom says it's all about relationships. Not only that, he provides a must-read book list that will help you with relationships in business.
1 minute, 59 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#79 Showing Up Matters

Take a lesson from The Delaware delegation to the U.S. Constitutional Congress. You can dramatically increase your influence in any negotiation/decision by simply showing up.
2 minutes 12 seconds
Watch the video | Get a PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-55

#55 Shut Up

You'll be amazed by what you learn if you're willing to do one very simple thing: Shut up. Tom says that listening is an essential tool, particularly for sales.
2 minutes, 59 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#7 Start Something Dull

Tom shares the story of two men who, by doing very dull things, have made a lot of money.
3 minutes, 57 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-47

#47 TDY Finance

Tom advises you to take a temporary duty assignment in the finance department. The relationships you build there will be priceless in getting things done.
2 minutes, 18 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#23 You Are Your Story

Gandhi says that your life is your message. In the latest addition to the Little BIG Things video series, Tom says that your brand is your story.
2 minutes, 27 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-52

#52 Thank You Notes

The first of Tom's Rules of Implementation is remembering your "Thank you" notes. He says, "Recognition, appreciation, nothing gets you further."
2 minutes, 50 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-59

#69 To-Don't List

According to Tom, a must for executives and business managers of all kinds to supplement the "To-Do" list is the "To-Don't" list.
2 minutes 27 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript

tlbt-thumb-37

#8 Work on Your Writing

Tom reminds us that writing is a craft to be honed.
2 minutes, 58 seconds
Watch the video | PDF transcript