Tom Peters is back with a terrific new book

We wouldn’t have imagined that any 538-page business book, even one written by one of our favorite authors, Tom Peters, would be a favorite of ours from 2010.

We were proved wrong.

Peters’ new book, “The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence,” is a terrif

ic read and well worth your hard-earned dollars.

Peters is, of course, the world-renowned management guru and author of numerous business books, including his most famous, “In Search of Excellence.” His passion for organizations to excel at the highest level is contagious and is infused throughout all 163 nuggets in this book.

The main inspirations for his book are the writings in his blog at, which he has been doing since 2004. He was one of the first business writers to write consistently in the blogosphere. Many of the ideas from the blog have been “re-emphasized” in his book.

The book isn’t meant to be read from beginning to end at one sitting, but is rather a smorgasbord of little yet big ideas for you to ponder and possibly use to improve your organization and ultimately your bottom line.

Peters writes in an engaging and entertaining style. His ideas are categorized along important topics all business owners struggle with, such as leadership, performance, customers and resilience.

His carefully chosen epigraph, written by the American statesman Henry Clay, summarizes what Peters is trying to communicate to the reader: “Courtesies of small and trivial character are the ones which strike the deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.” For us, this means it is the small things (even those that might seem insignificant) that an entrepreneur chooses to do each day which can make the greatest difference in the success or failure of a venture.

The top 10 pages (ideas) that we have dog-eared in his book are:

•Idea 2 — “Small stuff matters, a lot.”

Idea 7 — “Quality: You know it when you see it.”

Idea 27 — “Kindness is free.”

Idea 51 — “Get up earlier than the next person.”

Idea 53 — “To lead is to help others succeed.”

Idea 87 — “Managing by wandering around. It’s all around you.”

Idea 94 — “Development: Are you finding and cultivating first-rate, first-line supervisors.”

Idea 112 — “Now hear this. Listening is the ultimate core competence.”

Idea 120 — “Out-read ’em.”

Idea 125 — “Time out for … daydreaming.”

We see this book as a source of inspiration for the new or seasoned entrepreneur for thinking about new ways for improving and growing your business. We think Peters has hit the mark with his latest work and provides much “food for thought” for improving all organizations, both large and small. If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to be a more active reader of business books, his book is definitely one that will help you start the New Year off right.

Pat Sisneros is the vice president of College Services at Everett Community College. Juergen Kneifel is an associate faculty member in the EvCC Entrepreneurship program. Please send your comments to

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