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Feb 12, 2023

Welcome to The Main Thing Podcast. I’m your host Skip Lineberg, and I’m thrilled to bring you this very special episode.


Along with millions of business professionals around the world, I discovered Tom Peters in the early 1980s with his break-out, best-selling book In Search of Excellence. I was captivated by Tom’s fresh way of looking at companies, cultures and customers. Tom and his co-author Bob Waterman introduced a new lexicon of phrases that colored business thinking … and leadership. Tom’s book influenced my choice of college major and my career path.


In 2004, I met Tom Peters at his Re-Imagine Summit where I had the great blessing of spending 48 hours with Tom and his passionate ideas for reforming American business. Tom’s ice breaker question at the town hall. Helped me to discover my purpose.


Today, almost 20 years later, you’ll not only hear how I answered Tom’s own soul-piercing question, you will also hear about his terrific new book Tom Peters’ Compact Guide to Excellence.


Tom was born and raised in Maryland. He studied Civil Engineering at Cornell University and served in the US Navy. After his military service, Tom moved to California and earned his MBA and PhD from Stanford University. He began his distinguished career in business consulting with the firm McKinsey and Associates. In 1981, Tom founded The Skunkworks Inc., The Palo Alto Consulting Center, and The Tom Peters Company. Tom has written more than 20 books over the course of his career.


After residing many years in Vermont, Tom and wife Susan Sargent now live near Buzzard’s Bay in South Dartmouth, MA.


Strap in for this power-packed episode and discover why Tom Peters is one of the wisest people I know.



Tom Peters website

Check out Tom Peters’ Compact Guide to Excellence on Amazon


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Content You’ll Love in This Episode

[02:48] - Welcome & opening dialog; Tom’s Re-Imagine Summit 2004

[04:21] - Tom’s question prompted Skip to discover his life’s purpose

[06:51] - Tom’s new book “Tom Peters’ Compact Guide to Excellence”

[07:55] - The impetus behind this new book; Nancye Green’s role

[10:09] - Tom reveals his Main Thing, inspired by Henry Clay

[10:50] - A trip to the pharmacy; a BMW, a baseball hat and a retired cop

[12:23] - A biotech CEO’s secret to success; hire nice people

[13:15] - Examining Tom’s legacy; reflecting on his impact.

[14:10] - Difference between Tom Peters and Tony Robbins

[15:25] - Thank-you and goodbye

[15:42] - Outro

[16:01] - An opportunity for you to help keep the pipeline of wisdom flowing