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  2. TheIrreducible209+One Word+The Cup ChallengeThe Sales12260TIBsTom-A-to, Tom-ah-to

  3. EXCELLENCE. Now.TheIrreducible 219Tom PetersNovember 2006 (Slightly updated February 2012)

  4. A frustrated participant at an executive seminar in Mauritius listened impatiently to my explanation of differences of opinion among me, Mike Porter, Gary Hamel, Jim Collins, etc. Finally, he’d had enough. “What, if anything,” he asked, “do you believe ‘for sure’?”I mumbled something, but his query started rumbling around in my mind. Three days later, wandering on a Sunday in London, the idea of “the irreducibles” occurred to me—and I started jotting down notes on stuff I do indeed believe “for sure.” Before I knew it, a few days later, the list had grown to 219 items. Hence “The Irreducible219” that follows.Tom Peters

  5. 1. Hare 1, Tortoise 0. (Hare-y times.) 2. Tempo. (O.O.D.A.) 3. MBWA. 4. Appreciation. (“Motivator” #1.) (Can’t be faked. Good.) 5. Decency. 6. Hurry. 7. Time out. 8. One matters. 9. Big change. Short time. (Alt not work.) 10. Excellence. Always. 11. Passion. Energy. Hustle. Enthusiasm. Exuberance. (Move mountains. No alt.) 12. You must care. 13. Emotion. 14. Hard is soft. (Soft is hard.)

  6. 15. Men. Women. Different. Contend. Connect. 16. Women. Buy. All. (RU listening?) 17. Quality. (“Mind-blowing.” Beyond 6-Sigma.) 18. Re-invent. Re-pot. (Required.) 19. Jaywalk. 20. Big change. Small # of people. (Always.) 21. Experiment. Now. 22. Failure. Normal. 23. Most failures, most success. (Fail. Forward. Fast.) 24. “Reward excellent failures. Punish mediocre successes.” 25. Women leaders. (Altered times.) 26. Extremism. (Good business. Bad politics.) 27. Innovation source. Only. Extreme irritation. 28. Smile.

  7. 29. You must care. 30. Mentor. (Highest ROI.) 31. Best “roster” wins. 32. Wow. (Why not?!) 33. We all have customers. (Biz. Personal.) 34. All contacts = Experiences. 35. Cirque du Soleil. (Peerless.) 36. Leaders create space for growth. 37. Quests. (Only.) 38. High aspirations, “high” results. (Self-fulfilling prophecy.) 39. Attitude 1, Skills 0. (Mostly.) (Attitude 1, Skill 0.3?) 40. Sometimes: Skill 1, Attitude 0.1. 41. Must “love,” not “like.” 42. Wegmans.” (No excuses. “Mere” groceries.) 43. Less than your best. Cheating.

  8. 44. Brand You. (No alt.) 45. Self-sufficiency. (Biggest LT turn-on.) 46. In the moment. 47. The moment wins. 48. Tomorrow = Never. 49. Action 1, Plan 0.1. 50. “Execution” can be a “system.” 51. Realism. (But don’t let it paralyze.) 52. Own up. Move on. 53. Accountability. 54. Work hard > Work smart. (Mostly.) 55. Feedback. Necessary. Fast. (R.F.A. in “RFA times.”) 56. Customers. Listen. Lead. (Paradox.) 57. “On stage.” Always. (GW, FDR, RG = Supreme actors.)

  9. 58. Master statistical analysis. 59. Excellence = Set the table. 60. Legacy. (Will it have mattered?) 61. “Great.” (Why not?) 62. Radicals rule. (Think … Olympics.) 63. !!! = Good. 64. Red 1, Brown 0. (Red times.) 65. Talk. Listen. (“Big 2.” Master.) 66. Politics. (Normal-inevitable state of affairs. Master.) 67. Student. Forever. 68. “Why?” (Question #1.) 69. Don’t belittle. 70. Respect. 71. All we have: this moment. (“Moments matter most”?) 72. Now. (Procrastination. Death.)

  10. 73. Exercise. 74. Paint. (Leader. Portraits of Excellence.) 75. Best story wins. 76. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” 77. Two “big ones.” Max.(Priorities.) 78. No “I” in Team. (“I” in Win.) 79. “I” in Win. (No “I” in Team.) 80. Different 1, Better 0. (Better = 0.1) 81. Imitation = Mistake. (Learn, from who?) 82. Choose/battle the “right” competitor. 83. Schools. Creativity. Entrepreneurship. (Not.) 84. MBAs. Creativity. Entrepreneurship. Leadership. (Not.) 85. Design. Under-rated. Wildly. (Still.) (Everything.)

  11. 86. You = Calendar. (Calendar. Never. Lies.) 87. Laugh. 88. Handshake. (Quantity. Quality.) 89. Don’t fold your hands in front of your chest. Ever. (Never.) 90. Grace. (“Works” in biz.) 91. Weird. Wins. (Weird times.) 92. Crazy times. Crazy orgs. 93. Internet. All. 94. Women. Boomers-Geezers. Market. All. 95. Passion. (Repeat. So what?) 96. Energy. (Repeat. So what?) 97. Hustle. (Repeat. So what?) 98. Enthusiasm. (Repeat. So what?) 99. Exuberance. (Repeat. So what?) 100. Smile. (Repeat. So what?) 101. Care. (Repeat. So what?)

  12. 102. Simplicity. Redundancy. Resilience. Bloody- mindedness. Visible optimism. (Success.) 103. Act. (Repeat. So what?) 104. Appreciate. (Repeat. So what?) 105. Fun. (Biz. Why not?) 106. Joy. (Biz. Why not?) 107. Sales = Life. 108. Marketing = Life. 109. Long-term. “Top line.” c.r.o. 110. Great company = Creates the most individual success stories. (RE/MAX) 111. Talent first, performance byproduct. 112. Sustained Wow* 1, “Shareholder value,” 0.2 (*Product, People.) 113. Commitment. by invitation only. 114. Creativity. by invitation only. 115. HR = #1. (Ought to.)

  13. 116. Face-to-face. (5K miles, 5 minutes.)117. Negotiation. Make all winners. (Save face.) 118. Grace makes enemies friends. 119. Network. 120. Invest in relationships. (Think ROIR. Return On Investment inRelationships.) 118. Relationship investment. Forethought. Calendar item. Intensity. 119. Innovation. Easy. (Hang out with weird.) 120. Weird = Win. (Weird times.) 121. “The bottleneck is at the top of the bottle.” 122. Good Board = Weird Board. (At least, surprising.) 123. No contention, no progress.

  14. R.O.I.R.**Return On Investment In Relationships

  15. 124. “Crucial conversations.” “Crucial confrontations.” (Study. Learn. Do.) 125. Honest feedback. 126. Gaspworthy. Yes. 127. “Insanely great.” 128. “Astonish me.” 129. “Make it immortal.” 130. “Will you remember it in 20 years?” 131. No small opportunities. (Reframe.) 132. One playmate, one playpen = Enough. 133. End run. Sensible. 134. Allies are there for the finding. 135. Find successes. Build on successes. (Pos > Neg. Encourage > Fix.) 136. Somebody’s doing “it” today. Find ’em. 137. Someone is living 2022 in 2012. (Find ’em. Study ’em.)

  16. 138. Don’t “benchmark.” “futuremark.” 139. “PMA.” It works. (Positive. Mental. Attitude.) 140. There are no experts. (You are the expert.) 141. Life is short. 142. “Sustained success.” Fat chance. Make today matter. (“Sustained.” Ha.) 143. Collaborate. (Networked world.) 144. Go solo. (Individual. Unit of Intellectual Capital.) 145. There are no “perfect” plans. (Do. Wins.) 146. Plans motivate. (Right or wrong. Sense of purpose.) 147. Never rest. 148. Get some sleep. 149. Winning = Embracing paradox. 150. Ambiguity = Opportunity.

  17. 151. Resilience. 152. Relentless-ness. 153. None. Above. Comeuppance. No. “ultimate.” “business model.” (GM. Sears. U.S. Steel. DEC.) 154. Be yourself. Period. 155. Never work with jerks. Including customers. (Life. Too short.) 156. Under-promise, over-deliver. 157. Talent. (Powerful word.) 158. “Customer = Anyone whose actions affect your results.” 159. Competition stinks. (Seek the soft spots where you can dominate.) 160. K.I.S.S./Keep It Simple, Stupid. 161. Beauty. (Good biz word.) 162. “See the beauty in a [your] hamburger bun.” (Go. Ray Kroc.)

  18. 163. Own up. Quick. ( Denial. Cancer.)164. Celebrate. Often.165. 78 people = 78 approaches. (Each. Unique.)166. Weed. Ceaselessly. (Prune. Stupid. Rules. Non-stop.)167. Get out of the way. (You = The problem.)168. Smile. Sunny. Optimism. (If it kills you.)169. Flowers. (Cheery workplace.)170. Enjoy. (Or get the hell.)171. Be intolerant of “sour.” (1 = Major pollutant)172. No “quick trigger” on promotion. (Too important.) (Promotions = Legacy.)173. Evaluation = Lots of study-time.174. Evaluation = “Life or death” to evaluee.175. “360” evaluation. No fad.176. Exit when you’re done. (Done. Sooner than you think.)

  19. 177. Today. Now. My Project. Am. Is. I. Period. 178. “Beautiful” systems. (Good biz phrase. Not oxymoron.) 179. Build on strengths > Fix weaknesses. 180. “To don’t” = “To do.” (“To don’t” > “To do” ?) 181. Leaders “Do” People. (Period.) 182. Leaders enjoy leading. 183. Serious leadership training = Serious. 184. Priorities. Obvious. (Or else.) 185. 5 “Priorities” = 0 Priorities. (3 “Priorities” = 0 Priorities?) 186. People. First. Last. Always. 187. It. Is. Always. The. People.

  20. 188. Handshake.(Quantity. Quality.)189. Don’t fold your hands in front of your chest. Ever. (Never.)190. Simplicity. Redundancy. Resilience. Bloody-mindedness. Visible optimism. (Success.) (Repeat.)191. Employee Entrance = Guest Entrance.192. Put the customer … SECOND. (“Wow” your people first, then the customer will likely be “Wowed.”.)193. Flowers. (Or did I say that before? No matter if I did.)194. Big Mergers don’t work. Small acquisitions can/do work—if you don’t screw with their energy.

  21. 195. One size fits. One. Only. No cookie cutter. (Evaluations.)196. Teaching. Individualized. Only. (7 billion people = 7 billion learning trajectories.) 197. First impression. Matters. Shapes all that comes. Hard to overcome bad. (Understatement.)198. Jerks. Don’t work with. (Life = Too short.)199. Manage [the hell out of] first impressions.200. Last impression. Matters. Dominates memory. Hard to overcome bad. (Understatement.)201. Manage [the hell out of] first/last impressions.202. Plain English.203. Managers do things right. Leaders do the right thing. NOT.

  22. 204. Instinctively “head for the front line.” (In all contexts.)205. Success = DDMMPR/"D-squared, M-squared, PR” = DramDiff + Money-Financial Acumen + Good “Marketing” Instincts + Stellar People + Resilience (The “fab five”: What. Every. Small. Biz. Needs.) (Big too.) 206. Core Mechanism (“Game-changing Solutions”): PSF (Professional Service Firm “model”) + Wow! Projects (“Different” vs “Better”) + Brand You (“Distinct” or “Extinct”) 207. 2017/2022 has already happened. Find it.

  23. 208. Kids “know” kids. Oldies “know” oldies. Women “know” women. (Staff accordingly.)209. Everybody is my customer.210. Cosset “vendors.”211. I want to run a Housekeeping department. (And you?)212. The military doesn’t follow the “military model.” (Initiative = Excellence.)213. No such thing as “going to absurd lengths” to serve the Customer. (HSM & Lefties.)214. Forget the “customer.” All = “Clients.”215. It takes decades to get over “sleights.” (So don’t sleight.)216. Don’t “dumb down.” Ever.



  26. ONE WORD+ Drill more wells R.F.A. Accountability Realism Decentralization Execution Action bias Most mistakes wins 6:15am Energy Enthusiasm Do>Plan Act>Think Behavior>Attitude Passion

  27. ONE WORD+ 5 min/5,000 miles Women Decency Grace Innovate or Die Re-imagine Fight irrelevance Just Do It Care (You Must) Flowers (Say It With) I’m sorry Thank You Insanely Great Silence 2-cent candy

  28. ONE WORD+ Emotion Intuition Sell O.O.D.A. Integrity Weird Appreciate Celebrate Respect Listen Wander Calendar rules Calendar doesn’t lie “To don’t Max priorities = 3

  29. ONE WORD+ Gasp-worthy Insanely great Different>better Impact>longevity Dramatic Difference Only ones do what we do Smile $798 7-7-7 Design rules Beautiful Systems 450/8 VP S.O.U.B. Women buy all Women lead better

  30. ONE WORD+ MBWA Why? PSF Wow! ! (red) Buy a Mirror Know thyself Invite Quest Adventure Talent Brand You Lovemark Experience Dreamketing

  31. ONE WORD+ Boomers-geezers own all 2.6/21 25 25 3,000,000,000 (900,000,000) 26 minutes 43 hours Perception Is All There Is Enthusiasm: The Ultimate Virus

  32. For Starbucks … The Cup Challenge* *Potential Quotes for Coffee Cups

  33. I was asked to contribute a favorite saying of my own to a program by Starbucks. It’d end up on their cups for a while. The last one in the set was the one I submitted.

  34. Re-imagine! Re-do! Re-vise! Re-vo-lu-tion!

  35. “Passion!” “Energy!” “Enthusiasm!” “Passion! Energy! Enthusiasm!” "Enthusiasm! Enthusiasm! Enthusiasm!" "Enthusiasm Moves Mountains!" "Nothing Matches Enthusiasm as a 'Motivator'!" “Technicolor Times Demand Technicolor Actions” “Technicolor Times Demand Technicolor People” “Wow. Now.” “Re-imagine!” “Re-imagine! Re-do! Re-vise! Re-vo-lu-tion!”

  36. Excellence. Always.

  37. “No Less Than Excellence. Ever.”

  38. No Excellence. no excuse.

  39. "Respect!" “Leaders ‘Do’ People. Period.” “Credibility. Asset No. 1.” “Tell the Truth.” “Truth Wins.” “Challenge. Challenge. Challenge.” “Two Big Goals. Tops.” “Focus. Your Calendar Never Lies” “Good Story. Good Leader.” “Best Story Wins.” “Live the Story.” “Change the World. Accept Nothing Less.” "Dream!" “Dream. The Only Worthwhile Reality.” “Beware Those Who Agree With You” “Seek Dissidents. Nurture Dissidents. Cherish Dissidents.”

  40. Do.

  41. Do.

  42. Do.

  43. Do. Do.

  44. Do. Do. Do.

  45. Do. Do. Do.

  46. Do.

  47. try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Tryit. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. tryit. Try it. Try it. try it. Try it.Tryit. Try it. Try it. Try it.

  48. implementation … The “last 98%”

  49. Do it. Now.

  50. start. Now.