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The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE | [Tom Peters]

The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE

"Years ago, I wrote about a retail store in the Palo Alto environs—a good one, which had a box of two-cent candies at the checkout. I subsequently remember that 'little' parting gesture of the two-cent candy as a symbol of all that is Excellent at that store. Dozens of people who have attended seminars of mine have come up to remind me, sometimes 15 or 20 years later, of “the two-cent candy story,” and to tell me how it had a sizable impact on how they did business."
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Publisher's Summary

"Years ago, I wrote about a retail store in the Palo Alto environs—a good one, which had a box of two-cent candies at the checkout. I subsequently remember that 'little' parting gesture of the two-cent candy as a symbol of all that is Excellent at that store. Dozens of people who have attended seminars of mine—from retailers to bankers to plumbing-supply-house owners—have come up to remind me, sometimes 15 or 20 years later, of 'the two-cent candy story', and to tell me how it had a sizable impact on how they did business, metaphorically and in fact.

"Well, the Two-Cent Candy Phenomenon has struck again—with oomph and in the most unlikely of places.

"For years, Singapore's 'brand" has more or less been Southeast Asia's 'place that works'....But as 'the rest' in the geographic neighborhood closed the efficiency gap, and China continued to rise-race-soar, Singapore decided a couple of years ago to 'rebrand' itself as not only a place that works but also as an exciting, 'with it' city.

"Singapore's fabled operating efficiency starts, as indeed it should, at ports of entry—the airport being a prime example. From immigration to baggage claim to transportation downtown, the services are unmatched anywhere in the world for speed and efficiency:

  • The entry form was a marvel of simplicity.
  • The lines were short, very short, with more than adequate staffing.
  • The process was simple and unobtrusive.
  • The immigration officer could have easily gotten work at Starbucks; she was all smiles and courtesy.
  • And Yes! Yes There was a little candy jar at each Immigration portal!
"Ask yourself now: What is my (personal, department, project, restaurant, law firm) 'Two-Cent Candy'? Does every part of the process of working with us/me include two-cent candies? Do we, as a group, 'think two-cent candies'?

"Operationalizing: Make 'two-centing it' part and parcel of 'the way we do business around here'."
--Tom Peters

©2010 Thomas J. Peters (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

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  •  
    Alexander MalmoSweden 06-03-10
    Alexander MalmoSweden 06-03-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    "Really hard to listen"

    Personally, I found this book very hard to listen. It seems that author is too much in love with the ideas he is trying to convey, and for this reason "eats the microphone", repeating the same point three of four times. Moreover, some of the "insights" are given without any explanation, keeping the listener wondering what are they all about. Material doesn't seem to have any structure - all in all, the book looks like a collection of blog posts, a big blob of spontaneous insights.
    Finally, I am really skeptic about an author who has to publish 163 (!) tips to make his point that small things matter. Could not the same message be packed in a more concise format?

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Patrello McKinney Texas 06-13-10
    J. Patrello McKinney Texas 06-13-10 Member Since 2009

    Yourock.com

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    34
    11
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    "Corny as can be. So much fluff."

    I tried to think of a way to convey just how bad I think this book was. It's hard to do,I would listen and think there was no way that Tom could possibly believe most of what he writes. I think that his belief is that repeating demands over and over in a brash, cocky, "in your face" tone is somehow good business motivating and direction. I made it through about half and then got so pissed at the repetitive nonsense that I had to just stop.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Denver, CO, USA 04-12-10
    Robert Denver, CO, USA 04-12-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
    3
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    "good read.. too much soapbox.."

    The concept and basic info from this book is captivating and useful - although I could do without the overused gimmicks like " the three things you need to know are LISTEN LISTEN and LISTEN" - and goofball comments about business lessons I could learn from Barack Obama -

    A decent book, but one better served in paperback vs. audio since these chapters would be easier to digest little by little..


    A decent book, but one better served in paperback vs audio since these chapters would be easier to digest little by little..

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Hagerstown, MD, USA 05-07-10
    Steve Hagerstown, MD, USA 05-07-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    6
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    "Good, but not Tom's best"

    Peters is an excellent reader of his own stuff, very engaging. There is a lot of good stuff here, some fluffy stuff. Not Peters' best, but still better than most business/personal improvement books. Worth your time.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danielle HAWTHORNE, CA, United States 04-30-13
    Danielle HAWTHORNE, CA, United States 04-30-13 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Brash but brilliant"

    Only Tom could get away with the information in the way he communicates it. Compelling and totally on the money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Domingo LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 09-19-12
    Domingo LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 09-19-12 Member Since 2012
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    3
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    Story
    "The Art of Business"
    Would you listen to The Little Big Things again? Why?

    The way this book is laid out it is best suited as a reference. They are individual essays on the art of business from sage advice to a world vision of how to treat the world and yourself.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like Peters' style. Since he is also the speaker the text carries with it the sense of a one-on-one conversation with you.


    What about Tom Peters’s performance did you like?

    It's lively. He is passionate about what he thinks is important.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    My reaction made me more intense and gave me a different perception on what I do. I am a professional actor. Much of his advice applies to me as it would to an air conditioner salesman. He asks for a clear-eyed look at yourself and urges you to take action. That appeals to me. How do I carry out my business? What's my story? All of this is valuable.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kiwi.relichunter 07-30-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic"
    Where does The Little Big Things rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Great in car listening, each key point is salient and briefly expanded with stories that bring context to these ideas.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 06-02-12
    Amazon Customer United States 06-02-12 Member Since 2011

    jasonstuff

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    36
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    "Couldn't Wait For It To be Over"
    What would have made The Little Big Things better?

    Needed to be Narrated by someone else. #1 problem with this audiobook. Also the bad language was un-needed.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Tom Peters again?

    NO


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tom Peters?

    I don't know but someone that has life in his voice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john little falls, NJ, United States 10-31-11
    john little falls, NJ, United States 10-31-11
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    "From a Tom Peters fan, not his best"

    Tom is a great lecturer but keeping the listener engaged is a different talent. The use of repetitive, semi-corny diatribes I could have done without. The start of the book goes well but I feel he ran out of material half way through. The worse of it was his insistence that one should help their competition indicated to me how much he has lost touch with the actual working world and has joined the academic ivory tower crowd he preaches to discredit in this work as well as in the past. In Search of Excellence and Thriving on Chaos are among the best books of any kind I have ever read and have made a huge impact on my business career. So if you are deciding to read a Tom Peters book check these out first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Helsinki, Finland 06-28-11
    Jan Helsinki, Finland 06-28-11 Listener Since 2010
    ratings
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    22
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    "Good advice but too literal reading style"

    I could not finish this audiobook due to the times Tom Peters needs to repeat quote-unquote. It may seem petty at first, but when he is listing different ideas from different sources and goes on "quote something unquote, quote something else unquote, quote another thing unquote" it starts to get rough on your nerves. And he quotes a lot.
    Even a phrase like: my little "secret".
    Instead of using the tone of his voice to stress the non-literal sense in which secret should be understood, he reads his own book with a feeling of "oh let's get this over with, hand me the script" instead of giving you the feeling of "I am telling you these things personally from my heart". So the end result is a very robotic and cold read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 22 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Stephen
    Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom
    8/18/10
    Overall
    "The Guru's Guru; worth every penny and then some"

    I just want to redress the balance and give an alternative perspective.

    Firstly, this is based largely on re-edited collected blogs and as such it can repeat many core subjects. Many of these key messages bear repeating. Sure, Tom Peters has a distinctive no nonsense, cut through the BS, why aren't you doing this - are you stupid? attitude and fans love him for it.

    There are quite literally hundreds of gems within and I have bought the 'real' book for reference on the back of listening to the audiobook. This is not just inspirational, it is a call to arms for all of us, relevant to all organisations. As Tom (frequently) reminds us, we are all sales people, we are all selling something.

    If you are serious about constant and never-ending improvement and out-of-this-world service, then this is a great source of thought-provoking ideas, kick-up-the-pants chiding and passionate treatise to accompany you on the journey. You'll be in masterful company.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Julian Summerhayes
    South Brent, Devon, United Kingdom
    11/2/11
    Overall
    "The Best Business Book of 2010"

    I have seen the last 2 reviews but must respectfully disagree. This is and remains one of my favourite business books of all time. Every one of the 163 Little Big Things has the power to move, to reshape a company and I would love to see a business embrace just 1% of what Tom talks about. There are also some fantastic videos and PDF downloads to accompany the book. If you want something that will gather dust and look pretty then this book is not for you. It is an ACTION MANIFESTO.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Leslie M Marshall
    4/23/10
    Overall
    "Dissapointing"

    Dissapointing, long winded, repettitive, tiresome and bullying - I regret buying this book there is so much more I need for my money - this did not deliver.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth
    BournemouthUnited Kingdom
    3/31/10
    Overall
    "Disappointing read"

    I listen to many business audio books but made two bad selections this month. This one was hard to listen to and really didn't encourage new thinking.
    I'm sure there are great facts in there but I just couldn't keep going.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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