Michael Goldhaber, writing in Wired, said, "If there is nothing very special about your work, no matter how hard you apply yourself you won't get noticed and that increasingly means you won't get paid much either. In times past you could be obscure yet secure -- now that's much harder."

Again: the white collar job as now configured is doomed. Soon. ("Downsizing" in the nineties will look like small change.) So what's the trick? There's only one: distinction. Or as we call it, turning yourself into a brand . . . Brand You.

A brand is nothing more than a sign of distinction. Right? Nike. Starbucks. Martha Stewart. The point (again): that's not the way we've thought about white collar workers--ourselves--over the past century. The "bureaucrat" on the finance staff is de facto faceless, plugging away, passing papers.

But now, in our view, she is born again, transformed from bureaucrat to the new star. She works in a professional service firm and works on projects that she'll be able to brag about years from now.

I call her/him the New American Professional, CEO of Me Inc. (even if Me Inc. is currently on someone's payroll) and, of course, of Brand You.

Step #1 in the model was the organization . . .a department turned into PSF 1.0.  Step #2 is the individual . . .reborn as Brand You.

In 50 essential points, Tom Peters shows how to be committed to your craft, choose the right projects, how to improve networking, why you need to think fun is cool, and why it's important to piss some people off. He will enable you to turn yourself into an important and distinctive commodity. In short, he will show you how to turn yourself into . . . Brand You.


See also the other 50List titles in the Reinventing Work series by Tom Peters -- The Project50 and The Professional Service Firm50 -- for additional information on how to make an impact in the professional world.


From the Hardcover edition.
The common denominator/bottom line for both the professional service firm/PSF and the individual/Brand You is: the project. And for the cool individual in the cool professional service firm there is only one answer: the cool project.
A seminar participant said: "Reward excellent failures. Punish mediocre successes." So, how many of you are at work -- right now -- on "mediocre successes"? At work on projects that won't be recalled, let alone recalled with fondness and glee, a year from now?

We don't study professional service firms. (Mistake.) And we don't study WOW Projects. (Worse mistake.) There is, of course, a project management literature. But it's awful. Or, at least, misleading. It focuses almost exclusively on the details of planning and tracking progress and totally ignores the important stuff like: Is it cool? Is it beautiful? Will it make a difference? My No.1 epithet: "On time . . . on budget . . . who cares?" I.e., does it matter? Will you be bragging about it two--or ten--years from now? Is it a WOW project?

So, then: Step #1 . . .the organization . . .the professional service firm/PSF 1.0. Step 2 . . .the individual . . .the pursuit of distinction/Brand You. And: Step #3 . . . the work itself . . . the memorable project/WOW Projects.

The Project50 is a simple and handy guide that provides 50 easy steps to help the modern businessperson choose the right project, find the right team, develop strategies for success, and ultimately know when it's time to move on.


See also the other 50List titles in the Reinventing Work series by Tom Peters -- The Brand You50 and The Professional Service Firm50 -- for additional information on how to make an impact in the professional world.


From the Hardcover edition.
Tom Peters--brilliant, original, and perhaps the most inspiring and listened-to business thinker of our time--has a lot on his mind these days. And he wants to share it in The Circle of Innovation.

The world of business is in a permanent state of flux, he argues, a state of chaos in which constant innovation is the only survival strategy--for the individual and for the organization. And he presents here a lifesaving handbook--both provocative and practical--designed to turn any organization into a perpetual innovation machine.

In 400 seminars in 47 states and 22 countries in the last five years, Peters has reexamined, refined, and reinvented his views on innovation. Now he brings those seminars--and his passion--to the reader in a landmark book. It is meant, he writes, to both "terrify" and "enlighten." These are "times of matchless peril for those who fail to grasp the nettle...and times of matchless opportunity for those who do."

To keep us alert, limber, and ready for action, he provokes and cajoles in chapter after chapter. Among his institutions and revelations:

We Are All Michelangelos. He shows how to transform every "jobholder" into a full-fledged businessperson.
All Value Comes from the Professional Services. How to convert sluggish staff units into Vital Centers of Intellectual Capital Accumulation.
The System is the Solution. How to build great systems--which go far beyond nuts and bolts.
Create Waves of Lust. Quality is not the automatic advantage it recently was. There is a pressing need to reverse the rising tide of product and service "commoditization."
Tommy Hilfiger Knows. In a crowded marketplace, branding is far more important than ever before.
It's a Woman's World. How to capitalize on the fact that women purchase/are purchasing agents for well over half of U.S. commercial and consumer goods.
Little Things Are the Only Things. As the Blight of Sameness encroaches on market after market, design is often the best tool in services or manufacturing for sustainable differentiation.
We're Here to Live Life Out Loud. Why transformational leaders of the future must have laser-like focus, tell the truth, and live on the lunatic fringe.


The hallmarks of Tom Peters legend are an insatiable curiosity, an agile intellect, a pragmatic perspective, and an uncanny ability to gauge the global zeitgeist. These qualities are all brought to bear as Peters sets out to engage, enrage, and ultimately empower his readers, amid forces that are reshaping not only business but every aspect of human experience.
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