Tom Peters & Me

A few months back, after giving a couple of dozen book talks on The Summer of 1787, I developed a new one on the “Leadership Lessons of the Constitutional Convention.” I figured a new take on the writing of the Constitution would keep my presentations fresh. I also thought business and government groups might appreciate an effort to point out inspirations from the writing of the Constitution.
Turns out I was not the only one.
Tom Peters, the uber-business guru (The Pursuit of Excellence, a book I admired) reports on a recent blog posting that he was reading The Summer of 1787 while looking out over the Tasman Sea. Okay, that’s a bit showy, but stick with me. Tom started thinking — you guessed it — the leadership lessons of the Constitutional Convention.
My man!
Tom Peters making a point.jpg
Tom Peters, my new best friend
So, Tom has milked the book — crediting me and The Summer of 1787 like the class act he is — for a variety of leadership lessons that, with any luck, your mother taught you. Show up! Mind your manners! Don’t give up! Listen to the other guy! Those early lessons are the ones that get forgotten so easily. Check out Tom’s thoughts on the book for yourself, at –.
I’m not sure Mr. Peters got everything right. He reports that George Washington only got 60 percent of what he asked for. I thought George got everything he asked for, because he asked for so little. But maybe Tom’s using some fancy game theory equation with Greek symbols.
I appreciate Tom’s openness to exploring history for lessons for today. History can’t tell you what will work now for you. It can tell you what worked then for someone else, and that may give you some good ideas.
Bravo, Tom!


  1. klkatz on March 24, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    congrats on the plug. there is so much to be learned from the men of the Continental congress. never in our history will there be a time when so many decisions had to be made, with death as the result should they fail.
    have your read Lincoln on Leadership? or Eyewitness to Power by David Gergan? A lot to be learned from them…

  2. Nate Levin on March 25, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    I, too, think it’s great that Peters has used so much from DOS’s book in his blog. Further to the earlier comment, I think it is important to distinguish between the Congress and the convention that met in Philadelphia and ultimately produced the Constitution. The former body met in New York, simultaneously with the latter body.

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