Week 2: The Pursuit of Wow!

For the next several weeks I will be blogging on The Pursuit of Wow by Tom Peters. Although this book was published over 20 years ago, I find the book to be just as relevant and insightful for today’s entrepreneurial leader. The book is a compilation of more than 200 observations by Tom Peters, a management guru, on how to achieve WOW. It is written in a way that is extremely accessible, as his style leans toward informal conversation rather than formal academic language. In short, I know from the first two chapters that this will be a very fun read.

The root idea of this book is that individuals at every level of a firm or business should be looking for opportunities to stand out from the crowd. One that really stood out for me in chapter 1 was focused on attentiveness. A research study on why customers left 14 major manufacturing and service companies showed that only 15 percent of the customers were lost because of quality and 15 percent for price. The remaining 70 percent was related to the human side of doing business like lack of attention from the company or contact was not good quality. This was a great reminder of how important paying attention to your customer is.

Another great observation is a quote by Albert Einstein answering a question about how he works. His response: “I grope.” I love this! It reinforces that even a genius like Einstein recognizes that his progress is iterative and imperfect. To get to a place of discovery, it will not necessarily be pretty.