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The Pursuit of Wow! Every Person's Guide to Topsy-Turvy Times Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; 1 edition (November 22, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679755551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679755555
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Business visionary Peters wants to give readers the tools to survive in the tumultuous world of the Nineties. His widely read book, In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best Run Companies (1982), changed the way business does business, and this one is aimed to help us win in this brazen new era. More than 200 thought- and action-provoking tactics and strategies will turn readers into proactive, action-oriented winners in the 21st-century marketplace. Small graphics and illustrations emphasize such gems as "Service with Soul," and "Return phone calls, fast." To succeed, individuals and organizations must stand out from the growing crowd of lookalikes; in his words, "Being average has never had much appeal. Better fail with flair in pursuit of something neat." There is something for everyone in this book.
Susan C. Awe, Jefferson Cty. P.L. System, Arvada, Col.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Though Peters has gained more than his share of critics, his high-priced seminars remain wildly popular, and those who attend become enthusiastic supporters, vowing that their lives have been changed. But Peters sometimes contradicts himself, and the dozen years after his groundbreaking In Search of Excellence find almost two-thirds of his excellence standard-bearers failed or in trouble. This is Peters' second of the publisher's original paperback editions--with "simultaneous Random House AudioBook" ($12)!--following last summer's The Tom Peters Seminar: Crazy Times Call for Crazy Organizations. Depending on one's view of Peters, it might be summed up as either "the best of Peters" or "the rest of Peters." It consists of 210 observations, snippets, aphorisms, conceits, and quotes, "loosely collected by topic in 13 more-or-less chapters," that have been gathered by Peters over the last several years and haven't found room in his seminars or other books. Given that barrage of ideas, the reader is guaranteed more than an occasional "WOW!" David Rouse

More About the Author

Tom Peters is co-author of In Search of Excellence--the book that changed the way the world does business, and often tagged as the best business book ever. Sixteen books and almost thirty years later, he's still at the forefront of the "management guru industry" he single-handedly invented. What's new? A lot. As CNN said, "While most business gurus milk the same mantra for all its worth, the one-man brand called Tom Peters is still reinventing himself." His most recent effort, released in March 2010: The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence. Tom's bedrock belief: "Execution is strategy--it's all about the people and the doing, not the talking and the theory." (Keep up with Tom at tompeters.com, ranked #9 among "The Top 150 Management and Leadership Blogs.")

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on October 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Even when he's not at his best, as is the case in The Pursuit of Wow!, Tom Peters is head-and-shoulders above any other management guru. Peters is all about simplicity and excitement, both in his language and in his message. His basic mantra never changes: The workplace is becoming ever more competitive, so you need to make yourself and your company stand out. Do this by viewing your work as a series of critical projects and injecting limitless enthusiasm into each one. In delivering this consistent message, Peters tosses out scores of common-sense lines that are so insightful that you just have to jot them down. You'll find quite a few such keepers in this book, but you won't find too much of an overriding theme. Instead, Peters presents a string of 210 observations that flow together loosely. If you want to get going , we recommend this motivational booster.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Here's Tom Peters' advice: hire "zany" people who don't know how to dress professionally (because they have a lot of energy); throw out every idea, concept, and system that has ever WORKED for your firm (because you don't want to grow stale); and forget any and all conventional measures of success (because they're wrong, and Tom Peters is right). We are not in business to make money or even to provide a great product/service --we're in business to be different at all costs (proof: Peters pooh-pooh's McDonald's as "McOrdinary's"). Although some of his ideas might prove useful to some readers, I found myself increasingly annoyed with Peters' own infatuation with himself ("aren't I crazy? aren't I just rocking your world?"). His tone conveys the sense that he'll say anything to be shocking--hardly a good motivation for writing a business book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
It's not quite the rebirth of business, but it tries to be - and comes close. 214-odd observations from the renowned Tom Peters about work, life, entrepreneurship, management, and how the world as we know it is changing FAST. Plenty of thought-provoking comments that pull everywhere from Bob Dylan to Glide Memorial Church. Analysis of companies as diverse as De-Mar Plumbing and the formerly-no-real-estate Verifone. Round table interviews with executives from around America - for me, this was the most valuable part. And a few ideas that may not be workable in your situation. But The Pursuit Of WOW! certainly makes you laugh, cringe, shout, curse, and think about how you can redo your job, product, life, and whatnot so that you, and those around you, can look and say "WOW!"
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Tom Peters is a management prophet with a lot of fascinating ideas. This book is a collection of his thoughts where you'll see a strong emphasis on destroying superfluous hierarchies and worn-out practices. That's the Peters message and it's worthwhile. However, he has an annoying tendency to insist on his own authority that businesses make radical changes lest they perish. In many cases, I wonder why. Peters has no apparent respect for the point of view that tradition represents collected wisdom about things that have worked and may well keep working.
What really ruined the book for me, though, was a panel discussion on diversity in which Peters attributes his own success to being a white male Protestant born in 1942. That kind of racial reductionism is horse-puckey and contradicts his emphasis on self-determination and constant renewal.
I still give the book three stars for entertainment value, a smart format, and general provocation.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 1996
Format: Paperback
Tom Peters does it again with another gut wrenching hatchet job on dullard business practices.
Sharpen-up your Harry Lorayne or Bob Trudeau memory systems because this time Mr. Peters gives you 210 concrete reccomendations how you can build over-excellence or "WOW!" into your company (Or the next PTA bake sale).
Brimming with everything from one-liners to multi-page essays, this book screams "MUST!" if you intend to drive your organization up to the next level (or perhaps drive your own life).
Leave your steel tip shoes at the door 'cause after devouring this volume you'll want to give a good swift kick in the ass to anyone who says "It can't be done."
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K F Ashton on April 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the abridged version of the review
If `apple pie' and a business version of `words to live by from mother', is up your alley, then Tom Peters The Pursuit of WOW!, is the soft cover management book for you!!! Peter's book is an amalgamation of `everything you were ever taught' and that has slipped your mind, on how to do good business. Primarily aimed at management and entrepreneurs there is a little something for everyone, broken into 210 sections, which are sorted into 13 categories, Peters for the most part, has an informal narrative style that utilises case studies, interviews, personal experience, examples and photographs that are consumer friendly. The end result is that WOW! can be opened at any page or read from beginning to end (although I wouldn't recommend it all in one sitting).
Entrepreneurs' Dream
Another chapter, another group, this time Peters brings together a group of 11 entrepreneurs for "a free-for-all discussion on the perils and joys of starting your own business". The distinct feeling of `one- up-man-ship' starts to leave a nauseous roiling in the gut, and even Peters himself states "pick your metaphor". Little to no structure is present, while ideas from passion and creativity to staleness and demotion are wildly bounced around.

Attaining Perpetual Adolescence
Peters uses chapter 12 to espouse the value of the `big concepts' that make a difference (in his humble opinion) to the success of an entrepreneur/manager. Iconoclastic, Inquisitive, Audacious, Crazy, Passionate, Advanced immaturity and Self-improvement, to mention just a few. The problem is, without application, they are just words and words that are hard to spell at that.
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