• The Little Big Things

  • 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE
  • By: Tom Peters
  • Narrated by: Tom Peters
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (319 ratings)

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The Little Big Things

By: Tom Peters
Narrated by: Tom Peters
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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 listeners say about The Little Big Things

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome Listen

I love listening to Tom Peters, he reads what he writes with such wisdom and energy. I listen to every word and GET what he's saying. I love what I learn, I love being reminded of the little things that I've let slip by. I like that he often refers to an important piece of information over and over and he stresses the importance - MBWA. I love it. I win everytime I listen / read a Tom Peters book, and he never lets me down.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

Excellent book, tons, and tons and tons of great insights and tips.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

EXCELLENT

Loved this Audio Book.

It's so meaty and full of great wisdom for business and life that I find myself just picking random spots to listen from.

Tom's reading of it is great. His passion for 'getting it done' and 'doing it EXCELLENT' shines through. Totally recommended.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Should have hired a Voice

Sorry to say, I just wasn't drawn in by the voice of the reader. I'm sure the content is probably decent, but I couldn't get past the delivery. Professional voice talent gives the feel of someone telling you a story... this felt like I was sitting in a locker room listening to some guy read the paper out loud.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A mix

He has a lot of good things to teach us, but he's also a (sorry!) d bag who keeps saying "real world" and talking very firm like hes mad and wants to shout at the new employee for making a small mistake. His aggressive tones arent appealing to me. I think truth is truth whether you shout it or whisper it. Maybe his aggressive tones are to cover up for some unaddressed hurts. Really a good example of what happens when men are forced to hide their emotions and be a cliche. OMG he wont stop saying real world!

He did say one thing that has helped me numerous times. There is a lot of good in him, but the book will be less provacative as the narrator won't remind you of the person who degrades you for how you park your car at the grocery store.
I really wana like this guy so let me find something nice to say.
He's smart and talented, he has a passion that the slackers need. Sadly, the slackers are not chasing after books like this. He has something to teach as we all do.

Read the book! or you might pick up some nasty vibes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well worth the listen …

Tom Peters still has it 20 years later!

Succinct. Insightful. Convicting. Helpful.

Giving it to my team

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 08-18-10

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julian Summerhayes
  • 11-02-11

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Leslie M Marshall
  • 04-23-10

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth
  • 03-31-10

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Emma Hayward
  • 10-23-16

Worth sticking with...

Too many "quote-unquotes" for smooth listening but if you can get past that, there are some useful nuggets and definitely food for thought for business owners and individuals alike. Tom borrows from lots of areas which is enriching but that's what causes the "". Keep at it and you will learn something. I listened twice and the "" didn't jar so much the second time around. I'm considering buying the print version for future reference.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • newyorkhereicome
  • 11-13-14

Packed full of goodies

If you could sum up The Little Big Things in three words, what would they be?

Bursting with goodness

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Sadly the narration lets it down.I found myself zoning out quite often and all because of the narration. There are some great readers out there but sadly this gent should have just stuck to writing the book.

Any additional comments?

This book is full of great information and tips. Some are obvious but then I often find that these are the most useful. We sometimes don't see the wood for the trees when we are swamped by 1001 things that need doing when we work for ourselves.