The Peters Principles

Sathnam Sanghera, a Financial Times reporter who’d never heard of Tom Peters — or the ACLU, it seems — recently got to interview the self-proclaimed “prince of disorder, champion of bold failures, maestro of zest, professional loudmouth, corporate cheerleader, lover of markets, and capitalist pig.” The resulting piece, equal parts seminar report, profile, and review of Peters’ forthcoming new book Re-Imagine!, is a rollicking ride that blends Sanghera’s newbie cluelessness with Peters’ vim and vigor.

It’s also an interesting parallel read to Jennifer Reingold’s profile of Peters in the October issue of Fast Company. (The profile isn’t live online yet but will be soon. Patience, or get thee to a newsstand.) In it, she takes a look at where Peters has been right — as well as where he’s been wrong. “So what if 98% of the dotcom companies failed?” Peters says. “Some of them didn’t.”

Peters goes on to update people on the value of the Brand Called You in the face of widespread layoffs: “The Darwinian Brand You, every person for themselves, now is an imperative. It’s very different from being cool, but the path out is the same whether you got there voluntarily or involuntarily.”

It’s good to see Peters still has his characteristic fire and passion. Even if you disagree with some of his ideas, I think it’s fair to say that Peters’ enthusiasm and wit is welcome during this downturn.

My advice to Sanghera, though? You work for the Financial Times. A respected international business newspaper. If you don’t know who someone like Peters is, you might not want to admit it in print.