A Trip Down Memory Lane, to the first First Friday Friday Book Synopsis, April 3, 1998 – Tom Peters, The Circle of Innovation and Noel Tichy, The Leadership Engine

 A Trip Down Memory Lane — April 3, 1998

500+ synopses of books — and counting!

The date was April 3, 1998 — the first Friday of April of that year. Bill Clinton was President. The top movie at the year’s box office was Saving Private Ryan. I frequently turned in to hear my evening news delivered by Peter Jennings.

And Karl Krayer and I welcomed a small group to our very first First Friday Book Synopsis at the University Club on the top floor of the Dallas Galleria.

We had carefully selected two books for our first gathering:

April 3, 1998

  • The Circle of Innovation by Tom Peters (Alfred A. Knopf, 1997)
  • The Leadership Engine: How Winning Companies Build Leaders at Every Level by Noel Tichy (Harper Business, 1997)

Karl presented the book by Noel Tichy. It was a simple concept, but profound in its teaching; companies needed leaders — good leaders — throughout the organization, and they needed to train those leaders constantly; perpetually; habitually.

The Leadership Engine coined the term Teachable Point of View, which is at the core of how leaders develop other leaders. The book lays out a framework for developing leaders at all levels of an organization, and argues that it is the major responsibility of the current leaders to develop the next generation…

I presented the Tom Peters book, The Circle of Innovation– (I presented the latest book by Tom Peters just last May:  The Excellence Dividend). And here is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote a few years ago about my selection for that first meeting:

The first book I presented at the First Friday Book Synopsis, April 3, 1998

The first book I presented at the First Friday Book Synopsis, April 3, 1998

In The Circle of Innovation: You Can’t Shrink Your Way to Greatness, Tom Peters focuses on “15 stops along the way” to successful and continual innovation. He conveniently summarizes these at the beginning of his book – convenient for me, because my handout (along with other early handouts) was lost in some computer operator failure (me) a few years ago. (Now, all of my handouts are in multiple places).

Here are those 15 stops:

#1 – DISTANCE IS DEAD – “We’re all next-door neighbors”
#2 – DESTRUCTION IS COOL – It’s “easier to KILL an organization — and repot it — than change it substantially”
#3 – YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT AN ERASER – “Forgetting – not learning — is the highest art”
#4 – WE ARE ALL MICHELANGELOS – “Convert every job into a business”
#6 – ALL VALUE COMES FROM THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES – “Make staff units The Vital Centers of Intellectual Capital Accumulation”
#7 – THE INTERMEDIARY IS DOOMED – “We are gutting the center of vertical enterprises. THE INTERMEDIARY IS DYING/DEAD!”
#8 – THE SYSTEM IS THE SOLUTION – “Dept. of Beauty?? YES! It’s W-A-Y beyond reengineering”
#9 – CREATE WAVES OF LUST – “Just shout NO to… commoditization. Embrace: WOW!!!/lusted-after products and services”
#10 – TOMMY HILFIGER KNOWS – “branding is (far) more important than ever before”
#12 – IT’S A WOMAN’S WORLD – “Women purchase/are purchasing agents for well over half the U.S. GDP”
#13 – LITTLE THINGS ARE THE ONLY THINGS – “Design is often the best ‘tool’”
#14 – LOVE ALL, SERVE ALL – “seek a sustainable edge through incredible service”
#15 – WE’RE HERE TO LIVE LIFE OUT LOUD – “revolutionary times call for revolutionary zeal/leaders”

I think business is about emotion. Period.

That first meeting started our long-running learning event, the First Friday Book Synopsis.  Though we changed locations along the way, to the wonderful Park City Club, all else is the same. Great breakfast; wonderful conversations, and two good book synopses.

Not reviews: synopses!  We always give you the key content of two useful books, each and every month.  People come to learn!

And we have only missed one month in 21 full years – (due to a snow and ice storm).

So a very special thank you all of the authors, the great folks at the Park City Club, and all of you — our fellow learners.

(And a shout out to Karl Krayer — we miss him every month!)

This month, on April 5, we will begin our 22nd year.  Come join us.  Click here to register.


for many years, we have recorded our synopses, and made them available for purchase. (audio recordings, plus the pdf of the synopsis handout; multi-page; comprehensive. Click here for the newest additions).

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