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Martin Luther King, Jr.



[As Tom is currently in New Zealand, the timing of this post is a little off-it was meant for yesterday. However, the message is still worth pause and reflection. --SD] The Annapolis I grew up in in the late 1940s and 1950s was very "Old South" in its sentiments, a long way from the "D.C. bedroom community" it is today. And, alas, I well remember at the Main Dock, home to the first real "tea party"-that preceded Boston's better known version-I'm sorry to say I clearly recall the "Colored" and "White" public toilets. (A very prominent African-American friend added, "Not quite, Tom. Try 'Men,' 'Women,' 'Colored'."-a significant twist.)

In the early '60s, as a college student, I was very peripherally involved in the Civil Rights Movement. (I emphasize the "very peripherally," meaning strong supporter but hardly deserving credit for being on the front lines.) In retrospect, I consider the Civil Rights Movement, along with the positive outcome of the 40-year Cold War, to be the most significant events of my adult life-the iPad and IM do not really compare.

This personal historical reality makes me reflect with the strongest emotions on the instance of Martin Luther King Day-a national holiday worthy of our closest and most profound attention.

(I would add as an aside that, while I am as appalled and sorrowful as anyone about the event in Tucson, I would remind that the current rancor is not unique. The '50s and '60s gave us, recall, among other things, Medgar Evers, Philadelphia MS, Kent State and the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK.)


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Tom & Bob Waterman coauthored In Search of Excellence in 1982; the book was named by NPR (in 1999) as one of the "Top Three Business Books of the Century," and ranked as the "greatest business book of all time" in a poll by Britain's Bloomsbury Publishing (2002). Tom followed Search with a string of international bestsellers: A Passion for Excellence (1985, with Nancy Austin), Thriving on Chaos (1987), Liberation Management (1992: acclaimed as the "Management Book of the Decade" for the '90s), The Tom Peters Seminar: Crazy Times Call for Crazy Organizations (1993), The Pursuit of WOW! (1994); The Circle of Innovation: You Can't Shrink Your Way to Greatness (1997); and in 1999 a series of books on Reinventing Work: The Brand You50, The Project50 and The Professional Service Firm50. In 2003 Tom and publisher Dorling Kindersley released Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age; the revolutionary book, an immediate No.1 international best seller, aims to do no less than reinvent the business book through vibrant, energetic presentation of critical ideas.
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