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Guru Peters still reinventing himself

Peters recently published a new book,
Peters recently published a new book, "Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age"

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Tom Peters

(CNN) -- If they're on to a good thing, management gurus generally milk the same business mantra for all its worth.

Maybe they throw in a few new catch phrases or rework the key speeches, but the principle message normally remains unchanged.

However, one guru par excellence is going against the grain.

The one-man brand that is Tom Peters is still reinventing himself, even after 20 years in the business.

While others his age think of retirement, the man who co-wrote "In Search of Excellence" back in 1982 is still cranking up the volume on new ideas he thinks the work place ought to hear.

"I do believe reinvention of everything is a requirement," he told CNN.

"I think we're scared of words like 'dramatic' and 'wow'. I think we're scared of words like 'bold hairy audacious goals'."

After a successful career as an author of a number of books, a speaker and a consultant, Peters is the archetype for other savants in the business.

"When you get to 60 you think about things that you don't when you're 58 or 59, one of these is what's the epitaph going to read," he says.

"The one that's my own design is the four words: He was a player,"

Refusing to fade into retirement, the successful Peters still uses a key lesson from the collapse of the dot com bubble -- the value and importance of failure.

"I am totally unashamed of any cheerleading I did in the New Economy era, I'd do it all again. Only this time I'd shout louder," says Peters.

He also admires the personalities who currently lead it: Larry Ellison of Oracle, Scott McNealy at SunMicrosystems and Apple's Steve Jobs.

"They are great businessmen. Some have fallen on their face, but every one of them got up in the morning with an insanely statistical belief that they could change the world," Peters says.

In the face of a shifting global economy, he also believes business management is more than just empowering tomorrow's work force. He says it's about giving younger people the ability to take control and create change.

"I'm pissed off every time I see a photograph of a board of directors and they are all old white haired guys," Peters explains.

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