Alicia Diamond

Actionable advice for passionate business builders

Actionable advice, tips, and musings from a 2x Chief of Staff & passionate business builder

The inherent messiness of human affairs

Some people get off on the people and politics puzzles—and the inherent messiness of human affairs—that are at the heart of effective leadership.

Some don’t.
— Tom Peters

I subscribed to Tom Peter’s quotes a few years ago. Without fail, the quote of the week inspires me to want to write something about my own experience with leadership and people management. I’m a bit young to have been aware of Tom Peter’s in his heyday, but I appreciate his timeless advice nonetheless. I even have a few of his very-90’s looking books at home.

Tom’s quote exquisitely describes exactly what I enjoy; the inherent messiness of human affairs. I spent the first few years of my career assuming that successful leaders and business people were all following a playbook. I couldn’t wait until the day I got to sneak a peek at that playbook!

Sadly, there is no playbook. Fortunately, there is no playbook! Inherent messiness is everywhere you find people: schools, for-profit companies, social groups, online communities. People are irrational. People are messy.

For us leaders, this means that the opportunities to iterate, test, and learn are endless. We always have something to try and to teach our employees and customers. There is no formula, so you always have to be on your toes. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow.

I have come to appreciate my passion for the messiness of people-centric businesses. A business, if  nothing more than a group of people doing somethings, is a multi-faceted beast. As a leader, you are signing up to dance with that beast day in and day out. If you’re up for it, I’ll see you out there!



Alicia Diamond