Go Long

When I was young, we’d gather in the schoolyard to play a variety of games, one of the most popular of which was touch football. In the huddle, the quarterback would actually tell each kid what to do: “You block Jones, you block Daniels, you run a short pass pattern on the right,” and so on, Since I was very fast (I became a varsity sprinter in high school in my freshman year) I was usually told, “Weiss, you go …


My Son Is A PhD, Not the Kind of Doctor Who Helps People

The way the medical system is today, the traditional family doctor (now your “primary physician”) can’t do very much! The minor stuff is handled by a physician’s assistant, who is empowered to treat patients and write prescriptions, and the major stuff is referred to a bewildering number of specialists. In other words, the GP is capable of scaring you with a health issue, but not helping you to overcome it! Don’t let that be your fate as a consultant. Specialization …


The Not-So-Super Bowl

What you saw in the Super Bowl yesterday was absolute mediocrity. Two poor quarterback performances, unimaginative play calls, turnovers, just a mess. Yesterday, at least, a half-dozen other teams could have beaten either of the finalists. But the Broncos and Panthers did what they had to during the season, were sometimes great, sometimes lucky, and no one is arguing that they cheated to get there. Eventually, one of them had to win last night. You and I don’t have to …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 2/8/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I know this will generate letters that always begin, “I usually agree with you but….” Hear me out: People in business don’t want “humble.” No powerful executive shouts, “Get me a humble consultant!” CEOs don’t ask McKinsey for help with strategy because McKinsey is humble. Executives want “expert, fast, compelling, innovative, respected.” But they don’t want “humble.” When you speak with conviction, courage, and confidence, people listen. When your volume is strong—not hysterical screaming like Chris Matthews drowning out others …


Overhead

Large organizations (and small ones) have bureaucracies, overhead, which eat into profit. Some of it is needed, much of it is not. I believe entire human resource departments, for example, are simply unnecessary overhead. The problem is that many solo consultants set about creating their own time-draining, profit-eroding overheard. They pay subcontractors too much. They pay for ineffective social media advertising. They pay notoriously shoddy firms to place their intellectual property on online learning platforms—which no one buys, and we …


Do They Have Budget?

Many people I coach are flummoxed that what they believed was complete agreement with the buyer fell to pieces when the buyer sees the fee for the first time—even modest fees. Some feel betrayed, others feel like failures. Whenever you’re dealing with any mid-market business (let alone “mom and pops”) always  check for fee expectations prior to leaving and before creating the proposal. Many of these buyers are simply not accustomed to dealing with value-based fees, and/or with anything other …



Dumb Ass Stupid Marketing

I received the email below a couple of days ago (I’ve changed some names so as not to give them any publicity whatsoever):   Hi Alan, My name is Sherry Useless. I’m the administrative assistant for Michael Loon, co-author of the book, “Don’t Pay Any Bills: The Proven 9 Step Method To Legally Avoiding Financial Obligations”. Michael asked me if I could reach out to the owners of a few quality sites to see if they would be interested in …


The “Fix” Is Out

We are inculcated to “fix” things, solve problems, restore poor performance to prior, acceptable performance. Forget about it. When you’re with a buyer, attempting to fix something will: Imply you can solve something quickly that the (stupid) buyer has struggled with for months. Take care of the problem, rendering any further (paid for) work unnecessary. Instead of fixing stuff, ask this: “What is your ideal future state?” There is far higher value in improving rather than fixing. Stop acting like a …