Haircuts (Step Away from the Scissors)

I’m having my hair cut and the customer in the adjoining chair is telling her beautician that she’s quite a successful consultant. And she’s explaining that in a voice that wouldn’t be allowed in a library. (My hairdresser is smiling because she knows what I do.) Here’s the conversation: Me: You’re a consultant? What kind? Her: Yes, and I work with whomever needs me. Me: What is your expertise? Her: People. Me: Productivity, performance, selection, wellness? Her: Anything. Me: Have …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 5/2/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Ross Douthat closed his colum in the Times on Sunday with the lines from King George III in Hamilton: “You’ll be back, time will tell, remember that I served you well.” I recall in my political science studies a professor challenging us to prove that a benevolent dictator wasn’t actually the best form of government. “Benevolent,” of course, is in the eye of the beholder (or on the back of the oppressed). I’ve found that there is no perfect leadership …


TED: Terribly Erratic Discussions

I follow no one on Twitter. I don’t choose to learn or get my news that way, but I do provide what I consider value daily to the 7,500 people who read my Tweets. Some people are upset that I don’t reciprocate with followers, but they must have a Twitter etiquette book I’ve never seen. Besides, when I see someone “following” 20,000 people I simply don’t believe it. And, it’s a nice contrarian touch to follow no one. I think …




The Ask

• How can we best work together? • Why don’t I ask a few simple questions and prepare a proposal for you? • What are your budget constraints, if any? • What is the decision making process here? • Can you decide on this unilaterally? • Are there any obstacles to working together we haven’t yet discussed? • What would your ideal future look like as a result of such a project? How many of these are you routinely asking? …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 4/25/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I returned from Venice a day ago. While it remains for me an historic, mystical, romantic place, the times don’t auger well for it. And it’s not a matter of the sea rising, which they’ve handled well since the 14th Century, it’s a matter of the people disappearing, which is far more recent. Once off the beaten path, the residential neighborhood piazzas, where scores of children once played soccer and filled the square with shouting and laughter, are empty. The …


High Speed, Low Service

I’ve traveled in first class on the high speed trains in the UK, France, Spain, and Italy. They all go faster than the US Acela, which can reach 186 MPH in theory, but usually only hits about 150 MPH and then only on limited stretches of track. (To give you a comparison, my Bentley is rated at 205 MPH, and let’s just say I know it can go over 150 without breathing hard. It’s faster than the train without traffic.) …


Delta 475

I solely fly first class, and I have almost four million air miles. When my wife and I returned from Venice on April 23, the only sane flight was Delta 475 nonstop to New York (where our driver fetched us). But that flight only has business class, no first, so I bit the bullet. There were about 40 people in a full business section, and the food and service were better than many domestic first class services. The cabin crew …


Leaving Venice

On a foggy, rainy day, I’m watching the water taxis bounce on the canal like kids’ toys, waiting for our own to take us to the airport. This was our second trip to Venice and we’ve decided it won’t be our last. There is some thunder over the 700-year-old domes we can see from our balcony, which have experienced the winds and rains for centuries, standing still, dignified guardians. In St. Mark’s Square, the tuxedoed musicians play to the crowds …