Monthly Archives: February 2009

Australian Journal: Epilogue

I flew out of Auckland in the best Qantas could offer, business class on a 747, no first class on the plane. But the seats were new, state-of-the-art, and reclined into full, flat beds.

My neighbor in the adjoining seat, Phil, is a motor yacht captain, who was flying to Ft. Lauderdale to take the boat’s owner into the Caribbean. His wife is, as he called it, “chief stewardess” on the boat, so they travel together, but she was already there. He commands a crew of six.

He told me that the luxury yacht, Le Masquerade, which you can see in other photos here, the huge white one berthed outside the Park Hyatt, was nearly 200 feet long and cost about $60 million.

The flight was exquisite, I slept for six of the eleven hours, and pulled my usual hocus pocus at LAX: I try to travel with just my briefcase and a carry-on, and I flew to Australia and then New Zealand with no problem. But in New Zealand there are a lot of cranky and bureaucratic people with Qantas, and they told me on the first flight, to Auckland, that the bag was too big, and on the second, to LAX, that it was too heavy. (It was neither on the way out.)

So, I allowed them to check it through to Boston, but when I pick it up in LAX to clear customs, I simply keep it, and American Airlines, much less cranky, has no problem accommodating it in first class on the way to Boston. That prevents it from being lost and saves me 45 minutes when I land at 11 pm in Boston.

More kudos for American: At LAX, the terrific club has private shower rooms. There is a luggage platform, vanity, hair dryer, bathroom, and shower. I was able to shave, shower, and change my clothes (not possible if I hadn’t reclaimed my bag) and felt great. The flight attendants and I were talking jewelry while waiting for the plane to board (they loved my ring) and they commented that I didn’t look like I had flown in from halfway around the world.

“They have excellent facilities at your club,” I pointed out.

“We wouldn’t know, we don’t have access to excellent facilities,” they smiled.

It’s been a fabulous trip. I’m taking the next two weeks “off,” except for phone calls and some writing. I’m contemplating the fact that the upcoming Million Dollar Consulting® College in April, and the 627 and 0-300 Workshops in May just could be the final such offerings of those programs. Then I’m on to other things.

My driver picks me up in the stretch limo in Boston (I’m posting this from the limo), and I hope to be home sometime just after midnight. I haven’t a clue what time it really is for me, but I know the dogs will be happy to see me.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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Urgent, Useful Intelligence from Linkedin

Here is what I received today, as just one example, from linkedin. Can someone appreciate the great depth and usefulness of this stimulating, career-enhancing, business-generating value? The people mentioned are lovely, nice people. But, come on….

LinkedIn Network Updates

Feb 18 – Feb 25

Florian Kupfer is now Owner at Cenario Marketing

Craig Anderson is now connected to Ronnie Lu , Peter Montague Walsh , and 1 other person.

Lisa Anderson is now connected to DAVID ROGES

Kasper Zom is now connected to Mike van Vliet

Jeffrey Summers is preparing for next weeks Restaurant University’s Service & Hospitality seminar. Reply »

Laura Stack is working on her virtual training series Reply »

Jackie Nagel is assisting a business start-up with developing her core business principles. Reply »

Craig Anderson has joined 3 groups, including Invest in Vietnam and 21st Century Governance Principles

Steven Iwersen has joined Training Specialists

Curtis Bingham has joined CCNG – Contact Center Network Group

Carmen Van Kerckhove has uploaded a new profile picture

Laurent Duperval has uploaded a new profile picture

James Eaton asked 2 questions about Graphic Design and Web Development

Barb Semeniuk asked How can I conduct a social networking campaign targetting my target audiennce, Health & Safety Professionals on Face Book and LinkedIn?

Barb Semeniuk answered 1 question about Internet Marketing

Karen Fuqua recommends business partner Roberta Chinsky Matuson Owner at Human Resource Solutions Roberta is learned professional in organization development. Her knowledge of generational issues i… Read more

Roberta Chinsky Matuson recommends business partner Karen Fuqua President at Fuqua Consulting Group, LLC Karen is a world-class consultant who is highly regarding by those who have worked with her. Her ene… Read more

Chad Barr was recommended by colleague Mark Davis Unfortunately, I already had a website up and running when I met Chad. However, I hired his team to… Read more

Carol Travis Tucker is about to leave on a trip to Richmond, VA for 12 days, via TripIt .

Costas Papaikonomou is returning from a trip to Taipei, Taiwan, via TripIt .

Steven Iwersen is returning from a trip to Hays, KS, via TripIt .

Don’t want to receive e-mail notifications? Adjust your message settings.

LinkedIn values your privacy. At no time has LinkedIn made your email address available to any other LinkedIn user without your permission. ©2009, LinkedIn Corporation.

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Australian Journal Redux: New Zealand Day Eight

Well, it’s the long ride home.

Wonderful dinner last night overlooking the lake at The Bathhouse, with Rob, Michael Sheargold, Libby, and me. I finally got to pick up a check. Rob is very generous, world class, but I had the angle on the waitress.

Speaking of which, when I visited the men’s room, I saw the “vacant” sign, and went charging in, right into the arms of a lovely woman, done up like a donut. (Yes, a REAL woman.) For once in my life I began to stutter, something really brilliant, such as, “Isn’t this the men’s room?”

“It is,” she verified, “but I was desperate. Nice seeing you.” And off she went.

I attended Ash Wednesday services in a small church at the top of what had to be a 45° incline, where you lean into the hill as if into gale force winds. To my astonishment, the church was soon packed with 200 children from the nearby school, as well as locals and tourists, the setting overlooking the fifty-mile long Lake Wakatipu, and the huge mountains surrounding it. Walking back down I watched hang-gliders soar and dip almost at eye level.

At breakfast in the magnificent hotel, I met a couple from Palm Desert, California who had retired after getting out of investment real estate just in time. They were spending three weeks touring, fishing, and golfing in New Zealand. “We realized the chances of being back here were between slim and none, and slim was leaving town,” he told me. They, too, were world travelers, he of Arkansas origins and she of British roots.

My wrangler, Brenda, picked me up and deposited me at the airport. I flew to Auckland in coach, the only service on the plane, and recalled why I had sworn off it a quarter century ago. To take off from this airport with a major jet, the pilot revs the engines, straining against the brakes, a wild beast raging to be released. When he does, the 737 bolts forward and gets into the air with yards to spare.

Both the Six Figures to Seven Workshop and my full day for Rob’s coaching club were beyond my expectations. It’s been a great trip.

And so I’m in the Qantas lounge in Auckland, waiting to fly to LAX, duty free purchased, money changed, and computer charged. I’ll have about a 48-hour Wednesday, courtesy of the International Date Line.

But that’s fine, I can use all the time I can get.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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Australian Journal Redux: New Zealand Days Six and Seven

Too cold and damp for the chopper. Breakfast overlooking the lake worked, however! Dinner in The Bunker with Rob and a small group, great talk. One participant said, “It was the best night of his life.” Must have been Libby’s charms, not me.

Next day, a wonderful full day with the group, highlighted by afternoon role-plays on stage. Outstanding group of nearly 200 high achievers who are seeking to create more and more value for their clients.

May be back in this part of the world again in October. Meanwhile, it’s finally a summer day here and people have removed their ski parkas!

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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Speaking with Alan

The most recent class (January 2009) of Speaking with Alan, the most intense program available for creating, practicing, and marketing a speech. The 2.5-day workshop is held at Alan’s home, and includes fine dining every night.

Left to right (standing): Alan Weiss; Phil Symchych, Regina, Canada; Stuart Cross, Nottingham, England;
(sitting): Kim Wilkerson, Cedar Rapids, IA; Ann Latham, Easthampton, MA; Lisa Hamaker, Bolton, MA; Jenny Schade, Evanston, IL.

Click here for the next upcoming workshop.

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Australian Journal Redux: Day Five/New Zealand Day Six

Finished a terrific workshop, great people, then a massage, then to St. Patrick’s Church, built in 1855. Finally, dinner with Libby at Quay Restaurant, overlooking the harbor.

Next day we flew to Christchurch in New Zealand, but not before the Qantas computer system failed throughout all of Australia. We managed to finally get underway, had a long layover because of a late connection, but arrived in Queenstown barely an hour before the festivities began.

Rob Nixon, one of my Million Dollar Club colleagues who treated us at Doyle’s on the beach a couple of days ago, opened another of his terrific coaching club conferences here high atop a mountain, a gondola required to get you to the meeting. An incredible group of Maori singers and dancers provided a traditional, celebratory greeting, making Rob chief, and forcing him to lead ten “volunteers” in the ensuing dances. I was hiding behind several women.

I’m lodged, thanks to Rob, at Eichardt’s Private Hotel, which has five residences, and is far beyond exquisite. A sensational set of rooms with a view of the lake comprise my digs. There’s a fireplace and little touches such as chocolate and Bailey’s by the bed as a nightcap.

You fly into Queenstown like a drunk, with the 737 taking hairpin turns around mountains to line itself up with the field’s single runway, precipitously diving over the water. The plane barely hits the runway and the pilot is reversing the engines, hitting the brakes, and dropping anchors.

Weather permitting, tomorrow we’re taking a chopper to a glacier.

The Harbor from the Quay Restaurant:

Libby at dinner:

The threatening runway:

The gondola trip:

The Maori dancers:

My place at Eichardt’s:

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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Australian Journal Redux: Day Four

Second wonderful day here, group is making terrific progress in ideas to dramatically expand and enlarge their businesses.

Rob Nixon stopped by and he took Libby and me to Doyle’s on the beach in Watson’s Bay by water taxi. On the way back, a Jack Russell Terrier sat in the captain’s chair, while the three of us had beers on the aft deck. It seemed so right at the time.

Last half-day tomorrow, some down time, then on to Queenstown, New Zealand, via Christchurch, or so they tell me!

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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Australian Journal Redux: Day Three

We had a wonderful first day in Six to Seven Figures, my newest workshop. Wonderfully diverse group, engaged in the hard work required to change thinking processes, the key ingredient for major business growth.

Dinner at Aria, the best meal I’ve ever had in Australia and one of the finest dinners I can recall anywhere: swordfish sashimi, and then a wonderful trout, accompanied by Chassagne Montrechet.

Libby and I then walked to the Opera House to see Juliette Binoche (the actress from “Chocolat”) and Akram Khan in a dance performance called In-I. It was a beautiful theater, packed with appreciative patrons, but I was thinking longingly of the Montrechet. Khan is a great dancer, but this performance (over an hour) was very self-indulgent, and he is so much better on stage than she is that I found it distracting.

The view of this spectacular harbor, with the huge Queen Victoria, the bridge, and the water traffic, is even grander from the Opera House.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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Australian Journal Redux: Day two

An uneventful 14-hour flight, only five of us in first class. Qantas has improved both the quality of the pajamas and the softness of the beds! I slept for 8 hours. I try to have a quick dinner and read for two hours, sleep for 8, then write, read and have breakfast during the final 4.

Dismal day, but clearing up, about 69°F and everyone apologizing for the weather. You can see in the photos the overcast when we landed. The Queen Victoria is expected into port here tomorrow. Meanwhile, there is a 200-foot yacht belonging to a “UK coal magnate” alongside the hotel.

Dinner tonight at Pony not far from the Park Hyatt, with Libby Wagner, Mentor Hall of Fame Member who is attending my Six Figures to Seven Workshop this week, and Mark Smith, a charter member of the Million Dollar Club, who is here doing client work.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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Australian Journal Redux: Day One

On Sunday I began thinking that my connection to Sydney in LAX today would be too tight, since LA was getting some turbulent weather. I called Amex Black Card, but they couldn’t come up with any good alternatives, and told me a flight out of New York which I found on my computer while talking with them would cost an additional $1500 (not that that was an issue).

Ironically, Black Card boosts me to the top of all the private air programs, so I called a special American Airlines number, and a terrific guy told me that the flight I was looking at was available and would only cost $220 more (go figure). So, I booked it, called my driver, and told him we were going to New York, not Boston, Monday morning.

He got me from Rhode Island to Kennedy Airport in a record-setting 2.75 hours (it was President’s Day, light traffic). A very nice supervisor took me around a very long first class line to a kiosk, where I swiped my passport, she inserted a magic card, and I actually had boarding passes all the way to Sydney.

I went up to the Admiral’s Club where they ushered me into a sanctum sanctorum within the club. Two women there took a look at my boarding pass and offered me an earlier flight. I spun on my heel and headed for the plane, arriving at the gate as they called early boarding. A woman handed me a card announcing that in-flight internet service was available and I sent my first email ever from an airplane not long thereafter.

The flight attendant was so great that I gave her one of my rather dusty American “special acknowledgment” cards, where they expect their best customers to reward their best employees. I’ve now spent quite a few hours in the Qantas first class lounge at LAX, but I finished two columns, plus Balancing Act, and over a chapter in my new book, Thrive! (I’m into the fourth chapter.) American Airlines has had a real good day.

Beau Bridges, the actor, is sitting a few rows away from me in the Qantas club here. Another couple of hours and I board, losing a day, and arriving in Sydney on Wednesday morning and in the summer! So far my plan is working to stay up, sleep for eight hours on the plane, and face Wednesday morning as a new day without jet lag. We’ll see about that.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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