Graduation and Disney World

My son Jason’s “second” graduation took place this morning for the School of Fine Arts, where he received his MFA in theater. Then my daughter, son-in-law, granddaughters, Maria and I headed for Disney World, which we made in under two hours in the huge Dodge SUV. There is strict security at the gates to the resort (Beach Resort) and then we were greeted and escorted by several “cast members” until we arrived at our villa, where we each have a …


Showing Up

If you want to succeed, “show up”: Don’t ask for directions that are clearly stated in the literature or notice you’ve received. Pay attention. Get to the meeting early and get your materials and support prepared. Find a good seat to listen and to influence. Don’t get up to get coffee when the organizer says, “We’re ready to begin.” Stop talking to the person next to you while others are talking. And don’t think no one notices you’re texting. Is …



Dateline: Gainesville

We arose at 3:45 am, the stretch limo came at 4:15, and Danielle, Jan, Alaina, Gabrielle, Maria, and I piled in. The luggage was overwhelming. We arrived at Boston Logan and a redcap quickly checked seven bags. “No problem,” he said, gratefully accepting a twenty, six of you are entitled to 18 bags in first class!” It was not only the granddaughters’ first airplane ride, but their first escalators, each pulling a junior “wheelie” with their packs. They were great …


Alan Weiss Joins Advisory Board of Web of Life Foundation

I’ve just been asked to join the Advisory Board of the Web of Life Foundation (WOLFoundation: www.wolfoundation.org), and I’ve accepted. The purpose of the organization is below, as are my fellow board members: WOLFoundation is a non-profit organization aimed at encouraging fresh thinking and clear, accessible, enjoyable writing in the field of conservation and the environment. We are looking for fresh ideas presented in an accessible, non-technical way. We welcome ideas that take any view on environmental issues—be they for or …


Solutions in Search of Problems

I was asked by someone I’m mentoring whether or not to include a certain element in a workshop she is preparing. “Why will participants need that?” I asked. “I’ve been doing this for years,” she said. “Yes, but why?” I persisted. “What does it provide for anyone? The answer, of course, is “nothing.” It’s simply another “good idea,” or favored option, or comfortable activity. This is the alternative in search of an objective, the solution  in search of a problem. …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 04/25/11

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

April 25, 2011—Issue #84 This week’s focus point: Yesterday, the New York Times offered me eight electronic op ed columns. Every one was negative, from politicians “ignoring reality” and high speed rail being a “folly” to critique of tax credits and even why a Pope should not be canonized. Perhaps all of this is relevant and important, but it seems to me that there is a lot of good news that’s also relevant and important. When we’re besieged with harsh …




Aim, Fire, Ready

When I was touring the extraordinarily emotional Normandy beaches, I saw the evidence for the noncoms urging men forward, to keep moving, into the guns, and not to stop. Despite the withering fire, the soldiers were safer if they moved toward the obstacles and tried to engage. If they stayed where they were, they would eventually be killed by the unceasing havoc directed at them. To paraphrase Will Rogers, if you’re simply content to be on the right track and …