Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 4/14/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Almost anything taken to an extreme is going to run counter to the original intent. I find health and exercise fanatics who look, well, positively unhealthy. Barry Goldwater was warned not to use the phrase “extremism in defense of liberty is no vice,” but he did and he was swamped in the election by Lyndon Johnson. Now we have Larry Ellison who is making about $38,000 an hour (if you use a 40-hour week) at Oracle. …


The Dog Star: The Three Tests

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition) When my dogs encounter something new for the first time, they immediately check to see if it’s edible. You should be checking with new people as to whether they represent potential business. If the object is non-edible, which is quickly determined with a few sniffs, they investigate whether they can …


Confessions

In the Catholic Church one confesses sins (Reconciliation) prior to Easter. The Jews have a day of atonement, Yom Kippur. I thought it was time for me to make some secular confessions:   • I don’t get Pharrell.   • The NCAA playoffs may be the purest major athletic event remaining in the US.   • Why is it that the country/western genre has more talented, beautiful female singers than any other?   • I drove an electric car and …



New WOLFoundation Essay Competition

We are pleased to announce that entries are now open for the 2014 WOLFoundation essay competition.  Whether it relates to environmental degradation, personal privacy, the functioning, or otherwise, of our democratic processes and many other issues, many people feel that we are suffering from an almost global crisis of leadership. An inability to break out of the status quo to enable societies to address some of the growing social and environmental issues that we all face. The theme of this …


Dumb-Ass Stupid Management: The Wall Street Journal

The WSJ asks me to renew my digital version. They send me an online code, which their site will not accept. The site says that the code requires a phone call, despite the fact it’s supposed to be entered on the site. A phone call places me in the Philippines, with a guy who can’t speak English well and keeps repeating scripted questions. When I ask for a supervisor he puts me on “hold” and leaves me there. I then …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 4/7/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Try telling stories. That’s what I do in my speeches, informal talks, even my conversation. They are the shortcut to comprehension, and prevent long discourses where a quick example is sufficient. People identify with personal stories, put themselves in the exact place you want them to be. At Princeton, neuroscientist Uri Hasson’s research shows that brain patterns of listeners can change to be consistent with those of the speaker when a story is emotionally captivating. Your …


Stories

Anyone who has ever seen and heard me speak (or perhaps even merely conversed with me) knows that I use stories to illustrate my points. In a typical keynote, I’ll use about 10. The “story index” I maintain on my computer (so that I don’t repeat any for the same client or group) is now at 126. Stories help people to identify with you and with your point. They enable the listener to think, “I’ve been there and done that, …