Alan Cumming at the Café Carlyle

The Café Carlyle is one of the last intimate showrooms in New York, holding about a hundred patrons in close proximity to great talent. Bobby Short was its resident genius before his death, and we’ve seen incredible talent usually from a few feet away over the past 40 years or so. (One night a week, Woody Allen plays clarinet with a jazz band, and it’s sold out months ahead.) Last evening we sat a yard away from Alan Cumming, whom …


Holy Smoke

My wife and I are Catholics, Eucharistic Ministers, I’m also a lector, we attend church weekly, and we contribute substantially. I tell you that because I’m about to be critical, and I assume many of you will find this observations to be true also in your respective houses of worship. We attended St. Jean Baptiste in New York City for Vigil Mass last evening. It’s a gorgeous church, pre-Vatican II, meaning it has the great altar, profound artwork, and a …



Get Rich Quick (Or Maybe Not)

I recall the old multi-level marketing (Ponzi Scheme) pitch that went: “I’m making more money part time today than I did in my full time job. Come to our meeting tomorrow night.”  At the meeting, some guy with a diamond pinky ring and an ostentatious Caddy showed us how we could make money selling detergent or phone cards—oh, and also by recruiting new members. Today, we’re asked to subscribe to series of videos and seminars to learn what? To learn …



Value Follows Fees

The conventional wisdom is that the more value that’s perceived, the higher fee you can charge. Of course, I’m going to provide a different picture. The more people pay, the more they perceive high value. In consumer products, cheaper alternatives break more often and fail sooner. The more expensive the theater or sports ticket, the better the view. The more expensive the restaurant, the better the food and service (or we stop returning). The best attorneys and doctors cost more. …


Guest Column: How to Become Thoughtfully RuthlessSM and Catapult Your Growth

How to Become Thoughtfully RuthlessSM and Catapult Your Growth by Val Wright   When you want to prepare for a marathon, you hire a trainer who has a few marathons under their belt. It applies when leaders hire external experts; they are investing in you, not your processes and your methodology. You become an inspiration and accelerate their business by becoming a role model for them. So you need to be hitting your own personal records in your personal performance. …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/7/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

(Some eagle-eyed readers reminded me I meant Animal Farm last week, and not the movie “Animal House.” I trust everyone understood my point in any case! Sorry for the wrong reference.) As we write, speak, and otherwise communicate, I thnk we have to be honest with ourselves and speak the truth, not what we think others might want to hear (the proverbial “yes men” in the workplace). If you want to be an object of interest to others, you need …



Just Tell Me What I Need To Know

When I ask the guy who takes care of our trees a question about pruning, he proceeds to tell me the history of trees. I remember when I’d ask my college professor why we use English Common Law, and he’s start his response with the Hammurabi Code. In both cases, I quickly tuned out. We tend to tell people more than they really need to know in an attempt to validate ourselves, prove our expertise, grandstand our talent. We often …