Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 05/22/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I’m writing this from the King George Hotel in Athens, with the Acropolis standing on a mountain top across from our terrace like the sun in an historical orrery. The original buildings were constructed in the Fourth Century BC by Pericles. (Photos are on my blog: contrarianconsulting.com.) Like the Egyptians before them and the Italians after them, the Greeks built structures meant to last centuries. When destruction occurred, it was usually by force of nature which the technology couldn’t prevent …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 05/15/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Mother’s Day was yesterday in the US, though the occasion is celebrated in scores of countries on various dates. It began here in 1908 when Anna Jarvis chose to celebrate the work her mother, Anna Reeves Jarvis, had done as a peace activist caring for the wounded in the Civil War. Her daughter was later upset that Hallmark Cards and others had begun to commercialize the holiday. I love delving into the reasons for things, whether it’s Labor Day, or …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 05/08/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

The farther removed an event, the less its impact on most of us. We sympathize and send government help to Fukushima, for example, but Three Mile Island dominated our news and national attention. Volkswagen’s unethical actions with emissions was a regrettable problem in Germany unless, of course, you owned one of the vehicles, thus afflicted wherever you live. I admire people who refuse to allow distance to insulate them. My dentist, for example, goes to Haiti yearly to help out …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 05/01/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

A little pride. Is that too much to ask? A couple walked into an upscale restaurant in my town. She had on a dress and heels. He had on a tee-shirt and old jeans. Such are the times that no one throws people out for slovenliness, but he struck me as a buffoon (though he may well not have been). And what kind of relationship is it where one partner doesn’t tell the other that there is lettuce in their …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 04/24/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Most people don’t tell us the reason for a decision because we don’t ask. We either argue about the rejection or applaud ourselves for their wise acceptance. But we don’t ask, “Why?” Unless you have the reason—the cause—you don’t truly understand the motive. Consequently, you make plans to correct the failure or to exploit the victory based purely on the effect, not the underlying premise. That’s like the cat which won’t jump onto a cold stove because once it jumped …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 04/17/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Buddy Beagle passed away peacefully at home a few weeks ago after a full and rewarding life. We did what I advise all dog owners to do—we obtained a puppy to continue the spirit and keep Bentley company since dogs are pack animals. We wound up, without forethought, with a combination King Charles Spaniel and Poodle. This is what makes puppies so valuable: They always wake up in a good mood. They throw themselves—literally—into their endeavors, from food to toys. …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 04/10/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

To some, this is counterintuitive, though it shouldn’t be: Competition opens markets. Wendy’s builds burger shops across from McDonald’s because they know people are showing up to buy burgers. The same holds true for jewelry stores, casinos, and auto showrooms. In mass markets, there are two basic positions. You can choose to be a commodity, seeking lowest price points and high volume, undifferentiated and trying to appeal to all. Or you can choose to be distinct, seeking highest perception of …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 04/03/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

We all have a certain amount of energy. It differs, metabolically, from individual to individual, but we all possess 100% of our individual totals. Until we begin to burn it up non-productively. It requires energy to resent, to envy, to hold a grudge, to take umbrage, to hate, to feel guilt, to walk around in fear. People and events don’t steal our energy as much as we tend to sacrifice it for spurious and splenetic reasons. When you feel you’re …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 03/27/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

The sculptor Donatello was considered second only to Michelangelo in the Renaissance world. He created a copy of the latter’s David for exhibit outside since the original was considered too precious to expose to the elements. And when you see Michelangelo’s masterpiece in The Academy, you are stunned by the brilliance, which is exquisitely highlighted in the surroundings of more intimacy and better lighting. The Mona Lisa, The Nightwatch, Guernica—any ageless work of art is defined by its framing. Your …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 03/20/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Beware of the state of your skills. They require monitoring. Just because you’re still doing something well doesn’t mean you’re doing it as well as you once did. We can generally spot rust—it’s obvious and ugly—but we can’t spot “pre-rust,” the weakening of the original material. It’s not failure that’s usually the problem, it’s the ongoing diminishing of the original state. That’s why bridges are checked periodically and we don’t wait for them to fall down to learn there’s something …