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 …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 03/13/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

After an entire week of successful meetings with clients in New York City, accompanied by great food and wine at top restaurants, Maria and I had Friday night to ourselves and decided to see Spamilton (the spoof of Hamilton, which is hugely funny). It plays in a small theater on 72nd, so we wound up having dinner in a diner on Amsterdam Avenue. It had traditional booths, faded photos of celebrities on the walls—and was spotless. The owner or manager, …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 03/06/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

It was my birthday on Friday, which is always a good time for a bit of reflection, especially with the kind of life I lead. I always like to know what’s causing my success so that I can replicate it consistently (most self-help books assume you’re somehow “damaged” and want to “fix” you). Two points arose which I’ll share here. The first is the need for a support system. I think the lack of one is a huge cause of …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/27/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I’m flying to San Francisco on United out of Boston. I have nearly four million air miles, but I watched the video of the flight safety demo because it was so appealing: United employees having fun and determined to have us understand how to put on the life vest and oxygen masks. I found it engaging (there was a colorful dinosaur and an occupied golf cart simulating turbulence careering down a hill) and also ingenious. Other airlines are attempting the …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/20/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Here we are at the culmination of Hollywood’s grand excess in self-congratulation, the Oscars (which follow awards bestowed by SAG, Hollywood foreign press corps, and on and on). Is Ryan Gosling or Denzel Washington a “better” actor this year? Is Fences or Hacksaw Ridge a “better” movie? It’s kind of ridiculous and also somewhat incestuous. I’ve received and been denied my share of awards. My most prized are my high school senior poll award, “Most Likely to Succeed,” which gave …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/13/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Some universities now include warnings about “micro-aggressions” in their orientation programs for new students. As I understand it, that’s an unintended sleight, such as saying “you guys” as a plural, when some people present are female. Of course, every new anchor and on-air reporter I’ve seen says “Back to you guys” every broadcast. You’re not supposed to ask Asian students to help with your math homework if you don’t know them, nor ask a tall person if he or she …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/06/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

We all have our favorites to look back on in sports, whether it was Michael Jordan or Larry Bird; Joe Montana or Bart Starr; Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays; Billie Jean King or Serena Williams; Pelé or Maradona; Jack Niklaus or Arnold Palmer. Somehow, when I was a kid, I knew that Sandy Koufax was something else, the greatest pitcher ever, even while watching him in the flesh. An opponent having lost to Björn Berg at Wimbledon said, “I was …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/30/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Instead of granting ourselves permission to speak or act, many of us deny ourselves permission. We may wait for others to act—although the seat belt sign is on, someone goes to the rest room, isn’t chastized, so now it’s all right for us to do it—but usually we miss our opportunity. When that happens, we regret our reticence. When we don’t speak out we tend to hold grudges and fret over what we “should have” said or “should have” done. …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/23/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

We tend to think that “now” is the way it will always be. We make projections based on today instead of painting pictures of the future. We become actuaries and accountants instead of dreamers and artists. And we also fool ourselves that “today” is the most important time ever. I’m writing this on January 22. Here are some past occurrences on this date: In 1771, Spain ceded the Falkland Islands to Britain. In 1901, Queen Victoria of Britain died at …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/16/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

We miss far too much while embroiled in minor matters. People have their faces planted in their phones while an eagle flies overhead with a fish (or, worse, a car approaches them with another texting driver). Intent on selfies, tourists miss the grandeur or the lake, or temple, or mountain. Focused on getting their money’s worth from the buffet, diners miss the pleasure of conversation. (I recently watched two parents and their two kids all punching their phones amidst Christmas …