Dumb Ass Stupid Management: Please End the Interrogation

I’ve been receiving surveys from places from which I purchase stuff on the internet. I’m sure you do, too. The surveys are far too long, are always “forced choices” (rate us on this scale), and are non-intuitive. I’m constantly told to go back, i did something wrong or failed to answer one of the questions. The result is that I trash them.  Besides, most people who take the time to answer surveys self-select. That is, they are either very happy …


Enter Title Here

On the TV show Downton Abbey, one of the earl’s nephews wants to let his butler go because he feels the role is unnecessary and demeaning. The earl asks him, “Why would you want to deprive someone of a job they take pride in and are quite good at?” At my favorite restaurants, the managers call me “Dr. Weiss” or “Mr. Weiss,” and the bartenders call me “Alan.” I once thought that was odd, but now I get it, and …



Let’s Talk

Don’t go to a “sales call,” go to a conversation. Don’t interview someone, have a conversation. Don’t treat a question as hostile, have a conversation. When your default position is a competition instead of a conversation, you’re going to lose quiet a few of them. But I’ve never “lost’ a conversation.



Up on the Roof

I usually stay in the high floors or penthouses of hotels. One of the bizarre aspects I love about this is looking down on rooftops. You see things not intended to be seen by the general public, It’s sort of like a private museum tour. Take a different view of your client’s operation. I used to visit the warehouses, talk to secretaries at lunch, and take the stairs instead of the elevators. Your private tour will enable you to offer …


Sticks and Stones

Can it possibly be true that some universities have created a policy whereby any student can report and accuse any other of “making them feel uncomfortable”? My father used to tell me, “Don’t come crying to me, fight the guy!” Now the advice is, “Don’t fight the guy, go crying to the thought police!” How on earth do you succeed in a competitive, capitalistic, complex society when you’re taught that every time your feelings are hurt or someone disagrees with …


Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

I’ve been approached by two people in the last two days for advice on whether I would coach them. Both seemed very expert in their fields, had been in the business for a decade, and had fine reputations, from what I could determine. And both were making about $250,000 before taxes, which is dreadful. They have poor business models, lousy fee structures, and undervalue their own contributions. It’s a better than fifty percent chance that they’ll both tell me they …


Longevity and Relationships

I don’t believe in these great, personal declarations of love posted on Facebook. I guess they’re mostly sincere but, frankly, I find them to be vast over-compensation. When you feel you have to constantly confirm your love for someone publicly and on the internet, I think you’re trying to prove something more than proclaim something, and to yourself, not others. Nevertheless, I figured it might be nice to mention to people that our 50th wedding anniversary is in August. That …


You Don’t Owe the Client Your Time

I was asked an interesting question this morning: “What if you resolve the client’s issue in the first month of what was determined to be a three-month project? What do you do for the next two months with that client?” The answer is: You do nothing. You were not paid for three months, you were paid for your value. The value has been delivered early, which makes it even more valuable! This project is over. (And, presumably, you’ve already been …