Royalty and Ancient Ritual

Watching the marvelously-acted “The Crown” on TV, I’m stunned at the protocols of the British royals and I understand why Americans want to watch and savor royalty at a distance, but not at home. I think the same holds true for many organizations. They adhere to almost ancient protocols that have no place in modern times and are merely subsidized without return on investment. Most companies are too “top heavy” with senior management; they funnel customers into a maze of …


The Sky Is Falling. I Think. Maybe Tomorrow.

Look, I understand political outrage. I grok unhappiness when your candidate loses an election everyone merely assumed she’d win (which is exactly why she lost). I think Trump’s behavior, most of the time, is appalling. But I’d like to see people put as much time, energy, and investment into volunteerism, good deeds, business improvement, and family relationships as they do into their daily apoplexy over Trump. The election is over, there are no impeachable offenses (and petitions can’t impeach, only …


Work This Out

Does running in the morning improve physical fitness but reduce mental acuity? Immediately after a blizzard, with roads partially cleared but no sidewalks cleared, I find an occasional runner, outfitted in ski gear, and plodding along at a slow trot in heavy shoes. One slip and they’re under the wheels of a passing car. This isn’t fitness, it’s obsession, an addiction to adhering to a discipline despite the adverse consequences on a particular day. 2. In the club level lounge …


Do Me A Favor, Get A Life

Here’s what I received today from someone I don’t know: “I have a favor to ask. I (sic) trying to get my book on the Amazon bestseller list. Today only, I am selling a digital Kindle copy of my book XXXXXXXXX  for only 99¢. I am very proud of my book, I hope you can help me. Also, if you know others who would like a great business book, please forward this to them.” This is what it’s come to: gaming …



Invisible Influence

We are explicitly and implicitly influenced daily, continually. A Times headline in response to the North Korean ballistic missile test: “Trump shows uncharacteristic restraint.” If it were Obama, the headline would have read: “Obama shows admirable restraint.” (Extrapolate this: “Obama walks on water!” “Trump can’t swim!” over the exact same supernatural event!) My guest at my April Consulting Convention is Jonah Berger, the author of Invisible Influence. It’s not so much “fake” news, it’s “editorial” news that we’re facing.


In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking….

Barrington Middle School in Rhode Island has decided to cease publishing honor students’ names, another example of the great surrender to making everyone feel good instead of honoring excellence. Everyone is talking about the novel 1984 today, but it’s best exemplified by the politically correct language and actions of those who want to homogenize us. Did Hillary Clinton receive a “participation award”? I’m bored by every theater company proving its chops by doing Shakespeare—I know the ending. But Festival Ballet …


You Can’t Recork Champagne

Did you see the Atlanta Falcons owner and his wife come down to the sidelines extremely early to celebrate victory when they led the Patriots by 28-9 in the Super Bowl? Their smiles turned upside down and their very obvious presence turned into embarrassment as they grimaced through 31 unanswered points and most devastating comeback in championship history. Don’t celebrate your sale until the check is received. Don’t celebrate your speech until the buyer says it’s time to talk about …


Enterprise: Dumb Ass Stupid Management

DO NOT RENT FROM ENTERPRISE. After their horrible service, and less than half-filled tank without notice, they’ve lost the car! They were told (there’s an email record) to pick the car up at the La Playa resort, have failed to do so for two weeks, and left a message last night that they need their car back! Of course, you can’t return the call because they have limited hours, and the resort informed me that Enterprise was aware but simply …


Sticks and Stones

I’m sitting in my hotel in San Francisco listening to the ubiquitous happy talk early morning news, today on NBC. The “anchors” report stories about Trump, his advisors, and his wife with a deliberate and unmistakeable contempt, complete with snide intonation and skeptical body language. It’s as if someone were to say that the city will defy federal law and give sanctuary to illegal immigrants. Oh, wait, that’s what they are doing. Irrespective of one’s politics, this was and is …