Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 12/15/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Have you noticed that people spend more time complaining than helping themselves? I pack as if I expect my luggage may be lost, so I take an extra outfit in my carry-on. I always have books on my iPad which is with me when I’m waiting for a doctor’s inevitably late appointment. I don’t argue with front-line people, I call an executive. I belong to every club I can so that I receive preferred treatment when …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 12/8/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Unemployment is under six percent. We’ve added more jobs in 2014 that we have since 1999. Gas is under $3 per gallon, down 50 cents from a year ago. Yet a guy at a speech in Waltham the other day says from the audience, “I don’t agree with your optimism.” I told him that he was entitled to hold a wrong opinion. You can see the glass as filled, half-filled, half-empty, or smashed. While other people …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 12/1/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Saudi Arabia has decided not to reduce its oil production, despite the lowest prices in five years, a glut of oil on the market, and insufficient prices to support the economies of some OPEC members. OPEC’s power has dramatically diminished. There are more US oil reserves today than in the 1950s. These are geopolitical shifts which are changing global relationships, alliances, and economies. Don’t look at the future assuming it’s simply a gradual extrapolation of the …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 11/24/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Emirates Airlines has better first class cabins, better first class lounges, and newer airplanes, but Air France has better service. They drive you in a BMW to your connecting flight and escort you from your last plane, to the lounge, to your next plane. We were met at Kennedy in the jetway and a man took my wife’s luggage through Global Entry right to our limo across the street. These are small but high-impact gestures, with …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 11/17/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: I’m on the European side of Istanbul staring across the Bosphorus at Asia from my balcony. In the last year we’ve been to China, Indonesia, and Turkey, among other places. We’ve found that people are so much more similar than dissimilar (aided more and more by ubiquitous iPhones, jeans, running shoes, common music, baseball caps, and English spoken all over). It’s useful in problem solving to search for distinctions, but not among people. We should look …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 11/10/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: I’ve been consistently telling anyone willing to listen over the years that the economy in the U.S. is rebounding and strongly. Unemployment is now under 6 percent (and I believe 5 percent represents chronic unemployment), the market is at a record high, consumers are spending again, and the holidays approach. We must hold a worldview that is larger than Ebola or ISIS. While acknowledging that there are threats, we have to appreciate the power of freedom …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 11/3/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Richard Branson’s rocket plane crashed a few days ago, a tragedy. But he vows to keep trying. He’s seven years behind his schedule to take civilians into space, but he vows to keep trying. The path to success is seldom an unimpeded, high-speed romp. The roadside is home to those who hit a bump and decide the journey is too tough so they pitch camp where they are. If that were the rule, Lincoln never would …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 10/27/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Here’s my theory on why underdogs win: The team on top can’t achieve the proper motivation, and the team on the bottom feels it has nothing to lose and everything to gain. I look at a tough meeting, speech, or debate as a challenge, as a chance to have fun and show what I can do. I’m never frightened, or worried about “losing,” or my ego being damaged, or what others may think. Bentley doesn’t refuse …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 10/20/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Why do we panic at the irrational fear of Ebola spreading in the US but not at the carnage on the highways every day? It’s fascinating that some people demanding on social media that our government provide 100% protection are doing so by texting while they drive. George Carlin famously remarked once that the driver in front of us who won’t move aside is a moron, while the guy tailgating us is an idiot. We seem …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 10/13/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: You’ve probably heard the physiological admonition “we are what we eat.” I believe “we are what we tell ourselves.” People get up in the morning either eager to squeeze opportunity out of another new day, or dreading a slow, tough crawl through enemy territory. Our beliefs about ourselves create attitudes about our situation which are manifest in our behaviors. It’s not “them,” or technology, or the economy, or politicians, or your ENTJ label. The words you …