Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 6/29/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: I’m sure you’ve heard the apothegm, “The harder I work the luckier I get.” The hardest work for most of us is mental work. Oh, it’s rough to dig a ditch or build a foundation, no question, but it seems far more difficult for people to develop and monetize new ideas; harder to respond to a prospect’s objections; more wearying to create an outline for a new book! Physical labor is reduced and streamlined when it’s …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 6/22/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: I’m astounded by the lack of common sense of many small business owners. It’s not “big box” stores or technology diminishing their profits. It’s small thinking and bad habits. You need someone answering phones who has not had their personality surgically removed. You need to get back to callers within a few hours (there’s this invention called a “cell phone”). You need to listen and diagnose, not ignore and prescribe. You need to trust customers, not …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 6/15/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Every security official I’ve interacted with at Heathrow in London has been courteous. At Global Entry back in Boston, an immigration officer helped me with the machine, showed me how to better put my fingerprints down. When I thanked him, he said, “That’s why I’m here.” With no reservations for dinner last night, a hostess was extremely cordial and made sure we had a good table in a crowded restaurant. There is one clear commonality: enthusiasm. …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 6/8/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: One of the greatest stressors that I’ve observed in a perceived lack of control. The belief that we can’t influence tomorrow or even predict likely events is one such workplace source of stress. As sentient creatures, we need control. I don’t believe that driverless cars and robots performing everyday chores are logical advances. We have to change course, alter direction, vary our speed. I’m sitting in an airplane crossing the Atlantic at the moment, and I’m …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 6/1/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: A lot of people are complaining that’s it’s been a tough year. Too cold. Too hot. Too wet. Too dry. Business is off. Technology is hurting us. Bad breaks. High taxes. Long commutes. Difficult travel. I watched one of our snapping turtles lay eggs this morning, in a thousands-of-years-old manner, scooping out a hole, laying the eggs, covering them, laboriously getting back to the water. Most of the eggs will be eaten or destroyed. Sometimes all …



Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 5/18/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: When someone gives you an option or alternative to critique or improve, first ask what the objective is. Don’t try to improve a route unless you know the destination, otherwise you’re washing a car with a flat tire to try to get to dinner. The worth of an alternative is dependent on the nature of the goal you are supposed to achieve AND the risks inherent in the alternative. Objectives and alternatives without considering risk are …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 5/11/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Conspiracy theories are based on the blind belief that a covert yet powerful plan is in place to cause harm. They usually fly against fact, scientific method, rationality, and consensus opinion. For example, one claim is that the government has been covering up aliens that crash landed in the US 60 years ago, yet the government can’t even keep its own data secret from hackers! Some people want to believe that we never landed on the …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 5/4/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Upwards of 90% of the standing ovations I see aren’t deserved. A good but not great performance was overly rewarded by an audience that wanted to convince itself that the $400 expenditure and four hour investment for the evening was a wise decision. It’s staggering to think of the money raised for the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight Saturday night. But the “two greatest fighters of their generation” put on a pretty boring show, Pacquiao, though a great guy, …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 4/27/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: When John Lindsay was mayor of New York he was called upon to speak at a major event with a sophisticated crowd. He referenced French philosopher Albert Camus (pronounced “kamoo”) but pronounced the name as “kam-us.” Many attendees, unable to believe he would make such a mistake, assumed he was referring to an obscure Greek philosopher by the name of “kam-us.” There’s a line in Fiddler on the Roof, where Tevye, singing “If I Were A …