Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 8/30/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Saturday night I attended a surprise birthday party for a friend who turned 80. (I’m always reluctant to shout “Surprise!” in the dark to an unsuspecting 80-year-old, but it worked out!) We were asked to simply “bring words” for the occasion, and I wrote her a poem. She looks and acts about 60 at most. There’s barely a line on her face, because she uses vaseline nightly, not any exotic oils or astringents. Everyone there was overjoyed to be with …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 8/22/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

An “agenda” often refers to the underlying intentions and motives of a person or group. Nothing wrong with that. Unless, of course, that agenda colors ALL discussion, context, and debate. We see people casting votes based soley on a single agenda item (abortion, environmentalism, immigration, gun control, unions, charter schools) despite the ability of a candidate to serve well in that office in a variety of areas. We tend to demonize the oppostiion—who tend to be people just like us …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 8/15/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I was in a four-seater once flying from DC to someplace in Delaware, which must have seemed like a good idea at the time. I was in the co-pilot’s seat, and the pilot was navigating with aplomb the taxiways in Reagan Airport amidst what seemed like behemoths, and with what I interpreted as absolute garble on the headphones (which I was wearing). Eventually, we took off, a mosquito amidst eagles. Once airbrne, at about 10,000 feet, the pilot took his …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 8/8/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

There is a “rebound effect” in growth. I was (and still am) a pinball machine buff, loving the old machines that would bounce the balls on flippers and electronic gizmos. The ball would often stay in play solely on the right bounces among the rebounding mechanisms. Similarly, when we help others, they tend to help us. For example, teaching and coaching are excellent learning mechanisms—for the teacher and the coach. I learn more in every workshop I provide than anyone …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 8/1/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

The Olympics begin at the end of the week, and Brazil has been getting quite a rap: disease, pollution, corruption, crime, poor construction, huge debt, questionnalbe security, withdrawals by some competitors—the list goes on and on! Yet the games will proceed, with huge media coverage, and will no doubt be exciting. A Rhode Island rowing team member said, “I don’t care how polluted the water is, I’m rowing!” Such is the allure of great talent wanting to compete. I recall …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 7/25/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

The great, unexpected benefit that Facebook provides us with today is a view of the alarmingly simplistic thinking patterns of a great many people. I’m not referring to abjectly poor taste—the pictures of wounds, illness, and use of gratuitious profanity—but rather to the bases behind people’s opinoins and self-worth. Facebook is a huge vanity (“excessive pride in one’s self”) publishing platform, with no editing or moderation. So we find people with little knowledge of history contorting events. There is allegiance …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 7/18/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

In Italy in particular and in most of Europe in general, drivers stay right unless they’re passing a slower vehicle. You seldom see high beams used or hear horns. It’s a natural courtesy, probably stemming from the fact that most roads are only two lanes in either direction, and traffic would move much slower if people didn’t get out of the way. As they don’t in the U.S. We just completed one of our annual pilgrimages—to the Jersey Shore—which is …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 7/11/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Long ago, I discovered to my shock that clients were stunned by common sense. No intricate models, no “needs analyses,” no six-month projects. (“A consultant is someone who arrives to study a problem and then stays to become part of it.”) I told people, in effect: Stop doing that if it hurts, start doing this if it feels good, understand that you’re here to contribute and make a profit only after that, and you have a duty to reward high …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 7/4/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Independence Day marks the day (roughly, it was actually July 2) that the Continental Congress declared the thirteen colonies legally separate from Great Britain. It was the vote, not the actuality (independence was formally obtained by the Treaty of Paris in 1783). Here’s a letter excerpt from John Adams to his wife, Abigail: “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 6/27/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

The British have opted to leave the European Community. That’s their right. No one reading this knows what the consequences will be, positive or negative. Yet the very act has highlighted the polarization that has become our modern manifesto, our cultural chaos. Many people in the U.S. are likening this to Donald Trump being elected, to a bigoted backlash against immigration. One writer in a Wall Street Journal op ed piece compared Mexicans with the Jews fleeing Europe in the …