Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/23/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

We tend to think that “now” is the way it will always be. We make projections based on today instead of painting pictures of the future. We become actuaries and accountants instead of dreamers and artists. And we also fool ourselves that “today” is the most important time ever. I’m writing this on January 22. Here are some past occurrences on this date: In 1771, Spain ceded the Falkland Islands to Britain. In 1901, Queen Victoria of Britain died at …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/16/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

We miss far too much while embroiled in minor matters. People have their faces planted in their phones while an eagle flies overhead with a fish (or, worse, a car approaches them with another texting driver). Intent on selfies, tourists miss the grandeur or the lake, or temple, or mountain. Focused on getting their money’s worth from the buffet, diners miss the pleasure of conversation. (I recently watched two parents and their two kids all punching their phones amidst Christmas …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/09/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I hear a lot about “seeking meaning,” especially in the face of tragedy and uncertainty. But how would you know it if you tripped over it? I doubt it’s like the justice’s definition of pornography—I’ll know it when I see it. I’d think our brief time here is about creating meaning, first and foremost for ourselves. When we have a lighted path, a goal for our journey (whether or not we reach our destination), we tend to serve a greater …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 01/02/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

(The following is from my January 1 edition of Balancing Act, and I rarely publish the same thing twice, but I’m making an exception here, I hope you’ll cut me some slack.) New Year’s Resolutions are just an excuse to pretend that we’re cognizant of our flaws, eager about improvements, and willing to take accountability for positive change. If this were an “over/under” bet in Vegas, the number would be 1 and I’d take the under. (Talk to your gambling …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/26/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I forgot who said this (I’ve seen an early reference in the Gospel of Matthew), but I never forgot it: An act of charity is not defined by how much you give, but by how much you have left after you give. When we were poor, I remember my father slipping $10 into someone’s mailbox (a huge amount) whom he knew was in even worse shape. That to me was far more impressive than someone of means giving $10,000 or …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/19/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

My wife, the dogs, and I wish you all a happy Holiday Season, and best wishes for this most joyous time of year. Thank your for your interest in my work and for all the notes you send commenting upon it. I lead a wonderful life, and I’m also appreciative of every second of it. I wish that for all of you. From our house to yours, Merry Christmas. “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/12/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Failure work is work I define as having to be done solely because it wasn’t done right the first time. I’ve employed this concept for years with my clients, because it’s not merely a matter of “not making errors” the first time. Some people engage in failure work because they think their work isn’t perfect. They create many iterations searching for perfection and none is that much better than the first try (or, sometimes, even as good). This is insidious …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/05/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Peter Drucker once observed—when he was having a pretty bad day, I’d guess—that evidence shows that the only thing in abundant supply is the universal incompetent. I have enormous respect for Drucker, but we part company on this observation. The key for all of us, whether in corporate life or as entrepreneurs, is to do what we love doing and are good at while getting paid for it. It doesn’t work in reverse—finding something to make money and trying to …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 11/28/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I‘ve learned that there’s a difference between being opportunistic and being innovative. Opportunity is known to “knock.” Innovation never does. You have to fire it up. That’s because we’re usually opportunistic in response to some stimulus. We react well. Often, we’re catching up to something that’s already transpired. We see an opening and we rush through. We hear an idea and we implement it. Innovation is the creation of new products, services, relationships, approaches (openings and ideas). I call it …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 11/14/16

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I‘m sitting in a corner suite looking out at the Ginza in Tokyo. It’s 6 am, and people are starting their day. We’ll be leaving soon for the airport and our flight back to New York. I love the mornings, when everything is fresh, and an entire day of opportunity awaits all of us. I view every new day as an exploration of the possible, not a long, slow crawl through the impossible. Downtown Tokyo is unbelievably clean. The train …