Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 3/2/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Why is it so few people are comfortable in their own skins these days? On Facebook, there is a bizarre request made by many to “prove” their posts are read by forcing people to make a response. Klout scores purportedly show social media popularity. Conformity in dress, language, icons, and experiences is like the gravitational pull of Jupiter. We are being pulled toward a lowest common denominator of mediocrity, a tropism toward the banal. The people …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 2/23/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: In the police procedurals I read or watch on TV, the prosecutors are always looking for motive, means, and opportunity. Did the suspects have a cause which prompted the crime, did they have a weapon or means to accomplish the crime, and was there an opportunity for the commission of the crime? That’s why alibis, access, and witnesses are so vital. This rigor makes me wonder if we try sufficiently to create the same dynamics in …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 2/16/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: We tend to view confrontation and conflict as undesirable. There are organizational courses on “conflict resolution,” and therapists help people deal with “confrontation.” But aside from physical threat, passionately held differing opinions have always seemed to me to be the stuff of creativity, and progress, and excitement. One of my Fortune 20 clients used to hold “pre-meetings” before scheduled meetings to iron out differences and ensure there was no discord at the session. This created a …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 2/9/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: The truth is easier than lies, because the truth is simple and straightforward. Lies require careful construction and rehearsal. After they’re repeated often enough, the perpetrators begin to believe them. They did throw the winning touchdown pass, they did star in the school play, they did score the highest in the SATs, they did come under fire in combat. Brian Williams apparently felt that he had to inflate his professional résumé, which means that, despite his …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 2/2/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: There is a horrible lunacy abroad in the land, and it’s not the diversion of deflated footballs. It’s the ignorance that vaccination can lead to autism, a discredited, anti-scientific and anti-intellectual position that has resulted in a measles outbreak in the US. Over 90 percent of unvaccinated children exposed to measles will be infected and remain infectious for at least four days thereafter. This is not a benighted position of poverty: According to a story in …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 1/26/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Every week I receive multiple offers to endorse or “like” or support someone’s book. Yet it’s a person I don’t know and a book I don’t care about. A guy on Linkedin asked me to coach him for free because we’re “peers” by dint of our both belonging to a social media platform. There are people who manipulate rankings on the New York Times book review (I was offered this “service” for $120,000 for one of …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 1/19/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Some advice to ease your stress this week: When you hear an idea, don’t attempt to wrestle it to the ground and stomp it to death. Consider whether you can exploit it for your own success. When you plan the year ahead, “reserve” your vacations and family obligations first, then schedule your work around those dates. When you read an opinion you disagree with, have the maturity to move on without having to announce to the …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 1/12/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Yesterday, the New England Patriots overcame 14-point deficits twice in a game in which they didn’t lead until the final five minutes, and ultimately won only after the final play of the opposition failed. They did so because they never panicked, never made excuses, and continued to execute to the best of their abilities (in 12° weather). They didn’t claim the game was unfair, the elements were too tough, the breaks were going against them, they …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 1/5/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: The rage this morning on Facebook seems to be about “pay it forward,” with scores of people (just among my friends) advocating that others “sign up” (it’s a verbatim, copied paragraph) and they’ll receive an unexpected gift during the year, provided they promise to do so for someone else. I think good intentions should always be lauded, such as the recent “ice bucket challenge” that raised a lot of money for charity. I understand “viral” and …