The Platitudinous

Which of the following are actual quotes from famous authors, statesmen, or philosophers? (Answer far at the bottom.) To love one’s country demands the love of diversity. The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. Animals can be ruthless, but no one considers them to be criminals. Repent no more, you’re excusing the deed. The sea can’t be a woman, it is not sufficiently ruthless. We breathe the same air but do not exhale …


A Quick Tip

A taxi in Sydney takes me to my meeting. I pay the driver, including my usual tip, and thank him. “Good Lord,” he says, “you’re American.” “Can you tell by my accent?” “No, I can tell by your tip!”


Delta 475

I solely fly first class, and I have almost four million air miles. When my wife and I returned from Venice on April 23, the only sane flight was Delta 475 nonstop to New York (where our driver fetched us). But that flight only has business class, no first, so I bit the bullet. There were about 40 people in a full business section, and the food and service were better than many domestic first class services. The cabin crew …



Lessons from the Million Dollar Consulting® Convention

Someone asked me if I had chosen speakers and topics that blended into a single message at our recent, hugely successful conference in LA. Victoria Labalme, Bruce Turkel, Marshall Goldsmith, and I all conveyed the importance of personal worth, emotion, purpose, and action; of taking control of our lives; or creating personal happiness. I told the questioner that when you listen to global experts and thought leaders involved in human performance, they tended to say similar things because those traits …


Adventures in Germany

• I returned to enter the meeting room while my partner, Matt, was running the program. A manager in the hall stopped me and said, “That meeting is already in session, are you sure you’re in the right place?” I pointed to the picture of me on the wall with the meeting name.  He did a triple take. “You are so much better looking in person, sir,” he said as he opened the door for me. • I told one …


The Not-So-Super Bowl

What you saw in the Super Bowl yesterday was absolute mediocrity. Two poor quarterback performances, unimaginative play calls, turnovers, just a mess. Yesterday, at least, a half-dozen other teams could have beaten either of the finalists. But the Broncos and Panthers did what they had to during the season, were sometimes great, sometimes lucky, and no one is arguing that they cheated to get there. Eventually, one of them had to win last night. You and I don’t have to …


Crabs

From an infinity pool, I lean over and watch the waves batter the rocks below. The stratigraphy is fascinating, hundreds of crevices and nooks, a combination of cork brown and golf course green. I catch some movement, and I realize that dozens of crabs are scuttling and sidling along the rocks. They are the same colors as their surroundings, but the water makes them an almost iridescent hue. Some fit into the cracks, but the larger ones must stay on …


A Christmas Story

Some mornings I take the dogs for coffee and biscuits to Dunkin’ Donuts. The (mostly) women behind the drive-through window are cordial and fun at 6:30 in the morning. They smile, talk to the dogs, are very polite, and are clearly appreciative of the small tip that the change represents. Many of them have their hair and makeup attractively done, which means their day must have started around 5 or so. I’m guessing they work for minimum wage or close …


Holy Smoke

My wife and I are Catholics, Eucharistic Ministers, I’m also a lector, we attend church weekly, and we contribute substantially. I tell you that because I’m about to be critical, and I assume many of you will find this observations to be true also in your respective houses of worship. We attended St. Jean Baptiste in New York City for Vigil Mass last evening. It’s a gorgeous church, pre-Vatican II, meaning it has the great altar, profound artwork, and a …