Does CVS Read My Blog?

Recently I published here (http://www.contrarianconsulting.com/dasm-cvs-and-baltimore/) my recommendations for CVS in the wake of the Baltimore riots. A few days later, they announced (as reported in the Wall Street Journal) virtually identical steps being taken. Reader Tim Wilson suggests that it was no coincidence and they accepted the free consulting advice.


Tales from the Road

Wherein a veteran of the speaking wars reveals how he lived the dream… At Nissan, after dinner, I spoke in front of 50 drunk managers, who were encouraged by non-English speaking executives from Japan to chug sake every time they yelled, “Bonzai!” I spoke for ten minutes, yelled “Bonzai!” and as they drank, I left. I was introduced at Merck Frost Canada (by a man who went on to become CEO of Glaxo) as a consultant: “Someone who knows 40 …


Today’s the Day

I meet a lot of people obsessed with planning. They are constantly looking ahead, putting things in place, prepping for the future. I meet other people who are immersed in the past. They replay the mental tapes constantly, examining what they did and should have done. My suggestion is to live in the moment. I’m against neither past introspection nor future visualization, unless they are at the expense of living in the moment. I see people missing what’s right in …



Put Your Head On My Shoulder

Paul Anka sold out the Providence Vets Auditorium last night, about 2,000 people, with a tremendous show: no warm-up act, a great band, and him, singing for two hours without a break. He did two encores and received a 12-minute standing ovation. Of course, my personal trainer said, “Do you mind if I ask who Paul Anka is?” and I said, “Do you mind if I drop a 45-pound weight in your general vicinity?” But if you were into the …


The Ragin’ Cajun

James Carville was my guest yesterday at my annual Thought Leadership Conference at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach. He is a fast-talking, straight-shooting guy who goes full bore, start to finish, and he joined us for dinner, as well. I asked him why Barak Obama, elected amid speeches between Doric Columns and Greek Porticos, with a rock star excitement in the audience, is now shunned by members of his own party seeking reelection in states he originally carried. James …


The Ideal Career

Someone approached me not long ago and said, “I’ve figure you out. You only do what you love to do and are great at. And you’ve built a career around it.” That didn’t come as a surprise to me, but it clearly did to him. As I thought about it, I added one component, which is “high impact.” Any two of the three elements won’t lead to complete contribution or complete fulfillment. I’ve sketched it out below. See what you …


Create Some Perspective

As consultants, we often need to create perspective. That’s because if we simply and uncritically compare issues and performance around us, we may find we’re on the fast track to the lowest common denominator. The media fill the air with bad news because that attracts higher ratings than good news. (Do you know that Apple just had a phenomenal quarter, but when results were announced the stock declined?) We become inured to volatility (the market hit a record yesterday). We …


Made My Day

Dear Alan, Thank you for the “Writing on the Wall” videos.  They have inspired me to finally take some bold actions.  I lost a breast to cancer 5 years ago and it has been quite a journey since then. During that time your observations and wit kept me centered and helped me to think big. As I celebrate my 5th year anniversary and am now considered “cancer free” you are among the angels that I quietly consider as part of my tribe…I …