Enough About Me, What Do You Think About Me?

Have you ever encountered the “black hole” individual? All light, matter, and energy are drawn into their own agenda. You could be talking about a basketball game and they will comment, “You’d better hope no one is injured because the Republicans are trying to ruin health care!” Or you’re thinking of going to Italy to see Capri and they say, “I was served a horrible meal in Rome. I think they give inferior food to tourists.” When you get gum …


Vote for Me!

I’m astounded at how many successful people I know who are simply besotted with awards. The external validation is like a drug. All over Facebook, people I respect and know as very expert and competent are wooing votes to be a top guru, or authority, or performing seal. Are we so insecure, despite our accomplishments, that we need to have people place us in a rather arbitrary beauty contest final? We all know how “objective” such competitions are. Is an …


I’m Weary of….

  Men and women covered in tattoos that simply look like purple discolorations infecting their skin. Men over 16 wearing baseball caps backwards. People engaged in conversation while others in the room are trying to listen to a speaker. “Between you and I.” Profanity used as adjectives and as book titles as if we’re all going to be shocked instead of bored. Headlines and reports about who knelt at a football game during the National Anthem. Celebrity chefs naming their …


The Ice Woman Cometh

I’m having drinks with Dan Gilbert in his favorite Cambridge hangout last week, and he says he’s actually looking forward to retirement some day, though he doesn’t know when. I told him I considered it an ancient artifact, and I was going to continue doing my favorite things so long as I was at the top of my game in any particular pursuit. “How will you know you’re no longer at the top of your game?” he asked. I explained …


Trends

Here are 16 trends I predicted at my annual Thought Leadership Conference last week in Palm Beach: 1. A rising, global middle class will tend to curtail warfare as more “haves” will not want to sacrifice their gains. 2. Chinese hegemony will grow immensely in all parts of Asia. 3. There will be unprecedented political realignment in the US as a result of the Trump election victory with reform in gerrymandering, lobbying, and even third party viability. 4. Automobile creation …


You Talking to Me?

I receive letters daily because I’m in print, on video, and on audio in so many places. I’m also on three social media platforms. Most communications are kind, some are angry, and a few are sociopathic. But what intrigues me is that so many people spell my name wrong. My name is, obviously, “Alan.” My parents were far too poor to afford more than one “l.” Yet people mangle it with “Allan,” “Alen,” “Allen,” and, worst of all, “Al.” (Do …


Get Your Hands Off Of Me

People are upset with United Airlines for dragging a customer up the aisle to evict him, but we’re “dragged up the aisle” every day by banks that are charging nickel and dime nuisance fees, airlines charging for baggage (they made $4 billion on this last year, a charge that didn’t exist several years ago), and health care copays. Why are we only upset when it’s egregious? Dragging is dragging….


Client Service 601

We’ve all been exposed to what I call Client Service 101, an amateurish training provided by inexpensive firms to equip phone representatives to better deal with outraged customers, that outrage being caused by deficient products, services, and/or delivery procedures. It goes like this: • I know how frustrated you must feel. • This must be very difficult for you. • I’ve experienced this in my dealings with companies myself. • I don’t blame you for being so upset. It’s like …


I’m Crossing My Arms Here

The Boston Globe reported this morning that they’ve consulted with “body language experts” to decipher the meeting between Trump and Putin. I’m looking forward to their piece on “astrology experts” followed by “Loch Ness Monster experts.” Whenever someone says they’re reading my body language, I cross my arms. I understand that a body language profanity, right? (Trigger warning, this article may upset you. Oops, was that supposed to be at the top?)


Providence: The Incompetence of Small Numbers

Rhode Island has well under a million adults. Providence, the capital, is by far the largest city and the Greater Providence Area probably has about 400,000 people. But the state has almost 20 geopolitical jurisdictions, so it needs 20 chiefs of police, fire chiefs, head librarians, superintendents of schools, mayors/city managers, and so on. Almost every week it seems as if a member of the state legislature or Providence city council is charged, indicted, and/or convicted of crimes, from not …