Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 3/31/14

This week’s focus point: I’m thinking of Y2K, acid rain, more people than food, killer bees, disappearing bees, food dyes, eggs are bad for you (they can be good), meat is bad for you (it can be good), red wine is bad for you (it can be good), coffee is bad for you (it can be good). Surgery today sometimes employs leeches for clotting, once derided as quack medicine from a distant past. I recall Billy Joel’s song, “Shades of Grey”: “I’m just not that sure any more.” Scientists often change their minds. The media simply pursue the scariest stories. We need to apply judgment. We need to stop demonizing people who may not believe what we believe to be true, be it global warming or political positions. Good judgment should allow other points of view to be considered, not berate them simply because you happen to believe you’re “convinced.” The only thing I’m convinced about is that the older I get, the less I really know.

Monday Morning Perspective: He serves the state best who opposes it most. — Thoreau

Overcome the toughest obstacles stopping you:

Take a Weekly Sabbatical with Alan:

Be in the moment with any buyer: Improv in LA:



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The Dog Star: Going First

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)

I’ve made it a habit on the stairs to simply move to the side to allow the dogs to race ahead of me. Sometimes they wait on the landing to see which way I’ll go, and sometimes they’ll proceed down another flight having divined my route through some canine gnostic wisdom.

They do the same entering and leaving vehicles, going into the yard, and so forth. They want to be leading the pack.

Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate Civil War General, explained his considerable battle successes by stating, “I git there firstest with the mostest.” Whether true or apocryphal, the strategy is good sense.

A great many clients seek instant gratification. (I know I usually do.) They sometimes don’t see sufficient differentiation, and simply choose the first alternative, assuming all succeeding ones will be of about the same quality. They often have a real sense of urgency and don’t have the luxury of examining further options. (“The absolute best heart surgeon is three days away. We think you have about 24 hours.” “Okay, let’s go with the doc who’s here!”)

Don’t be tentative or afraid. Get in there first. When you’re 80% ready, move. You can always make mid-course corrections. Too many people are 100% prepared but no one needs them any more.

Possession may be nine-tenths of the law, but being in front of a buyer or opportunity first is ten-tenths of the business.

© Alan Weiss 2014

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The Adventures of Koufax and Buddy Beagle


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UCOs: Unidentified Calling Objects

There is some delusional guy leaving messages and using my name as a reference, who claims that his wife and parents and relatives are diplomats, circus performers, celebrities, and aliens. He also has the secret technology to save humankind. Believe me, he’s not with me and not using my name with permission.

Another guy wrote through my website that I must go visit all his sites because he is a unique and special consultant. When I mentioned that he shouldn’t write to me, he told me I had 24 hours to apologize or he’d expose me to the world. So if I turn into a pumpkin later today, you’ll know it was my own doing.

Be careful out there.


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Dumb-Ass Stupid Management: Welcome to the 18th Century

In 1754 the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews was founded.

In 2014, they’re voting on whether or not to admit women as members. That’s only 2.5 centuries for them to get to that, perhaps.

What world are we living in?

© Alan Weiss 2014

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How Do You Begin Your Day?

If you begin your day worried about paying bills, finding business, and meeting “quotas” you’re going to behave as if you’re trying to get money from people and be hesitant about calling them because they don’t want their money taken.

If you begin your day confident that you have tremendous value that can help others you’re going to behave as if you’re obligated to contact others in order to help them and they’ll be happy to hear from you because they appreciate value and help.

The way you begin your day is your choice. It’s not about competition, the economy, technology, demographics or any other factor. It’s about how you see yourself and what you believe about yourself.

Your success is dependent on how you view your worth, and whether you see yourself as a “taker” or a contributor.

© Alan Weiss 2014

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The Writing on the Wall Episode 91: Forgiveness

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Thou Shalt

Most corporate rules tell you what you cannot do, are prohibited from doing, and shall refrain from doing. That extends right down to small business, where the door is often plastered with “no shoes, no shirt, no service,” or “no dogs,” or “no whatever.” In the new football stadium built to lure the San Francisco 49ers to San Jose (no, even the City Fathers didn’t have the chutzpah to suggest San Jose 49ers) fans are prohibited from playing football in the parking lot, profanity, and spilling. SPILLING!

Good luck enforcing all that.

Even the Ten Commandments specify what you shouldn’t do (covet your neighbor’s wife) but not what you SHOULD do. Yet the very basis of Christianity is what you should do: be tolerant, forgive.

Perhaps we should start thinking more of what we want to encourage and less of what we feel we need to discourage. Instead of “No refunds if you don’t use the internet,” what about, “We’re happy to offer you complimentary internet service”?

In most cities, the negative, conflicting, and prohibitive street signs take you an hour to read and comprehend, yet that’s impossible because another sign says, “No standing.”

We’re telling too many people too often what they aren’t allowed to do, rather than explaining what we’d love to see them do, especially our kids.

I understand “thou shalt not kill,” but I can always use a reinforcing, “Thou shalt treat others as you would be treated.”

© Alan Weiss 2014. (I don’t mean “do not copy” this, I just mean “please give me credit if you do!)

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Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 3/24/14

This week’s focus point: I read all the requests for “likes” on Facebook, and even recommendations for how to solicit more of them. They may be harmless enough, but I wonder if they’re replacing the fact that many people don’t like themselves? It’s quite healthy to like yourself, it’s not narcissism or arrogance. It’s simply the acknowledgment that you’re trying to be a good person, even if often imperfect. Yet we’re constantly told we’re damaged in some way, we carry around ancient baggage, we listen to irrelevant (and often malicious) feedback in the guise of “help.” Most anger is self-anger, that’s directed outward to try to protect the individual. It just may be that the craving to be “liked” in such a public setting is similar, an overcompensation for not sufficiently liking oneself. I just know the day is a lot easier when you can get out of bed without worrying about either whether you’re okay, or whether others will think you’re okay. Simply be comfortable with yourself and move on.

Monday Morning Perspective: Etiam si omnes–ego non (Even if all others do–I will not)–St. Matthew

Remove your greatest obstacle: Whether a book, website, speech, behavior in meetings–in one day we’ll remove what’s undermining you in an intimate group, and prevent it from recurring.

If you don’t blow your own horn, there is no music: Shameless Self-Promotion, dramatically grow your business with minimal investment. Takes place in my new Retreat Center, Aug. 26-27. Write Limited to six people.

Remove self-limiting beliefs every day: Super Esteem. 1.5 days, May 27-28, at my new Retreat Center. Write Limited to 12 people. For my London offerings in April, Pivot Point and Personal Power, go to “workshops” at www.summit


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Movie Reviews from The Critic-in-Chief

My completely biased and accurate reviews of recent major films:

• 12 Years A Slave: Predictable (I kept thinking “Roots” of 30 years ago) and often implausible with a magnificent performance by Chiwetel Ejiofor but a hugely overrated performance by Lupita Nyong’o, who did not merit the Academy Award. I think this is a film people feel guilty about not liking.

• Gravity: Almost laughably ridiculous (e.g., Sandra Bullock using a fire extinguisher to maneuver in space), with George Clooney mailing it in. Fabulous effects but woefully lacking in story and acting. Truly terrible.

• Nebraska: It’s been done before (old person on a quest), whether it was that guy on the lawnmower or Don Quixote, but Bruce Dern is still a riveting actor.

• Dallas Buyers Club: Matthew McConaughey needs an easier name to spell because between this and TV’s True Detective, he’s outpacing and outacting everyone around. Jared Leno was sensational as his transexual business partner, and both richly deserve the Academy Awards bestowed on them. This was the first movie on AIDS since Philadelphia that I thought was done well.

• Captain Phillips: A little bit of Tom Hanks goes a long way these days, but the actor who allegedly simply walked in during the casting call, Barkhad Abdi, seemed to me like he had to be the real deal! Interesting movie that made me wonder why a couple of heavily armed security guys aren’t on all those ships to chase away pirates in speed boats. These guys are hardly rocket scientists.

• Inside Llewyn Davis: A great review in the Times and an interesting cast lured me to this deadly dull, self-indulgent mess about trying to make it in the 60s folk scene. I kept saying, “If I had a hammer….” Woeful and tired, like almost all folk music.

• Philomena: A movie I knew I’d dislike but my wife forced it on me and I absolutely loved it. Judi Dench engages in a tour de force in this true, utterly sorrowful yet redemptive, story of a son lost and pursued.

• The Wolf of Wall Street: Leonardo DiCaprio is ferociously good in the stereotypical role of the unethical trader (think Tom Wolfe’s Masters of the Universe in Bonfires of the Vanities). I don’t understand the negative reaction to the nudity and treatment of women since it would seem all quite realistic and in context. But the movie becomes tendentious and it’s hard to have any sympathy for anyone, including the law. It’s also 45 minutes too long. (It is amazing what people will do to appear in a major motion picture.)

• August Osage County: Meryl Streep is always great but if you’ve seen this production on Broadway (by Steppenwolf Theater from Chicago) then nothing else makes the grade. After a while the novelty of watching a dysfunctional extended family, tortured by a woman with cancer of the mouth and of the temperament, is not entertainment but just too long a stay on someone else’s couch.

• American Hustle: Perhaps THE most over-hyped movie of the year, it deservedly was blanked at the Oscars. Unrealistic scam artists, unpleasant people, and ridiculous sexual outfits on otherwise “sweet” actress Amy Adams do not a good film make. Or even a mediocre one.

• All Is Lost: What a magnificent premise, done superbly well by Robert Redford with practically no dialogue whatsoever. I was riveted by what I thought would be another survival movie but was far, far more. I had to confer with my family to make sure I understood the ending.

• The Counselor: A mess of a drug cartel film, where the lawyer trying to save himself became of interest only to see when and if he’d die. Utterly predictable and without the tension that I’m sure the producers thought would sustain it.

Sorry if I missed others you thought worthwhile, but no one has a gun big enough to force me to see something like Anchorman.

© Alan Weiss 2014

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