Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 8/25/14

This week’s focus point: Just as businesses grow through the increase in business, not by cutting expenses (no one ever cut their way to market leadership), if we’re not growing we’re not living. Plateaus erode, due to entropy. We grow and help others to grow by investing. The notion that we should reduce, and cut back, and return to simpler times is as incorrect as it is impossible. We are smart enough, innovative enough, and resourceful enough to avoid the forecasts of doom and gloom. From Malthus on, people have been trying to convince us that growth will kill us. It was predicted we’d be out of oil by now (we have more reserves and fields than we did in the 1950s), that the earth couldn’t support more than three billion people, and that everything of worth had already been invented. People who coast on a plateau usually sail off the edge. Onward and upward. (Note from Alan: Friends, I write to provoke and stimulate, not to be liked or gain consensus. If you don’t agree with me, I respect that, but I can’t debate it with you since I have hundreds of thousands of readers. And if you want to threaten me with unsubscribing to a free newsletter, you just make me giggle!))

Monday Morning Perspective: Optimumque est, ut volgo dixere, aliena insania frui. (And the best plan is, as the popular saying goes, to profit by the folly of others.) — Pliny the Elder, Historia Naturalis

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Million Dollar Consulting® College: Attend in December, qualify for the May Grad School:

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Here on Nantucket, the planes can’t land if it’s excessively foggy, which it often is. Whether a commercial flight, private jet, puddle-jumper, or whatever, the weather is egalitarian in determining if the wheels will meet the runway. There’s no place to divert, you simply go back where you came from and cancel your plans or try again later.

There’s a fog surrounding many businesses. Potential customers can’t quite make them out. The lines blur. The benefits aren’t clear. It’s uncertain where solid ground is separated from deep water. The value isn’t emerging. It seems dangerous to try to land. There is no one who is helping to “talk them down.”

Does your business stand out like a beacon, or is it lost in a fog of uncertainty where it’s hard to discern its value?

© Alan Weiss 2014

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The Adventures of Koufax and Buddy Beagle

The Adventures of Koufax and Buddy Beagle

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Shadows of Schadenfreude

 Shadows of Schadenfreude

(Stuff I Should Probably Feel Bad About But Somehow Don’t)


• I want the kids in the surf who scream like banshees with every wave to get a mouthful of seawater until they stop, and for good measure I want their parents’ food to be stolen by seagulls.

• I love it when the moron tailgating me on a city street can’t make it through the light after I do.

• It’s rewarding when the cool dude who wanders into the bar to see if anyone in there is worth his precious time trips over a table leg on the way back out.

• Makes my day when the people who ostentatiously arrive at their front row seats at the theater late are mocked by someone on stage.

• It’s nice when a braggart “instructing” people about how to enjoy Italy based on his one trip there for a week learns he’s speaking to people who were born there.

• I’ve had it with people in church who allow their kids to scream during services so that nothing else can be heard, even though there are private rooms they can use and still hear the service.

• If you’re going to stop in a doorway to chat leaving a theater, you deserve to be trampled underfoot.

• People on motor scooters doing 20 in a 45 zone, refusing to move over for other vehicles, should run out of gas in a deserted area with no cell phone reception 50 miles from home.

• Servers who introduce themselves at length, offer gratuitous opinions about food and wine, and constantly ask how you’re doing should be caught stealing food and spend the rest of their employment washing dishes.

• The person talking to you but looking over your shoulder to see if there’s anyone more appealing to talk to should miss Bill Gates and Diane Sawyer departing right behind her.

• The people who insist on saying, “No problem” should have some problems.


© Alan Weiss 2014

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Pushing Off the Bottom

I was watching my daughter teach our (almost) six-year-old twin granddaughters to swim here in our pool in Nantucket. They had abandoned their inflation devices, and were swimming quite well. She told them, “If you ever find yourself sinking, push off the bottom strongly and you’ll go to the surface where you can breathe again.” She then helped them both to do this, which I thought was a great exercise.

It occurred to me that too many of us fail to push off the bottom. We hit a snag or setback or outright failure, and we are immobilized. If we’re lucky we float until someone rescues us, but otherwise we sink to the bottom, metaphorically unable to breathe, recover, or revive. We have become sediment.

What’s your “push” off the bottom? Is it a loved one, a coach, colleagues, self-talk? We all sink sometimes, lose buoyancy. But we’re seldom in deep water, just among family, friends, and business associates. The bottom isn’t far away, but you need to know how to and be willing to push yourself back up.

© Alan Weiss 2014

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Flipping Pages

I was asked for an appointment next month, and as I flipped through my Filofax (no, I don’t use electronic calendars) I realized I had gone too far and I was in mid-October, not September.

In a half-second, I had lost a month. How often do you think you’ll get to something, there’s plenty of time, no hurry, and you’ve lost a month? Whether it’s a half-second or it’s weeks, it’s very easy to watch time go by with no action, no results, nothing happening.

Have you accomplished what you intended over the past 30 days?

© Alan Weiss 2014

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Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 8/18/14

This week’s focus point: We are not like tulips or tigers, pre-destined to grow into a consistent and identical form of life. We are sentient beings, who should form our own distinct persona, influence, and legacy. To simply follow the paths of others, to act without questioning, to show no interest in understanding life’s meaning or our relationship to nature–this is to be a herd animal. We seem to seek commonality, from fashion to recreation, from friends to careers. What we should be seeking is uniqueness, a different cadence, a new route. It’s easy to follow, it’s tougher to lead, but it’s toughest to be yourself in a world trying to make you generic. Resist, at all cost.

Monday Morning Perspective: Political language–and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists–is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. — George Orwell

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Innovation in A Day: Learn how to become systematically innovative and to help your clients to do so for much higher fees. A one day, intensive experience:


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Save Salmon, Kill Birds? DASM

Salmon are being husbanded back to a presence in the Columbia River in the northwest, where resident birds find the new food source highly appealing. The people who have worked to bring back the salmon apparently feel that the birds should be shot (New York Times, today).

This is what happens in life and in organizations when parochial interests feel theirs is the ultimate cause. Let’s trample (or kill) anything in our path, because we alone are the righteous.

What’s needed of course, in business and in life, is a holistic, strategic view which takes into account a variety of legitimate interests. That requires leadership and compromise, priority setting and big thinking.

Of course, you can always shoot the birds. But whom do you shoot next?

© Alan Weiss 2014.

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The Power of Personal Worth—Yours!

About two weeks to join us at the outset for the Power of Personal Worth. Build esteem privately and consistently for the kind of life and career you prefer:


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The Adventures of Koufax and Buddy Beagle

The Adventures of Koufax and Buddy Beagle

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