Between You and Me

The idea is to raise standards, not lower them to rationalize existing levels of performance. Our local post office once guaranteed postal boxes would be filled by 8 am. Over the years they’ve relaxed the standard to 11 am or later, despite less mail. Instead of trying to meet a metric, they change the metric to reflect their own inefficiency. I’ve seen the same with sales forces and quotas. Once you try to rationalize that “between you and I” is …


Photo Op

Allegations have arisen around the Dartmouth psychology department and three distinguished professors concerning possible sexual harassment. What do you want to bet that there are scores of universities holding emergency, closed-door meetings today with department heads and chairs? The heavy guns have swung around to academia. When my son was a teaching assistant at the University of Florida during his studies for his MFA, he was told to immediately reveal any student who sent any kind of inducement for improved …


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 …


Podcast – The Uncomfortable Truth – Episode 19: An F For Public Schools

“The looming societal crisis if we don’t improve our kids’ chances in a broken system.“ Transcript: I’m giving our public schools an F, that’s the uncomfortable truth. I’m a product of a public school education. Kindergarten through high school and then I went to Rutgers, which is the State University of New Jersey. I got my first Masters at Montclair, which was another State University in New Jersey. My wife did roughly the same thing. My wife was a teacher. She …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 10/30/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Some people default to asking for help instead of thinking things through. When you do the latter, you learn. When you do the former repeatedly, you’re co-dependent, especially when you’re asking the same question over and over. That indicates there is no integration of learning. I ask people I coach to tell me how they’d do something and then I’ll critique it. I don’t give them my resolution when they merely ask me how to do it. If I enable …


Go Pats

I’m heading for the Patriot Game in Foxboro today, taking a train out of Providence to beat the parking-lot traffic which develops before and after the game. They don’t allow drop-offs, so I can’t take a limo. (The limos have to go into the $120 limo lot. This is how Bob Kraft just bought two new 767s for the team.) It’s sort of like skiing, by the time you get to the top of the hill with all the equipment …



ROI

Ignore the experts about the stock market’s continual ascent. The point is this: There is nowhere else to put your money. Bank deposits and CDs are paying very low interest (in Europe they charge YOU to hold your money). Real estate is iffy and totally illiquid. The only place in the world to invest money with a reasonable expectation of decent returns is in the US stock market. There will be setbacks and corrections along the way, but that fact …


Shut Up and Let Us Eat

We dined in Ocean Prime last night on the Boston harbor, one of my favorite places for steaks. We had maybe the finest bone-in filet we’ve ever had, and I sent that message to the kitchen. The drinks and wine were excellent. But the waiter was a cloying, annoying, interfering guy who thinks constant discussion enhances a meal. His “brief” descriptions of specials took five minutes. He interrupted us twice before we had chosen our dinner. He came over three …