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Balancing Act: The Newsletter (No. 150, February 2012 )

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Techniques for balance

  1. You can assume the other person is wrong, but once you assume that person is somehow “damaged” you’ve ended rational debate.

  2. If you’re checking for software updates every day you’re more concerned about taking care of your technology than it taking care of you.

  3. Do you have GPS for your day? Do you know where you’re going and how best to get there?

  4. Tell people what they need to know, not everything that you know. Bad examples: Any TV “meteorologist.” They’re giving me wind directions and high tides and I merely want to know if it will be cold and if I need an umbrella.

  5. Reporters stand before cameras on cold or rainy streets just for effect, not for substance. Are you doing things just for effect, without substance? (Example: Being seen at places you’d rather not be.)

  6. I meet some people who are concerned about how much value and help they can provide for others, and thereby forge a career, and some people who want to make as much money as they can providing as little value as possible. Guess whom I’d rather be with?

  7. If you don’t vote, locally or nationally, I’m not much interested in your complaints about the government. If you brag about not voting, I’m not much interested in you.

  8. The greatest moderator on social behavior today should be the fact that virtually anything can be videoed and broadcast, and people you believed to be friends are far more interested in 30 seconds of attention and a few bucks for violating your privacy than preserving the friendship.

  9. I love people who proclaim on their web sites that they have the highest degree of ethics, and a clear philosophy about helping, and a noble mission statement, then don’t return calls or emails for a week.

  10. If I meet one more person who brags to me for 20 minutes about how well they’re doing and how much business is coming in, and then asks me for a discount, delayed payment, or free services, I’m going to request a permit to carry a gun. Walk the talk or shut your mouth. (These are also the people who never pick up a check.)

For a free, brief video series on RESOLVE, please go here:

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I’ve found in my coaching work that there are two kinds of “needy” people. One is legitimately in need, requiring resources, skills, advice, education, and so forth in order to improve. We all fit that definition to some extent, but some people particularly require intervention from others to be more successful. People with addictions I consider to be in legitimate need of help, as does someone who doesn’t know how to use silverware at a meal, or one who can’t master public speaking.

Then there are people who constantly need to be told how good they are. If they aren’t being applauded, they incite people to applaud them and, ultimately, they’ll even publicly applaud themselves. These are the people who suck all the oxygen out of a room, and every time we agree to participate in their self-adulation, we actually enable their dysfunctional behaviors.

I knew a speaker once who had a novelty act. He built a variety of false endings into the act, so that the audience would give a rousing round of applause thinking he was finished. Well, he “finished” four times. (At one convention, the emcee and program chair ran up and forced him off stage, saying, “That’s it!”)

We’ve all experienced the person who had to tell another joke after someone else received a round of laughter, or who had to cite a vacation of their own after someone else had gained rapt attention about their recent trip. There are people with a self-published book who won’t stop talking about their “best-seller” (or their “TV show” which is actually a purchased 30 minutes on a dusty set in a minor cable station) despite the fact that someone with a dozen commercially published books is standing next to them.

We ought to be helping the truly needy, those who are trying to improve their lives and the lives of others but require tangible or intangible assistance. But we have to stop enabling the pseudo-needy, those who are so insecure that they must be constantly in the limelight.

I know what you’re thinking: Aren’t those people truly needy, in that they have to change that behavior? I would agree.

We need to help them by telling them, “Stop it!”

For a free, brief video series on RESOLVE, please go here:

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The human condition: Look at me

Once upon a time, infamy and fame were seen as antonyms. Being notorious was considered pejorative, not synonymous with being famous.

That’s been changed, accelerated by the social media platforms but also by an insatiable hunger just to be seen and heard. I recall hearing once that when the TV program “60 Minutes” ran exposés on companies with shady business practices, the companies’ stock actually went up the following day.

Almost everyone at the time, people of all ages, would have agreed that Sinatra was a great singer in the 40s and 50s. Adults and teenagers danced to the same music played by the same big bands. Elvis changed all that, radically stratifying tastes, followed by the Beatles. Yet they still had huge cohorts. Today, we have music groups and singers that many people have never, ever heard of. We have “celebrities” and “personalities” whom I can’t recognize without the help of a Google search.

Extend that to individuals, and we have a hunger to be “known” by “others” reflected in “reality shows” (which aren’t very real at all) and bizarre YouTube videos, and obscenity and coarseness on Facebook, all intended to draw attention. The quality of the attention doesn’t matter—fame and infamy are equal—just the amount of the attention.

There seems to be a mass self-esteem problem, creating an inability to be happy with one’s self, to create a private and happy life, to live outside of a spotlight. Have you ever wondered how many of those “funniest home videos” are staged? (Who continues filming while someone is in pain or danger?) The banality of 90% of Facebook postings is astounding. Our fascination with every shrug and moan of non-entities—“bachelors,” Kardashians, housewives of any city—ironically suggests a boredom with our own lives.

There used to be “A list” stars and “B list” stars. It seems to me we’re about to run out of letters of the alphabet.


video series on RESOLVE

For a free, brief video series on RESOLVE, please go here:


October 22-24, 2012
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, FL
The third annual conference, limited to 20 people, which has featured Marshall Goldsmith and David Maister the past two years. In 2012 we have MARGARET WHEATLEY, author and consultant whose works include the seminal Leadership and the New Science. Learn how to rise to thought leadership in your field with practical techniques and ongoing support. The graduate session is already sold out a year in advance! Thirteen spots remain. There is no other opportunity like this in the world. The finest venue, great interaction, top people. All lodging and meals are included.

Read about the 2011 session here.

Sign up for 2012 here (quick pay).


February 24, 2012
Alan's Home, East Greenwich, RI

A maximum of six people will engage in both skill and behavioral development to raise and sustain high self-esteem levels. Based on Alan�s longer programs in the U.S., Sydney, and Dublin. One spot remains. Meals included.


March 6-7, 2012
Alan's Home, East Greenwich, RI

We have space for only 6 people in this session which provides six months of growth in two days. Create a powerful speech, practice it, set the right fees, and establish a marketing plan. Extensive prep work. All meals, lodging, local transportation included. A unique, intensive opportunity with ongoing and detailed feedback from Alan. Two spots remain.


Miami, February 7, 2012: Delano Hotel
London, May 8, 2012: Baglioni Hotel

In an extensive day of recorded role-plays and case studies, learn how to establish objectives, metrics, and value that will gain conceptual agreement with a buyer and lead directly to large proposals with almost guaranteed acceptance. We will provide everyone with videos of their simulations, and everyone is encouraged to record their own and others. I�m buying dinner for the first ten registrants in each city.


March 27, 2012
The Palace Hotel, New York City

For the first time, detailed techniques on how to convert a published book into exponentially increased business. And that doesn�t rely on how many books you sell! Bring your book or manuscript with you. This isn�t about how to write a book, but how to market it to grow your business. A unique day for serious authors.


Join me for a 15-minute Friday audio, a 10-minute monthly video, and a full day workshop in June in Los Angeles. Charge yourself up each week with pragmatic and direct advice, including questions from the wrappers. We had over 40 people from all over the world join us in Las Vegas in 2011. Membership give you access to all 2011 broadcasts, as well!


Now there is a learning guide before each teleconference, and a free download, as always. Join us for “Conversation Domination” and “The Mental Gym,” as well at 8 other sessions of advanced skills building.


A quick-hit primer and booster on the essentials of consulting marketing and delivery.

Digital Empire Creation
Provided by Chad Barr and his team

In response to many of his clients' requests, Chad Barr, who has helped craft and create Alan Weiss's digital empire, has developed an exciting and stimulating intellectual property creation program to help you create your own digital empire and achieve huge success.


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Hall of Fame Stupid Lines I’ve Heard:

Me, to phone company representative: I can’t make outgoing calls on my phone.
Her: Are you using that phone to call me now?

Getting out of my Bentley at the post office, a man comes over and says, “Wow, great looking car. Do you like it?”

Me, to hostess in restaurant: Hello, I’m Alan Weiss and we have a 7 o’clock reservation.
Her: May I have your name please and do you have a reservation?

Woman in Chicago store: Where should that be shipped?
Me: Rhode Island
Woman: So that’s New York?
Me: No, you’re thinking of Long Island. Rhode Island is a state.
Woman: Sir, Rhode Island is a borough of New York.
Me: Here’s my license. What does that tell you?
Woman: For some reason, New York doesn’t put the state on the license.

Woman in customer service on phone: Your account number, please?
Me: I just punched it in on the phone when I was prompted.
Woman: Oh, whatever they ask you for never appears on our screens.

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2012 Teleconference Series

Next year there is a learning guide before each teleconference, and a free download, as always. Join us for �Conversation Domination� and �The Mental Gym,� as well at 8 other sessions of advanced skills building.

Shameless Promotion

East Greenwich, RI
Scheduled on demand

One-to-four people participate in a rigorous two days of promotional "mayhem," in which we create assertive and powerful approaches to mold thought leaders, "go to" people, interviewing targets, and objects of interest. The second course is now completed, and we ensure compatibility by vetting applicants. Nothing else like this if you seek to "rise above the noise." One to four people, scheduled at mutual convenience. The third one has recently been formed.

If you decide to get out of bed in a lousy mood and bad disposition, I can guarantee your day will not get any better. —AW

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