Balancing Act: The Newsletter

(No. 246, February 2020)

Balancing act is in four sections this month:

  1. Techniques for Balance (Nobody Asked Me, But...)
  2. An Observation
  3. Musings
Techniques For Balance


- I’ve not yet seen an organization with unhappy employees and happy customers.

- There is zero correlation between servers in a restaurant introducing themselves and the quality of the forthcoming service.

- If the speed limits are generally 70 and below, why do we make cars that can go 200 miles per hour?

- I was happy Ghosn escaped from Japan given that country’s hugely unfair prosecutorial stacking-of-the-deck (they have a 99% conviction rate).

- I have a problem being told how much money a political candidate has raised in a given quarter, which I believe has less than nothing to do with the quality of his or her platform.

- There’s a LinkedIn ad daily from Fisher Investments which is so bogus that the guy running it has turned off comments to his posts to avoid all the critique he received.

- I don’t think much of the guys (they are always guys) who yawn in public with the accompaniment of what must have been the mating call of the Woolly Mammoth.

- We’ve gone to a movie theater twice in the past year when, once upon a time, we went every weekend. There’s not just better stuff on streaming services, most movies today are hugely boring.

- I want a button on airplane seats that says, “Turn off the seat belt sign in calm air or be sued for kidney damage.” I’m convinced some pilots are simply perverse.

- If athletes can make $100 million a year guaranteed for multiple years, why can’t a CEO? I’m just sayin’….

The Human Condition

An Observation

In The Irishman, a decent but vastly overrated movie, special effects were used to reverse-age some of the characters, most notably that of Robert De Niro, who plays the lead.

He does look like his younger self, but he moves like his present self. For example, when he is supposed to be more active and physical (such as when he beats a shopkeeper who pushed his daughter) he moves stiffly, without the flexibility or agility a younger man would exhibit.

The cosmetics change work, but the reality is something else. I remember when Mercedes North America was my client, they would buy competitors’ cars and reverse engineer them to see what they could learn.

They showed me a Lexus which seemed to have identical features to the Mercedes but at a lower cost. However, the Mercedes had pragmatic applications (the rain from the roof was diverted to drains, the spare tire was used to protect the gas tank in case of impact), whereas the Lexus didn’t incorporate the same utilitarianism.

When we attempt to sell something to someone we can’t merely say the right words (a “script” or “pitch” to many) we have to possess the right demeanor and behaviors. It’s not merely what we look like or sound like, it's who we are and how we perform and deliver.

No amount of cosmetics, special effects, or trickery can cover up who we really are.


In late December, I sat with 60,000 other people in the growing Massachusetts gloom in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, to watch the New England Patriots defeat the Buffalo Bills in a nail-biter that came down to the last play. I wouldn’t normally be there, greatly preferring to watch comfortably on a large screen TV in my home where drinks don’t cost $400 and I can smoke a cigar.

However, I won the tickets at a charity auction, found out they were in the Putnam Club, and my wife joined me on the train ride from Providence on ancient tracks until the train arrived at the stadium, nose-to-nose with another engine which had come south from Boston.

I observed that people under 40 were basically drinking as much liquor as they could, and people over 40 were eating as much food as they could. (The Putnam Club features hot pastrami, short ribs, prime rib, shrimp, and so on in addition to traditional burgers and hot dogs.)

The stadium personnel are exceptionally polite and helpful, everything is Las Vegas-expensive, and we had to wipe the accumulated ice on the seats off ourselves. My wife innovatively retrieved napkins and a cardboard drink tray which served nicely as an ice scraper. I might keep one in the Rolls.

This stadium of fans, holding more people than the armies of 90% of the countries in the world, stayed to the bitter end, rooting heartily, booing every adverse officials’ call, and loudly supporting the home team, already in possession of six Super Bowl titles, every fan feeling he or she earned it. (Watching people slam “high fives” in the audience when the team scores is rather hysterical, as if they did anything but swill beer and stuff fries in their mouths.)

It occurs to me that people want a good time. They need a good job, the ability to earn a living and put some money away, to enjoy themselves with family and friends, and to otherwise be left alone. They don’t really care about what happens in North Korea or Iran unless it’s a direct threat to their safety. They don’t want the government regulating their lives except to provide for defending the coasts, delivering the mail, and providing for domestic tranquility (a phrase from the Constitution itself).

That night, in a brightly lit, comfortable stadium, filled with great athleticism, plentiful food, and refreshing drink, the Patriots won.

In more ways than one.

Only Read This if You Know Me Well

I noticed an older woman on a street corner, at the curb, looking uncertainly toward the traffic I was in, and also down the cross street. Astounded that no one was stopping, I did. But she kept shaking her head from side to side, obviously still scared to cross. I pulled abreast of her, lowered the passenger window, and shouted, “Don’t be afraid, I’ll hold up traffic for you.”

She yelled back, “Go on your way, I’m looking for my daughter and my ride.”

Development Opportunities
Million Dollar Consulting® Convention in Sydney

Million Dollar Consulting® Convention in Sydney

You can now view the entire brochure and offerings by clicking on “download the brochure” here.

My signature global event for 2020, join speakers from five countries, participants from a dozen (so far), in 2.5 days of learning, networking, and personal growth. Learn how to increase your business while decreasing your labor intensity from people who have successfully done so. And I’m personally hosting the event and delivering the opening keynote. Discounts for my Australian and New Zealand colleagues.

Creating Dynamic Communities

Building a pipeline for any economic condition: a livestream event

Many people are fearing what they consider an “inevitable” downturn. I’m much more positive than that, but I do believe we ought to be strong and prepared to thrive in any economy. My most successful teleconference ever was about how to thrive in a crisis economy during the recession ten years ago.

Join me for an hour—a very inexpensive hour—that includes a recording and permanent link to learn how to build a pipeline that’s impervious to economic fluctuations. And you can submit questions in advance or during the live broadcast.

Are you listening to Paul Revere or Chicken Little?

Creating Dynamic Communities

Getting started in consulting and reenergizing your consulting practice

We had a room-packed, sold-out session in Boston, and I’m repeating it in Los Angeles because of a ton of requests to do so. Learn how to get into this wonderful profession without all the mistakes and without leaving money on the table. Learn how to revitalize a current practice by focusing on truly high-margin offerings and getting out of the ruts. These six hours will change your results immediately, and lunch is on me, despite the ridiculously low fee!

Creating Dynamic Communities

Creating Dynamic Communities

Learn the techniques to create communities of evangelists, whether corporate or consumer. These are people who will enjoy the benefits of becoming peers and colleagues while the credit for the connections accrues to you. THIS is how to “make money while you sleep,” and how to leverage your existing value and offerings.



If you already have a healthy practice and are always ready to learn how to improve and grow still more, then participate in this intimate, limited-seating session to learn the absolute best practices to dramatically raise fees, become a trusted advisor on retainer, become a coach for top level executives, and begin benefitting from a constant flow of unsolicited referrals. Build your brand dramatically.

Why did CNBC approach me to do a feature on me called, “The CEO Whisperer”?

Attend this session and find out how that happens.



I’m offering a new, confidential, counseling service for those who have issues in their personal lives, with relationships, with families, illness, and so forth.


Alan Weiss’s Balancing Act® Newsletter is a registered trademark of Alan Weiss and Summit Consulting Group, Inc.
© Alan Weiss 2020

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