Balancing Act #202: June 2016

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BALANCING ACT: BLENDING LIFE, WORK, AND RELATIONSHIPS®

A free monthly newsletter about balancing life, work, and relationships based on the books and popular workshops conducted by Alan Weiss, Ph.D. Past copies are archived on our web site: http://www.summitconsulting.com.

Copyright 2015 Alan Weiss. All rights reserved.

ISSN 1934-3116

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Balancing act is in four sections this month:

  1. Techniques for balance
  2. Musings
  3. The human condition: Changing times
  4. ORTIYKMWOYBNT-O Department

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Techniques for balance:

“Sorry I couldn’t reach you, I’m here if you need me.” Then move on, don’t be desperate.

Musings

            I’m not convinced that we convince too many people to make dramatic change. For example, I think in the U.S., most self-declared Democrats will vote Democratic, and most self-declared Republicans will vote Republican, leaving only a small slice of the population which can actually be influenced one way or the others. (This coming election might change that—Reagan changed it, and so did Clinton to varying degrees.) Short of having to support Jack the Ripper, people don’t abandon their home bases.

            I’ve found two dynamics of relevance in business. The first is that the same principle largely applies: Meeting are horrible places to attempt to change hearts and minds. Once people publicly “declare” their position, their ego acts as a fortress, protecting their position from assault. (This is why most jury foreman will ask for early verdicts anonymously, on slips of paper. This is called “secret polling.”)

            The second is that when you are able to convince people who were holding an opposing position they become more impassioned disciples than those who were always backing you! Hence, the effort can be worth the extra investment.

            How is this best done? Not by suggesting they become parts of a “winning team” or “follow your colleagues.” That kind of normative pressure is temporary and fickle. Changing someone’s mind involves appealing to their self-interests, not solely yours. Convincing R&D that the sales team should have its way is far less effective than both group agreeing on mutually-beneficial plans. Yet we’ve become a partisan lot: My way or the highway.

            I’m approached by people all the time who want me to do them a favor. Most just want me to put money in their pocket. There is no quid pro quo.

            The next time you’re in a school board, finance committee, sport league, or social meeting and you want to convince the “opposition” to change their minds, think about what’s in their self-interest. It can be done at any level. Doris Kearn Goodwin’s Team of Rivals demonstrates how Lincoln effectively ran the country during its worst moments by gaining support of opposing groups and views. That could still be done today.

            Of course, we need people willing to understand and accommodate other views and not demand that they, alone, know the royal road.

The human condition: Changing times

            I’m sitting in our stateroom on the Danube not far from Nuremberg, where we’ve spent two days. The city is over a thousand years old, and the walls and towers of the “old city” are still evident. The city was over 90 percent destroyed in early 1945 near the war’s conclusion. It has been rebuilt with faithful adherence to the outside and sometimes shocking modernization on the inside. (St. Elizabeth’s church looks medieval on the outside but stunningly modern inside.)

            Nuremberg was the birthplace of National Socialism, racial purity, and Hitler’s rise, which is one reason why it was decided two hold the war crimes trials in Nuremberg at the conclusion of World War II. The courthouse and chancellery are repaired and still stand.

            And here we are amidst one our closest allies today, which is a vastly diverse country. (Typical: Our waitress in a small café was Macedonian.) That continues as large amounts of refugees are settled within Germany.

            I remember when I first visited Hawaii 40 years ago, I was shocked to see the number of Japanese visitors at the U.S.S. Arizona memorial.

            Times change. Countries, politics, regions, allies, cultures can and do all change. The Iron Curtain falls. Trade with Cuba resumes. The European Community is established. China’s middle class grows dramatically. In almost any country you can watch CNN (or Law and Order reruns).

            The question is, do we allow ourselves to change? Some of us hold on to biases and inaccurate information for most of our lives. We cling to the same group of friends and never enlarge (or replace) them. We refrain from trying things we didn’t like or weren’t good at 20 years ago, and persist on doing things that are no longer rewarding just because we’ve done them for 20 years.

            If a German guide today can show us the site of the Nuremberg trials and explain the rise of National Socialism, and contemporary Japanese can show their respects for American dead at Pearl Harbor, we can certainly examine our own beliefs, outlook, and attitudes.

            After all, here I am on a river cruise on the Danube making friends with strangers!

Alan Weiss Development Experiences

Periscope Broadcasts

Download the app on your mobile device and follow me @BentleyGTCSpeed for regular, live broadcasts on self-worth and self-esteem.

The Mystery Workshop

February 7, Dallas

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No, I'm not telling you what it's about, but it will be new, novel, and highly productive. Take advantage of $400 off the regular fee if you act before August. We already have 20 people willing to take the chance!

Retreat: Becoming More Productive

June 28-28, Rhode Island

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Change your routines, set valid priorities, adhere to personal metrics, master the art of refusal, increase your speed, recognize synchronicity.

The Transatlantic Workshops

Featuring Matt Kolbusa from Hamburg

October 24-25, Washington, DC

http://www.alanweiss.com/growth-experiences/the-transatlantic-workshops/

You’ll hear numerous examples to enter high-fee territory. Taking our own experience as the starting point, we’ll describe how to gradually increase project volumes from $50k to $100K, to $200K, to $300K and, finally, even to $500k. What errors were made along the way? What were the profits of these projects and what will they be in the future? What erroneous reasoning and attitudes do we have to overcome to achieve this development? Based on hit workshops in Munich and Hamburg.

Million Dollar Consulting® College

Newport, RI

December 13-16

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My longest sustained offering, enormously popular after more than a decade. Join me and a small group for an intense 3.5 days (newly reduced from 4.5) to dramatically build your business, whether beginner or veteran, and at a fabulous property.

Role-Play Workshop

September 27 in Boston or New York (you get to vote)

A maximum of 26 people in the toughest and/or most common challenges, from marketing to implementation, from referrals requests to dealing with difficult clients. Write me to apply: alan@summitconsulting.com. First ten people are $950, second ten are $1,150, final six are $1,350.

Thought Leadership 2016

October 5-7

Four Seasons, Palm Beach

http://www.alanweiss.com/growth-experiences/2016-thought-leadership-seventh-annual-conference/

We sell-out every year and for our next one I've secured Harvard's Dan Gilbert, the expert on happiness, as my special guest for a discussion as well as dinner. His TED talk has been viewed by over 15 million people thus far. Three seats remain.

Million Dollar Consulting® Convention 2017

April 26-28, Chicago

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After smash hits in Atlanta and Los Angeles, our third annual event will be in Chicago. We'll have five general sessions, six concurrent sessions, panel discussions, networking reception, and much more. Save $200 before August 1.

  1. Endorsed Programming

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I offer fabulous resources through global experts in areas such as positioning, wealth building, fitness, social media excellence, coaching, and other areas, all of whom I personally work with and support. Consider this your "galaxy of expertise."

  1. Only Read This If You Know Me Well Or You’ll Be Needlessly Ticked-Off

         We were lost in the wilds of England on confusing roads, endless rotaries, and ridiculous names (Chapped Thighs On Tweed). It was as dark as a black hole, but my colleague and navigator kept insisting the hotel was close by.

         “Call the hotel and put them on speaker!” I demanded.

         I told the desk clerk out troubles.

         “Don’t you have GPS?” he asked, unhelpfully.

         “Yes, but it’s led us to a hospital of some type, maybe a psychiatric clinic,         very institutional.”

         “What are you driving?”

         “A BMW 7 series, why does that matter?”

         “Get out of your car.”

         “What? Why?”

         “I can see you from my window, you’re in our driveway. Welcome to the,   ah, asylum….”

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Don't ask me what you should do, explain what you're thinking of doing. -- AW

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© Alan Weiss 2016