Well, we’ve all been through a hell of a nine months or more. Keep these probabilities in mind for balance.


Balancing Act: The Newsletter

(No. 259, March 2021)

Balancing act is in four sections this month:

  1. Techniques for Balance: Predictions 
  2. The Human Condition: Lateness
  3. Musings
Techniques For Balance


• The dissemination of vaccines will cause the infection rate and death rate to plummet faster than anticipated, and a renewed confidence will fuel consumer spending.

• Business profits in many sectors are high even with reduced revenues because expenses have been so much lower. Business will invest in expansion and hiring.

• Many consumers have money stockpiled because their expenses have been lower. A “Covid Cabin Fever” reaction will reinvigorate the hospitality industry with quick vacations and long weekends.

• One of the largest dichotomies in the nation (world?) will be the cautious people who continue to wear masks even when not required, and those who refuse to even be vaccinated because of conspiratorial paranoia.

• Twenty-five percent of every business, at a minimum, will be changed as a result of the past year. Not 25% of all businesses, but of every business.

• There will be a dramatic increase in physicians needing counseling as they fixate on life and death decisions they could have made differently. (A client of mine, who is young, contracted Covid and, alone on a hospital gurney, was asked by a calloused doctor if she wanted to sign a DNR and avoid major efforts to resuscitate her. She recovered completely.)

• They will eventually have to admit that, though the disease has a relatively small death rate, those deaths occurred overwhelmingly among people over 60, yet the vaccination effort at first (and, in some states, still) doesn’t make that demographic a priority.

• The medical and the military should have handled this, not the politicians. That will be a standard in the future.

• Countries that have not been able to contain the disease through lack of sufficient effort or incompetence will be increasingly isolated and their economies will be critically hurt.

• Families will realize that spending the holidays connected by Zoom and not going through the rituals of meals that are too large, arguments that never end, and trying to deal with that drunken uncle might just be the way to go in the future.

• We’ll understand great weakness in democracy was on display in the pitiful decisions and actions of most of the state governors. We don’t elect talented people, we elect popular people, or financially backed people, or wealthy people. But true talent and the willingness to serve are simply choked out of the electoral process. (I believe Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, has been a disgrace.)

The Human Condition

Do you know some people who are chronically late? It may be for only five minutes or it could be an hour, but they are always late. I’m not talking about cultural dynamics, whereby a meeting in South America will begin about 90 minutes after it’s “scheduled.”

When I begin Zoom meetings—for which people are paying me—there are always a couple of people two or three minutes late, suddenly appearing out of the mist, and making no less disruption than if they had walked into a real room. (And they’re usually not muted so they’re accompanied by background noise.)

At “live” meetings, I find people wander in ten minutes late and look around as if they can’t understand why so many people are already present. One woman arrived five minutes late and then promptly left because she had to get her tea. I could understand cocaine, but tea? After you’re already late?

Professors are famous for showing up late, as if they’re Hapsburg royalty. Broadway shows (remember them?) have a “standard” lateness of at least ten minutes, but some are worse. We once waited for comic Sarah Berhnardt to show up for her one-woman show for 30 minutes, and she never apologized.

This is all sheer disorganization coupled with a lack of concern and total self-absorption. When someone enters late, and then proceeds to chat with someone to see what they’ve missed, I can become murderous. A woman once disturbed everyone coming into a show and then promptly took a call on her cell phone.

I start meetings on time. You show up late, you’d better keep your mouth shut and make up for the lost time. I’m starting to eat dinner without you, and I’m going back home if you’re not at the bar to meet me as planned.

Oh, and texting me to say, “I’m running behind” is useless. I already know that. What you don’t appreciate is that I’m running on time.


I’ve been talking constantly to my clients about the fact that I believe every business will change by 25% as a result of the pandemic. Not 25% of all businesses, but of every business. You can see it already in the more thorough provision of take-out food even among high-end restaurants, scaled down versions of dance and symphonic events, and remote learning.

I think that this will also affect our personal lives directly, as well. A great many people had successful holiday celebrations using Zoom or similar technology. You could make the point that it was even higher quality than the in-person routine because it was less time and therefore more appreciated and fully enjoyed. There was no huge meal to clean up after or worry about being prepared to everyone’s satisfaction. There were no political arguments, and no drunken relative to be embarrassed by. There were no iPads used during the meal, very little inter-generational conflict.

You can’t throw relatives out of the house very easily, but you can certainly end a call abruptly.

People have started cooking more, enjoying home-made meals, taking more time to talk to each other. We are listening to podcasts, binging on cable series, watching streaming programming.

Work at home is simply not as productive as work at the office, substituting a greater set of distractions (kids, social media, hobbies) for lesser distractions (gossip, office politics, the noise in the next cubicle). But I’ve learned Q20 is greater than B40: A quality 20 hours is far superior to a busy 40 hours. If we can embrace that revolutionary fact, both our expectations and our productivity will be enhanced.

Finally, we are, most of us, hugely resilient (kids more than anyone). This learning experience will help us all in the future. Because this crisis is not isolated. There will be more. But perhaps we’ll be much better prepared.

Only Read This if You Know Me Well

I like the clothes at 7 (formally known as “7 For All Mankind”). They also sell women’s clothes, so they could be in trouble there.

I was in New York picking up some jeans and I saw two pullover shirts which I really liked and purchased on impulse. However, when I returned to Rhode Island I found that one sleeve was standard and the other cut on a bias at the cuff. It was a clear defect. Both shirts were damaged in that manner.

On my next trip I stopped in to return them. The manager said, “Sir, that’s the style.” I said, “Come on, these are errors and you’re trying to sell them.”

“Follow me,” he said, and showed me an entire rack of shirts cut that way. “It was a damaged shipment, then,” I said weakly. He then showed me women’s blouses, with one sleeve cut the same way.

“It’s the style,” he intoned, “very popular with trendsetters.”

“Ah,” I said, “of course, I’ve read about them!”

And off I slunk.*

*Slunk is the past participle of slink, not a word I get to use very often.

Development Opportunities
The Coming Business Renaissance


I’m inviting you to a Zoom workshop such as you’ve never attended. This is in the league of my Spirituality Workshop, Mystery Workshop, and Workshop Workshop in terms of my passion for providing unique value and original programming.

I’ve been interviewed thousands of times, coached thousands of people, made thousands of speeches. Not many people can claim that. Yet I’m always amazed by the questions I’ve never been asked. I’ve been around the block (over 60 countries to be exact). Maybe there are some things I’ve never shared because, as I think back, I’ve never been asked. If I were interviewing me, I’d be a lot more probing.

I’m aware of what’s “missing” so I’m going to delve into it. For example:

• What have been my most embarrassing moments and what did I learn from them to improve?

• What intimidated me to the point of being psychosomatically “ill” before the assignment?

• Did I ever really “fake it” and on what occasions?

• What have I said that I regret?

You’ll be hearing about these and scores of others in this self-interview (I got the idea from Ken Wilber’s A Brief History of Everything which I’ve been reading and in which he employs this technique). When I’ve worked with and chatted with Marshall Goldsmith, Jonah Berger, Dan Gilbert and a raft of other thought leaders, I’ve found we’re mostly asking each other questions and self-disclosing in response. (If Marshall and I had recorded our conversations in co-authoring Lifestorming we could have sold those for more than our respective coaching fees.)

And I’ll take questions throughout the session from attendees, and subsequently, by email, from those who watch the recording.

I guess it may be the only I can ask these questions, but I’m certain that you all can profit from the answers.

Date: March 9, 2021 Time: 9 am to noon US eastern time. Session will be recorded and sent to those wanting to time shift.

Fee: $1,000 by March 1, $1,300 thereafter.

Consider this therapy that I’ve convinced you to pay me for.

Prestige Mastermind Group


I’m forming a group of five people who will meet for 90 minutes once a week by Zoom over 90 days, following the success of two such groups.

• Maximum of five people per group

• Time adjusted to accommodate all members comfortably globally

• Meeting schedule set with all members for convenience

• 90 minute sessions over 90 days

• 9 meetings over that time span, virtually

• One-on-one work as needed and requested

• Video of all sessions within 48 hours

• Conditions permitting, an additional, live, full day meeting at conclusion with Zoom attendance for anyone who can’t make it

The fee is $5,000.  I’m predicting a “business renaissance” for late first quarter or early second 2021. Do you want to be a part of it or not?

Creating Dynamic Communities


I’m holding still another Creating Dynamic Communities session on April 13-14 for three hours per day. The fee is $3,800.

I’ve been asked for years how people can replicate my worldwide community, which is operating 24/7 virtually and in real time. Is it solely possible with entrepreneurs and the “retail” market, or can it be done with corporate clients and executives?

These communities (don’t confuse them with “tribes” which are exclusionary) provide huge business development benefits.

Sentient Strategy

Sentient Strategy

There is no strategy that was in place pre-pandemic that is useful any more, period. Alan Weiss’s Sentient Strategy® is a revolutionary approach to the traditional, hidebound, lengthy, and esoteric discussions that take weeks to produce a strategy that is obsolete as soon as a consensus is finally reached. Strategy has to be organic—that is, a pragmatic, living framework within which all decisions are made consistent with the nature and direction of the business.

The Sentient approach is meant to formulate strategy quickly, to be used immediately for as long as conditions warrant, and then to make changes rapidly as conditions change. Taking six weeks to create a five-year strategy in these times is like deciding to write longhand in general ledgers to track financial results in a business.

I’ve certified 35 people in 6 countries. I can do this one-on-one or one-on-several, time customized for your location, in two Zoom half-day sessions. You can implement it the same way with your clients.

More details here. Contact me to enroll. 

Contact Alan
Sentient Strategy


Personally work with me one-on-one for seven months with weekly (or more) calls, unrestricted email, and work on your strategy (markets, fees, promotion) and tactics (role plays, proposals, referrals). You’ll make your investment back with one sale.



MacKay CEO Forums: My long-time client and colleague, Nancy MacKay, is seeking additional chairs for her vast network which provides virtual meetings for business owners and executives. The chairs, while continuing to run their own businesses, also facilitate these meetings periodically, and gain exposure to potential clients by also addressing the groups and becoming known within the network. Here’s a video conversation with me and Nancy with more information. You can reach Nancy for further discussions here: nancy@mackayceoforums.com. Just mention that I sent you to receive a quick response.

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