Balancing Act: The Newsletter

(No. 254, October 2020)

Balancing act is in four sections this month:

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

Predictions are always risky if you’re a perfectionist, but since I’m not, here is some “food for thought” from my vantage point. I’m not requesting you agree, only that you think about them.

• About 25% of every business will permanently change because of what’s been experienced or implemented (Example: Dedicated food take-out process in even high-end restaurants.)

• An insistence that no one (or very few, depending on industry) permanently work remotely because of the morale, communication, and productivity problems.

• A cessation of flights and long distance train service from smaller cities which now have them. 

• A growth in financial services due to individuals and small businesses having learned the importance of cash reserves.

• A rise in entrepreneurism and business start-ups as people seek to rely on themselves and prevent losing a job because of a lack of control. (Most of these will fail.)

• As in Asia, predominantly, a continuation of many to wear masks in public settings long after they are no longer required. This will also involve a refusal to shake hands, hug, or otherwise come in contact with others.

• An increase in concierge doctors, dentists, lawyers, and accountants to ensure rapid access when needed.

• A dependable vaccine will emerge early next year but there will be trepidation about being among the first to take it, people will await any side-effects, so it’s impact will be delayed.

• Countless lawsuits will be filed over the handling of crisis, especially regarding nursing homes and congested neighborhoods, and Congress will initiate countless investigations to try to pin the blame on someone.

• The regular flu season approaching will further complicate COVID identification, treatment, and statistics (and therefore the local responses to those statistics).

• Ultimately, we’ll be somewhat better prepared in the future. But I have to admit that that’s not a prediction, just a prayer.

The Human Condition

I’ve always thought that TSA was a huge, symbolic operation. If there were to be terrorist attacks at airports, the most likely place would be the ramp operations, with all fuel trucks, deliveries, baggage vehicles, catering vans, and so forth. Maybe I’m naïve, but checking elderly people in wheelchairs seems like overdoing it. And, if we can use retinal scanning and fingerprints to allow people to enter the country with Global Entry, why can’t we use that technology to speed people through security?

The social injustice symbolism is now overwhelming us. The National Football League in the US spends a huge amount of time of music and commentary and editorializing, and a lot of fans are complaining that it’s just too much, too often.

I fall down laughing when a clerk asks me, with 12 of my items on the counter, if I want a bag. No, I’m going to juggle on the way home. (And it must be a conflict to use a plastic bag—very inappropriate—to remove dog waste—which is very appropriate.)

Before you come after me with pitchforks and torches, here’s my point: The symbolism is smothering any focus on real change. We need to change the way schools are funded, so that every child, no matter where the child lives, receives a quality education from excellent teachers. We need to provide equal judicial protection by providing legal aid from quality law firms, not from attorney’s who barely make it through school and barely passed the bar exam. We need equal access to quality health care, with hospitals not demanding insurance proof before diagnosing and treating a patient.

We settle for the symbolic. Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is nice if it’s fulfilling, but doing so doesn’t make one a patriot, the same with displaying the flag. Protesting in the streets can be meaningful (I believe it ended the Viet Nam War) or merely symbolic when the protest is to prove one is committed but isn’t likely to create any change. (Most long union strikes, even if successfully settled in terms of union demands, don’t make up for the lost income over the strike period.)

Forty million eligible voters didn’t vote in the 2016 elections, perhaps because they believed it was merely symbolism and wouldn’t change anything.

Wearing ribbons or putting signs on the lawn is symbolic, but the fact that the ribbons are still worn and the signs are faded means that we haven’t seen meaningful action.

What we need is painful action and not comfortable symbolism.


• Why does Massachusetts insist on a negative COVID test within 72 hours of vacationing there, but maintains zero enforcement or random testing?

• Who hires school bus monitors who are supposed to look under the bus to ensure no child is under there, but who are so overweight that they can’t bend more than 20 degrees and can’t see under the bus?

• What makes anyone think that after a customer purchases something that they’ll develop loyalty based on besieging them with email marketing daily?

• Why doesn’t any politician of any party move away from bloviation and platitudes and speak honestly and answer a “yes or no” question with a “yes or no”?

• Why do people with no greater learning, experience, or credentials than the rest of us feel that we’re inferior merely because we disagree with them?

• Why don’t people who understand the businesses that are regulated during COVID (restaurants, gyms, salons, etc.) create the rules, instead of people who clearly have no clue?

• Why is my car dealer’s service area more immaculate than most medical practices offices?

• Why is it that women can wear bras daily—which I’m told seldom fit well and are often uncomfortable (and I see women tugging at them frequently)—but people can't wear a simple mask for parts of the day when required?

• Why do we “warehouse” kids in schools that are using a learning environment that is hundreds of years old instead of allowing them to progress according to their abilities and accomplishments?

• Why can restaurants consistently produce hot, delicious take-out food but can’t always create the same result for people dining there?

• Why do the arrogant, profit-hungry, non-responsive airlines think they can demand bailouts ahead of others who serve the public so much more responsively?

• Why is it that so many people seem to be lecturing me instead of talking with me?

Only Read This if You Know Me Well

I was talking to a woman on Zoom during a coaching session. She had her hair in a bun on top of her head, which she had never done before on the calls, but I noticed that it was in an odd shape, sort of like a small urn, and the color seemed slightly deeper than her own dark hair. I became transfixed trying to figure out how she had done that.

She asked me a question, which drew my attention back to her face, and I asked if she could repeat it, since I was focusing on the bun. When she repeated it, she glanced down at her notes and the bun remained stationary, floating there.

It was then that I realized it was a small urn on the shelf behind her.

Development Opportunities
Personal Power and Success

Personal Power and Success

I’m facilitating an 8-week, group coaching experience for a small group beginning in November at the same time each week. One half of the hour I’ll use to talk about contemporary events and opportunities, and the other half I’ll use to discuss individual issues with the full group for mutual learning. The first registrants will help to decide the day and time.

Deep Secrets

Deep Secrets

I’m offering “Deep Secrets” for business and personal improvement on a weekly basis, with a brief video containing my best business and interpersonal techniques, and a brief audio demonstrating the correct use of tricky language and how to sound (and BE) learned and sophisticated. Would you like to know how to quickly determine which of only five categories of issues your buyer is concerned about, and provide clarity on the spot? There’s a process for doing that.

Or would it be important to be able to read The Wall Street Journal (or an equivalent publication) with relevant comprehension in just 20 minutes? There’s a technique for doing that. Would you like to write a 500-word article in 30 minutes instead of 30 days? Guess what, you can.

Sentient Strategy

Sentient Strategy

I created this remote (or “live”) formulation of strategy with transition to implementation that takes only one full day or two half-days, ideal for these times, including a social consciousness consideration. Thirty people have been certified and three sales already made. Learn more here.

Contact me for eligibility.

Contact Alan
Million Dollar Consulting®️ College 2020

NOW VIRTUAL: Million Dollar Consulting® College 2020

Join me for the first-ever virtual college over three mornings in October (afternoons in Europe). We’ll have group exercises, role plays, case studies, and great interaction.

To launch this new approach, I’ve reduced the fee by 50%, and you can also attend the next “live” college for free if you choose! It’s time to move the 14-year event into the new age, and I’m offering these incentives to help do so. I can only accept a limited number of people.

Use this October opportunity to help launch you into the emerging economy with new energy and new techniques. If not now, when?

The Den

The Den

Confidential, weekly sessions one-on-one (or with couples) covering relationships, business challenges, illness, family matters, and related life balance issues. 60-day duration, $4,500, focused on life-changing issues.

Private Coaching KAATN

Private Coaching KAATN (kick ass and take names)

Work with me for seven months with specific assignments and weekly reporting in addition to unrestricted access to me by phone, Zoom, Skype, email, etc. Expand your market, create a book, raise your fees, overcome your business fears.



MacKay CEO Forums: My long-time friend and colleague, Nancy MacKay, is expanding her CEO Forums into the US and is looking to bring on board new chairs. The entire operation is virtual and chairs may market their services to Nancy’s entire participant list of over 1,000 business owners and corporate executives. If you mention my name, Nancy will personally discuss the opportunity with you: [email protected].

Thriving Through Ambiguity: Join me for the upcoming SAC Annual Meeting: Thriving Through Ambiguity on Oct 20th- 21st (virtual). I’ll be the keynote speaker on the morning of the 20th, and I will be hosting a Q&A session in the afternoon of the 21st. Click to register. Or, you could join SAC and enjoy these conferences at SAC member pricing as well as many other benefits. 

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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