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Episode 339 | April 11, 2024


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Alan Weiss PhD

Meet Your Host, Alan Weiss

Alan Weiss is one of those rare people who can say he is a consultant, speaker, and author and mean it.

His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients such as Merck, Hewlett-Packard, GE, Mercedes-Benz, State Street Corporation, Times Mirror Group, The Federal Reserve, The New York Times Corporation, Toyota, and over 500 other leading organizations. He has served on several boards of directors in various capacities.

His prolific publishing includes over 500 articles and 60 books, including his best-seller, Million Dollar Consulting (from McGraw-Hill) now in its 30th year and sixth edition. His newest is Your Legacy is Now: Life is not about a search for meaning but the creation of meaning (Routledge, 2021). His books have been on the curricula at Villanova, Temple University, and the Wharton School of Business, and have been translated into 15 languages.

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Show Notes

Not just about the government or the banks or big Pharma, but even sports when YOUR team loses! “The refs were crooked, it was rigged.”

9/11 was an “inside” job, and we never landed on the moon.

Key elements: belief in a pattern underlying the event; provocative and deliberate plans; coalitions or groups are involved, even disparate ones; there is a clear and present danger; secrecy that is hard to justify or believe by non-conspirators. Groups blamed are typical targets: wealthy, politicians, business leaders (especially bankers), historically stigmatized minorities, such as Jews or Roma.

Conspiracists defy pragmatism and evidence, e.g., “Princess Diana actually killer herself or faked her death.” 

The threat of lack of control forces insecure people to find cause and effect outside of their control that explains their fate. (THEY are out to get me/us.) Paranoia is a key element, involving perceived victimization, social isolation, and the refusal to admit that others succeed by their talents and hard work. Paranoia generally starts individually but then lends itself to “groupthink.” 

Conspiracy thinking, or the tendency to believe in conspiracy theories, shares several characteristics with paranoia. Both involve ideas that harmful outcomes can be attributed to malevolent agents rather than to more benign or non-agentive causes. Other similarities in concept are notable, for example, both paranoia and conspiracy thinking represent suspicions that can be hard to falsify and may concern events or theories that later emerge to be true, for example claims about pandemic demands by the government that, scientifically, were incorrect and ineffective.

In an increasingly volatile age, without confirmations of power and control, people default to these “settings.” This will become worse. Perhaps paranoid to begin with, see this as a conspiracy, though I doubt that Trump ever did.

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Alan Weiss’s The Uncomfortable Truth® is a weekly broadcast from “The Rock Star of Consulting,” Alan Weiss, who holds forth with his best (and often most contrarian) ideas about society, culture, business, and personal growth. His 60+ books in 12 languages, and his travels to, and work in, 50 countries contribute to a fascinating and often belief-challenging 20 minutes that might just change your next 20 years.

Introduction to the show recorded by Connie Dieken