The Second Smartest Guy in the Room
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.Get to know Alan
Have you been in the situation where you’re addressing a group and someone consistently pipes up to “add” to what you’re saying? They may have a resource to recommend to the group, or a quote or book from someone, or their own experience practicing what you’re suggesting.
You may think, “That’s fine, they’re supporting me.”
No, they’re trying to be the second smartest guy (all right, “person,” it’s not gender-oriented) in the room. I’ve had people arrive on site a day before my event and attempt to change the room setup, or the dinner reservations, or the timing. Under the guise of being “helpful” they are actually dreadfully unhappy that there is someone perceived as more of an expert than they are.
And the advice is usually, as my kids would say, “sketchy.”
One woman who consistently does this and is not in the best physical condition nor the best groomed, yet suggests to others how they can dress better. Another person, on a Zoom call, had three recommendations to “build on my point” within eight minutes. When I mentioned that I’d like to continue without the interruptions, he disappeared from the call.
One such person persuaded me to allow him to make a brief presentation during a session. I told him he could have ten minutes, but we were stretched on time. He agreed and, when I stopped him at 15 minutes, he said, “Well, I thought the importance of my content outweighed the time limitation.”
Well, no. You don’t get to hold onto my car in order to skateboard, nor do you get to use my IP to “build on” to be more prominent on social media. Rain on your own parade, not mine.
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