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Episode 279 | February 16, 2023


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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

We often think of sustainability as having to do with the environment: food, clean air, power generation, and so forth. But a different kind of sustainability is, perhaps, even more important: human respect and ethical treatment.

The restaurant NOMA has announced a closing in 2024. It has been rated the “best in the world” (if there is such a thing) and is ineligible for further nominations. But the major issue of its closing is that the grueling schedule and labor for the production of such dishes as “grilled reindeer heart on spruce twigs” or “beetles formed from plant leather” is that the labor is excruciatingly repetitive and specific.

Heretofore, in restaurants like this (and Blue Hill Farm in Tarrytown, NY, and once in 11 Madison in Manhattan, all “best” award winners) scores of interns working for free toiled in 16-hour days in order to produce the meals and gain their credentials for having worked under world-class chefs. 

There have been abuses in professions where people want desperately to work with the best and, unfortunately, have to experience improper behavior. That includes nurses, teachers, reporters, first responders, and so forth. Because they have a “calling” they are willing to endure worse environments than others, even to the point of abuse. It was considered the cost of being with a “master” but more recently has been seen for what it is, simply abuse or poor treatment and poor pay.

Differing talents and experiences and training deserve differing remuneration. The rarer the skill, the more valuable it is. But ALL workers deserve safe and decent work environments and a living wage and benefits. 

“Sustainability” should first be applied to our colleagues and fellow humans. Otherwise, there is no sustained environment that means anything.

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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