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The Reunion

The Reunion

the reunion

Episode 348 | June 13, 2024

The Reunion

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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

Our 60th High School Reunion

On the way to the reunion

We’re on Amtrak on our way to our 60th high school reunion: Emerson High School, Union City, NJ. It was then and is now the most densely populated city in the country. Emerson is now a middle school, but back then it was one of two full-fledged high schools with all sports, and dances and typical teenage angst. We had about 200+ in the class. About 30 of the original class will be at the reunion, along with spouses and assorted hangers-on.

Two of the teachers with whom we’re still in touch were able to be at the 55th, but not this one. They’re both in their 90s and one is quite active on Facebook. He’s told me he reads my books.

I do have one lifelong friend, Robert Borghi, whom I’ve known since kindergarten. He used to put a nickel a week away to someday buy a helicopter and a ranch. He does, today, have a pilot’s license. At the last reunion, a woman walked up to talk to me as if we had been speaking continually. I could not place her. As I leaned to the right to see her name tag without appearing to stare at her breast, I was stunned to see she had been my steady girlfriend in the 6th and 7th grades.

At past reunions, held every five years, some people unfortunately passed away in the weeks before the events. I’m just hoping no one passes away AT this event! In other words, we need the same numbers departing as arriving.

After the reunion

We left with the same number that arrived. Unfortunately, Robert Borghi couldn’t make it because he’s having surgery in the next few days. Our table did win the school trivia contest, but I was shocked when one of the questions was, “Who coached the girls’ bowling team?” We had a girls’ bowling team??!!

Some people were in remarkably good shape. Some were not. Some were seriously disabled. Out of a class of slightly over 200 we had 31 people (plus partners) all between 77 and 79. The average life expectancy in the US is 78 for men and 80 for women, but once you reach those ages you get another 7-9 years! One man whom I knew casually in school approached me to tell me he reads my books and newsletters and wanted to know what I was going to do next.

We ended by singing the alma mater. These things are always bittersweet.

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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