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I’ve been comparing notes with people who conduct live and remote sessions. There’s an across-the-board decline in attendance in the US. (I just drew 60 people to a live event in Brisbane.) There’s a lot of speculation about the causes, including people choosing not to travel, a reluctance to make investments (even in oneself), and a downturn in potential attendees’ businesses.

I think it’s something else. I think covid (and Ukraine, and supply chain issues, and political strife, and a feeling of powerlessness, ad nauseum) have subliminally “sucker-punched” people. Have you ever had the wind knocked out of you where you can’t breath for a few seconds? Well this one is lasting for months.

There is a boxing term—technical knockout, or TKO—whereby the referee stops the fight even though the fighter is still on his feet. The referee has determined that the fighter is in no shape to continue, even though he looks like he can. To prevent further harm, the fight is stopped.

I think a lot of people have been “TKO’d.” There is no referee, there is simply an inability to move forward, to seize the day, to invest. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather go down punching than have someone stop the fight.

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Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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