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New Article - Alan's Points

My favorite consultant guru is Alan Weiss, also known as the Million Dollar Consultant.  He helps the big boys and charges accordingly, so most of us will never enjoy his services.  However, he does speak a lot and puts on workshops.  Mostly for other consultants, but is it ever fun and worth the investment.  I was able to ask him a question and boy did I get an answer!

 What do you need to do to lead a successful life?

Nobody really asks me that, but, it's fairly simple:

1. Do what you say you'll do. If you make a commitment-to help on a
committee, to be at your kid's soccer game, to paint the porch-do it.

2. Never assume the other person is damaged. Give them the benefit of
the doubt. Assume that they have as superlative motives as do you until
you are proved wrong.

3. Act on evidence, not psychobabble. Don't conclude that someone "isn't a team player" just because they are 10 minutes later for a meeting, or "out to undermine you" just because they disagree with your point.

4. Add value to your friends and loved ones. If you are providing information, opinions, ideas, or support of any kind, make it as specific and constructive to their situation as you can. Pontificating about what you've done or how you did it is usually worthless to someone in a different setting, with a different personality, and with different goals in life.

5. Contribute what you can to charity, and keep your mouth shut. Acts of charity are not more praiseworthy because of a large amount, publicity, or your name on the side of a building. They are important to society for their support of those less fortunate, are valuable based on what you can afford to give, and don't belong in your press kit.

6. No one has ever been really better off by reflecting that someone else is in a lower position, or by exacting revenge on another. You are better off by elevating yourself. When you denigrate others or take solace in their lowered state, you descend with them..

7. Scream, laugh, and frolic. If you can't allow yourself an unfettered, unembarrassed good time, there's something wrong with you. Yell out loud at a ball game, laugh uproariously at a comedy, cry without remorse at a tragedy. Emotions, like muscles, need to be exercised or they atrophy. Don't hold back, because what you save can't be spent or passed on.

8. Experiment, and try to fail. Get out of the box, out of the paradigm, out of the neighborhood. If you haven't failed, then you just haven't been trying hard enough. To lead a life of conservative, safe existence is to have eaten solely the vanilla ice cream, to have taken photos only in black and white, to have never had the wind rip through your hair.

9. Learn continually. I'm constantly surprised at how stupid I was two
weeks ago. Read widely. Hang out with people smarter than you are in
their fields. Debate not to "win" but to learn. Occupy an honest position that says you really are smarter today than you were last month.

10. Travel. The world is full of differing and exciting people and experiences which can't be replicated in newspapers and photos. You'll learn why people believe things that you can't agree with, and why others perceive us the way they do. Get out of Peoria, and North Adelaide, and Milton Keynes, and Sao Paulo. Get out of the country.

11. Earn money and save some of it. You can't help others unless you help yourself, which is why those airplane people tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first. Spend somewhat less than you make. If you're unhappy with that, either make more or spend less. That's an immutable dynamic.

12. Understand the moment. They are occurring all the time. Look at the
sunset, play with the dog, hug a loved one, let the rain fall on your head.
Life is one long existential continuum. Don't miss savoring a moment of it.



Alan's Points

Personal Interview with PLNA


Roger G. Heins,