Alan Weiss: CEO of Summit Consulting Group

My NativeAdVantage:


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 the boards of directors of the Trinity Repertory Company, a Tony-Award-winning New England regional theater, Festival Ballet, and chaired the Newport International Film Festival.

His speaking typically includes 20 keynotes a year at major conferences, and he has been a visiting faculty member at Case Western Reserve University, Boston College, Tufts, St. John’s, the University of Illinois, the Institute of Management Studies, and the University of Georgia Graduate School of Business. He has held an appointment as adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Rhode Island where he taught courses on advanced management and consulting skills. He once held the record for selling out the highest priced workshop (on entrepreneurialism) in the then-21-year history of New York City’s Learning Annex. His Ph.D. is in psychology. He has served on the Board of Governors of Harvard University’s Center for Mental Health and the Media.

He is an inductee into the Professional Speaking Hall of Fame® and the concurrent recipient of the National Speakers Association Council of Peers Award of Excellence, representing the top 1% of professional speakers in the world. He has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, one of only two people in history holding both those designations.

His prolific publishing includes over 500 articles and 60 books, including his best-seller, Million Dollar Consulting (from McGraw-Hill). His newest is Million Maverick (Bibliomotion). His books have been on the curricula at Villanova, Temple University, and the Wharton School of Business, and have been translated into 12 languages.

He is interviewed and quoted frequently in the media. His career has taken him to 59 countries and 49 states. (He is afraid to go to North Dakota.) Success Magazine  cited him in an editorial devoted to his work as “a worldwide expert in executive education.” The New York Post called him “one of the most highly regarded independent consultants in America.” He is the winner of the prestigious Axiem Award for Excellence in Audio Presentation.

He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Press Institute, the first-ever for a non-journalist, and one of only seven awarded in the 65-year history of the association. He holds an annual Thought Leadership Conference which draws world famous experts as speakers. In 2014 his featured speaker was political pundit, best-selling author, and media favorite James Carville.

He has coached the former and present Miss Rhode Island/Miss America candidates in interviewing skills. He once appeared on the popular American TV game show Jeopardy, where he lost badly in the first round to a dancing waiter from Iowa. Alan is married to the lovely Maria for 47 years, and they have two children and twin granddaughters. They reside in East Greenwich, RI with their dogs, Buddy Beagle and Bentley, a white German Shepherd.

What do you do best?

I write and speak. My 60th commercially published book appears in June 2016, Million Dollar Maverick, and the 25th anniversary edition of my best seller, Million Dollar Consulting, will also be released. I've spoken in nearly 60 countries over the last 30 years.

I write rapidly and can speak extemporaneously. I explain to people who ask about this output that I focus on "volume over accuracy." About  a third of them simply say, "Oh"!!

What makes you the best?

I constantly learn, constantly grow, and continually coach others. I always learn more than anyone from my coaching, consulting, and mentoring. I love what I do and try to become great at it. When you build a career around what you're passionate about and great at, you're thriving.

How will you become the best?

I believe in the story told about Michelangelo, when asked how he could carve something like The David out of a single piece of discarded marble. "I carved away everything that didn't look like David." (If he didn't say this, he should have!) I carve away everything that doesn't represent the contributions I want to make, the life I want to lead. I've never believed that we have to suffer to be successful. Life should be joyous, and we should be filled with daily, unremitting amazement.

What are your aspirations?

Personal: I'd like to be globally helpful to people through print, video, audio, and appearances to build self-esteem, confidence in their judgment, and autonomy in their lives and careers. That pursuit makes me a better person, a better husband, a better father, a better friend.

Business: Every day I'd like someone, somewhere, to say, "That guy's ideas have really helped me."

What fascinates you?

The vast mystery of the universe, which we barely comprehend, yet we wake up to every morning as if it's the most natural thing imaginable. We're basically on a hunk of rock traveling at 65,000 miles per hour around an exploding star. Please don't tell me you have no faith!

Favorite Motto:

Success not perfection.

Favorite People:

Those who fearless and boldly pursue excellence. Sandy Koufax, the greatest pitcher I've ever seen. Sinatra, simply the finest popular singer in history. Lincoln, who suffered through malcontents and defeatists to pursue a cause he knew was the only path for the country.

Favorite Places:

New York, London, Hong Kong, Bora Bora, anywhere in Italy. New York is the center of power and thought and culture for me. London is no longer the capital of the UK but rather a global center for wealth, diversity, and sophistication. Hong Kong synthesizes Asian inscrutability and western Capitalism. Bora Bora is seven shades of blue water surrounding your bungalow on stilts. And there are places in Italy I return to again and again, a country where it's impossible to get a bad meal.

Favorite Products:

Bentley convertibles, iPhone

Favorite Passions:

Dogs. Especially white German Shepherds. They teach me something every day.