Marcum LLP
Thoughts of the Week

By Jeffrey M. Weiner, Chairman & CEO, Marcum LLP

 

Flat Earth

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Flat Earth
 

Mad Mike Hughes is a Flat Earther (that's a thing now) who aims to prove he's right about the planet's true shape by launching himself into the air in a home-made rocket next week. Really -- look him up on Facebook.

Unfortunately for Mike, you apparently have to reach 35,000 feet (just shy of 7 miles) in order to actually see the whole Earth, and he will only get to about 1,800 feet (about a third of one mile). But what the heck - why get hung up on a technicality? Mike is hell-bent on his mission, and science (not to mention government intervention and drone interference, among other obstacles) be damned.

Mike's POSITIVE he's correct, and nothing's going to stop him. The problem here (only one?) is that, just because Mike is shouting from the rooftops, that doesn't make him right. It just makes him loud - and possibly crazy and/or suicidal.

We've all seen the equivalent in business. Who hasn't been in a meeting where one person just won't give it up, persuaded by the strength of their convictions that they've got the answer? She or he who is the most enthusiastic is not necessarily the most accurate, or even necessarily credible. Passion is important, but it's not proof of concept.

My partners and anyone else who knows me well will tell you that I can be very persistent myself. I always go after what I want or believe in, but before I reach a final conclusive decision about something I do my due diligence. And that includes listening to other people who may have different information that can help me get a better handle on a situation -- whether it's my business associate or my kid. No matter how compelling something might seem on the surface, there's almost always more than meets the eye initially.

That's how we manage our firm, and it's worked out pretty well so far. A large part of what's enabled us to successfully integrate new people and firms into the Marcum organization across the country is listening. Yes, we have a blueprint for how these things are supposed to work, based on prior successes and missteps, but there's always room for improvement, and that starts with listening. It's also the best and only way I know of to capitalize on what may already be working right, just the way it is. So if a firm that is joining Marcum has a way of working with a client, for example, that works for them and works for the client, why would I change it? And how would I know unless I clammed up long enough to listen?

This might sound like common sense, but obviously, not everyone agrees (see paragraph 1).

On the rare occasion when you find yourself in a room with a person who won't stop talking long enough to let in some fresh air, recognize it for what it is and get out of the way before their rocket lands on you.

On another, completely unrelated note, everyone in the Weiner house seems to be under the weather this week with something. The flu, strep throat, stomach ailments; you name it, we got it. The weather here in New York goes from bitter cold to 60 degrees and back, within a matter of days. Not to mention the germ-infested place our children go to everyday -- school. I'm sure it's no different where you live. We have another good two months, if not more, of winter ahead of us, so bundle up, stay dry and warm, eat well, get a good night's sleep, and most of all if you start to feel something out of whack, stay home from school or work and keep your germs to yourself.



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Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Jeffrey M. Weiner and do not represent those of Marcum LLP, its partners or its employees.

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