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Weedin Unleashed Recording – Leave a Mark

March 3, 2015 Leave a comment

Recording from yesterday…

18 minutes, 28 seconds

P.S. I will be announcing 10 year anniversary specials on programs, workshops, and resources on March 15th. Stay tuned!

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

To Tell the Truth

February 25, 2015 2 comments

“My name is Bob McDonald and I was in Army Special Forces.”Dan Weedin Unleashed-40

“My name is Bob McDonald and I was in Army Special Forces.”

“My name is Bob McDonald and I was in Army Special Forces.”

Will the real Bob McDonald stand up?

If you watched the old game show, To Tell the Truth, you will recognize this exchange. Three people all claiming to be the same person, yet 2 are fibbing. Of course, they are fibbing on purpose to fool the contestant. Seems like newly minted Veteran Affairs boss Bob McDonald is taking a cue from NBC News anchor Brian Williams and playing the fool.

I watched the news last night and watched with my own eyes the video of Mr. McDonald having a dialogue with a veteran who had fallen on hard times. He asked what service the man had been in and the response was, “Army…Special Forces.” The head of the federal administration that is tasked with helping this American hero in bad times then glibly replies, “Yeah…I was Army Special Forces!, too” Trouble for McDonald is he wasn’t. Yes, he was in the army. No he wasn’t in Special Forces. Oops.

McDonald quickly apologized after he was called out by a veterans group that did a little fact checking. A contrite McDonald said he made a mistake “in an effort to connect” with this man. The term “misstatement” has now been used again in just a matter of weeks. It’s becoming as popular to use as Marshawn Lynch saying, “I’m only here so I won’t get fined.” At least Marshawn is telling the truth!

Here’s how to connect. Be humble. You can say, “Wow, I was army too, but not special forces. What an honor to meet you!”

McDonald is no newbie to leadership positions. You don’t get to be hired for this role by the President of the United States if you have no background in leadership. Which leads me to believe that “misstatements” may also be idly tossed about on a daily basis around board rooms and offices around the world. In business, it’s harder to get caught and easier to get away with.

Here’s the deal…

If you desire to be influential; to be a leader; and to be significant (see my previous article on this matter), then your misstatements need to be actual mistakes, not a fancy word for lying. The quickest way to lose credibility to your team (employees, co-workers, clients, boss, community) is to stand up and lie. Let’s be clear, a lot of misstatements being made are probably considered “little white lies;” you know those things that won’t actually hurt anyone.

Do yourself a favor. If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you are in some leadership or management position. Even if it’s being influential in your family with your kids, you at some point are being looked at to guide. The best way you can gain trust and lead effectively over time is to avoid “misstatements” like the ones Mr. Williams and Mr. McDonald have recently made. Instead, learn how to improve your language skills so you can honestly, genuinely, and with empathy tell the truth.

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Weedin Unleashed Video – Success and Significance

February 24, 2015 Leave a comment

19 minutes

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

50 Shades of Cheeseburgers

February 18, 2015 3 comments

Dan cookingCheeseburgers get a bum rap in my estimation. The are easily viewed as being common, ordinary, or one shade. I can still hear the late John Belushi screaming out “Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger…Pepsi no Coke,” on the famous Saturday Night Live skit of the 1970s. I would argue that there are more shades of cheeseburgers than meet the eye. If you venture outside of a fast food joint, you may just be surprised.

Cheeseburgers can be unique based on the cheese. The 99 cent option at the drive-thru window may be offering some faux cheese, yet I’ve dined at many a restaurant where the cheese is cool, be it Blue, Muenster, Cheddar, Swiss, or Pepper Jack.

The buns always are important (Just as in the movie I am parodying, I’m sure). Instead of some flimsy white bread that probably came out of a plastic wrapper, consider your delight in a Kaiser, Sourdough, Multi-Grain, or even gluten-free!

Heck, I even add some bourbon and honey to my cheeseburgers to pump up the taste.

Hungry yet?

Here’s the deal. Cheeseburgers can seem ordinary and uninspiring to people unless they are dressed up a little bit. So can you and your business. If you don’t dress up your value to others (be it for individuals or companies) then you’ll be as unappealing as that fast-food cheeseburger for 99 cents.

Here’s how you add some uniqueness to you…

Become an object of interest by being well-read and well-versed in the issues surrounding business. Improve your vocabulary and delivery of your message to incite emotion, rather than logic. Develop singular and exclusive intellectual property that jumps out at people like a bacon cheeseburger on the grill. Get away from your computer and interact with people. You will learn how to best help them and that will make you valuable.

Final thought – not only does straying from looking and tasting like an ordinary cheeseburger work for your success, it also helps you recruit and hire interesting and talented people. That’s similar to adding a little bourbon and honey to your cheeseburger mix…it keeps everyone coming back for more. Why don’t you try adding a few shades to your business and your burgers? The results may just be stimulating!

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Fat Tuesday Tidbits

February 17, 2015 1 comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-19Today is Fat Tuesday and as a practicing Catholic from the cradle, I know this is my last shot at tomfoolery for 40 days. Since I’m in Seattle and not New Orleans, my guess is my shenanigans will be somewhat, let’s say, muted.

For us Catholics, the season of Lent is a time for giving up something in the spirit of prayer and penance. This is NOT a religious or spiritual blog, so hang with me on this one. I have tried over the years to both give up something and to do something as part of my Lenten observations. This practice can also be applied to your business and/or your career.

Over the next 40 days, why don’t you consider improving yourself in business by both subtraction and addition?

By means of subtraction, what can you eliminate that will improve you – inordinate Internet and social media time; procrastination; poor self-talk; wasted effort on areas that aren’t making you better or enhancing your business; gossiping and drama proliferation; too much game playing on your mobile devises; or plain negative thinking? What are others that you know about within your own self-assessment?

By means of addition, what can you start doing to improve yourself – exercising every day; getting away from your desk and in front of people; saying thank you to others more often; giving compliments you employees and co-workers; eating healthier; rewarding yourself when you do things well; saying NO to projects that others want you to do that will take your time; and getting more rest and relaxation?

While the season of Lent may have different implications for me from a faith perspective, I also plan on taking my own advice for my career. I’m going to spend Fat Tuesday contemplating what those will be and share with you tomorrow. What about you? Are you ready to boost your career and your business; and significantly enrich your life over the next 40 days?

I double-dog dare you…

Until then, eat well today for tomorrow we get lean and mean! Happy Fat Tuesday!

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

The One Rule

February 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Coach from NK Herald Feb 2006When I coached high school basketball, I only had one rule for my players (although they thought I found many ways to adjudicate it). The rule was simple, yet all-encompassing – Don’t let your teammates down.

Don’t let your teammates down.

For my players, that rule had more to do with issues off the court than on. On the court, it never meant physical or even mental lapses or gaffes. Those happen. It meant losing your temper and getting a technical foul, or being selfish with the ball to the detriment of the team. Off the court, it had everything to do with behavior and responsibility – academic eligibility, eating well, hanging around with the right crowd, no drugs or alcohol, safe driving, and (since I coached girls) not getting pregnant.

The same rule can easily apply to your business. Many companies and organizations have elaborate mission statements with rules of decorum to be followed. They believe that covering every base when it comes to transgressions on the job is necessary. Their “rule book” ends up looking more like an insurance policy exclusion section!

How about the two big recent violations in the news:

  • Brian Williams at NBC News let his teammates down
  • The coaches and leaders of the Jackie Robinson West Little League World Series USA champs out of Chicago let their teammates down

Here’s the deal…

You have many teammates – family, business, boards of directors, volunteer work, and friends. If you choose to adopt this rule for yourself, you will be able to stay clear of embarrassing and damaging situations. If you are able to implement it in your business, you will be able to build a team that is dynamic and “play for each other.” The results of both mean you and your business are on the path to being unleashed.

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Can You take a Punch?

February 4, 2015 2 comments

o-lineIt’s three days after an excruciatingly painful Super Bowl loss for my hometown team. The Seattle Seahawks and their fans basically took a brutal punch to the gut.

In the span of about 30 “real-time” seconds from the point where Marshawn Lynch was tackled on the 1-yard line to the fateful interception by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, we all went from the jubilation of winning the Super Bowl to losing. Cruel.

Now I understand that as a fan, this isn’t the most compelling crisis that’s occurring around the world. The measles outbreak in the United States; the terrorist actions around the globe; and the winter storm pummeling the Midwest and East Coast surely are weightier in a human perspective. That’s not quite the same for the players and organization, though.

For these people, this is their livelihood. Just as you and I go about our jobs and careers, this is their “business.” That not only includes high-salaried players and coaches; it also means the office and support staff in the building. It’s the equivalent of your company being “sucker punched” and having the entire organization in crisis-mode.

My question for you is – Can you take a punch and get back up?

The Seahawks now have to answer this question as an organization. The culture, the churn of players and coaches, and the overall mindset must stay resilient. There will be hurt feelings in the locker room. There is likely to be drama regarding new contracts offered, and others not offered. There will be that lingering feeling of opportunity lost that never goes away. Leadership and communication is critical to being able to take a punch and stand back up for them.

The same is true for you in business and in your personal life.

There are two important aspects to this resiliency. The first is physical. Do you have processes and redundancies in place to overcome a physical disaster like a fire, flood, hurricane, earthquake, or loss of power? Is your insurance adequate to replace and repair property? Do you have a plan for staying open in the interim period? These are all questions that good business leaders deal with in advance.

The second aspect is more challenging and more important.

Resiliency is easy when fixing property – homes, equipment, buildings, computers. Fixing the emotional side is harder – loss of confidence, depression, distraction, fear, sense of loss, and uncertainty.

Great leaders can do this knowing 3 important things:

  1. It will take time. I know we all like to fix things fast. Emotional resiliency requires some level of grief, understanding, and perspective. It can’t be rushed, only lightened.
  2. It requires constant communication from the top down. Candid, real, and transparent communication.
  3. It requires trust. Sometimes in crisis, trust is lost, or at least damaged. In order to rebuild trust, you must enhance organizational culture.

Bottom line- we will soon see of the Seahawks are able to take a punch and pop back up. Based on experience, I’m certain they can and will. What about you personally and professionally?

Can you take a punch?

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserve

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