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Branding Iron Hot

March 12, 2015 5 comments

TWoodsTiger Woods has not been the best golfer in the world for about half a decade now. For a period of about 8 to 9 years, Woods was the game of golf. He owned it. He was being hailed as the greatest ever, and for the period of time he ruled the sport, he probably was. When you consider the global talent that has come on the scene, it’s arguable that he did what nobody else ever did in golf, and perhaps all of sports.

However over the past 5 years, age, injury, and scandal have taken their toll on Tiger. Not only isn’t he a factor in the game right now, he literally can’t seem to make it through a tournament because of injury or poor play. Yet in spite of all of that, his brand is still strong. So strong, that he doesn’t even own his own name.

Woods is building a restaurant in Florida near his home of Jupiter. The restaurant will be called The Woods Jupiter: Sports and Dining Club because apparently Nike owns the rights to the words “Tiger Woods” as relates to business property. Don’t feel bad for Tiger; he did it to himself and probably pocketed a gazillion dollars from it. This isn’t the point of my article; so let’s get to it.

Athletes like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan have become so powerful within their own name, that they’ve become a brand themselves. Arnold Palmer (at 84 years old) made more from endorsements in 2013 – $40,000,000 – than the great soccer stars Renaldo and Messi. That’s brand!

I have two questions for you – what’s your personal brand worth and is built to be sustainable?

How do you build your own personal brand if you’re an individual? You create an intellectual property empire with words (books, articles, blogs, etc) and voice (speaking). You deliver such incredible value that your name will soon precede you. You build “armies” like Arnie did by being charismatic, engaging, and the ultimate object of interest. You continually evolve, invent, create, and grow.

How does your company or organization build a brand? The same way, except that it is manifested through your employees and by your leadership. You create a culture of “playing for each other;” you encourage ideas; you build leaders within your organization; you collaborate; and you never stop growing and developing yourself.

Here’s the deal. Regardless of whether you are a brand of 1 person or a million employees, “branding” has become the most important business strategy you must focus on. It projects your reputation and your value to others; and it is what will protect you from any economic crisis or the winds of change. Tiger Woods has kept his brand strong even has is golf game withers. Michael Jordan hasn’t suited up for an NBA basketball game in nearly two decades, yet sales of his shoes are monstrous. The majority of golf fans in the world never saw Arnold Palmer play; yet his brand is still legendary. What about you? What do you need to accomplish to be branding iron hot with yours?

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Core Strength

March 5, 2015 2 comments

I’ve started changing how I work out. The reason is quite simple…my core strength stinks.Dan Weedin Unleashed-19

You see, I’ve been working out since being a high school athlete. For the most part, I’ve focused on the “fun” exercises; the ones that show the quickest results and you get to most enjoyment performing. For me, that was upper body work and strength. When you’re young, it’s easier to get away with that because a lot of other things I used to do (e.g. play competitive basketball) kept me in overall good shape. As I’ve begun to “mature,” some of those fun things have either drastically changed or stopped entirely. The regrettable result is that my core strength is exposed because it has been neglected. To that end, I am now humbling myself to learn new “tricks” to do the work that I’ve never found fun…abs and legs. I am writing this today since this morning I was focused on those two areas. We will see how agile I am later this afternoon…

For your business to stay agile and resilient as it matures, you’d better have a good core strength. In your case, that’s a strategic plan to deal with anything that can hurt you. Allow me to explain…

I’ve watched people age well into their 80s and 90s. Not just my parents, but the people around them. I’ve observed how poor balance, decreased strength, and loss of perception wreaks havoc on their bodies and their ability to function. By being intentional and strategic about my exercise regimen, I’m giving myself the best chance of avoiding or at least mitigating that peril when I get to that age.

Your business will face crisis. In fact, it’s most likely that you will face many crises over the years, all different in size and scope. Those executives and business owners that don’t build up their core strength – their planning, preparation, and practice – are in a clear and present danger situation. In the event of a serious crisis, they are as likely as a 93 year old to lose their balance, stumble, fall, and not be able to get up. For both, the consequences can be catastrophic.

So here’s what you do…

Take a cue from my revised exercise plan. Create your own plan on building up your core by creating a comprehensive strategic crisis and disaster recovery plan; include a communications plan to apprise your employees, customers, supply chain, etc.; implement and practice regularly; get help from experts to assure you’re not breathing your own exhaust; and repeat annually. This way, you’re giving yourself the best chance to avoid the calamity of not being able to survive a “fall.”

Your health can’t be delegated to someone else. Crisis leadership can’t be delegated, either. If you’re the boss, it’s your job to strategize. You can delegate tasks, but not the global planning and strategy. And just like brushing off regular workouts, this is the biggest mistakes business leaders make in their company. It’s time to get real and get serious to protect your business and all those that count on you. And it only starts with a few situps…

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

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

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