Posts Tagged ‘Business’

Extra Points: Taking the Stairs?

October 5, 2015 Leave a comment

This week’s focus point…Taking the Stairs?Dan Weedin Unleashed-40
This past weekend, I attended my niece’s wedding with my whole family. It was a fun event with lots of laughs, food, fellowship, and dancing. The DJ did a terrific job of balancing the music to hit all the different age ranges in a group of about 100 people. As the evening closed and the final song came on, something funny occurred to me.

Over 30 years ago, Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven was the quintessential closing song. Through 8 minutes and 2 seconds of increasing tempo, volume, and emotion, the song was the culmination of either a glorious evening or heartache. It didn’t matter because it could work both ways. I recalled vividly dancing to that song countless times with my then girlfriend and future wife, Barb.
On Saturday, Barb had left the building to drive the bride and groom off to their hotel, so my dance partner was my daughter, Kelli. Instead of Stairway to Heaven, I found myself dancing to Macklemore’s Can’t Hold Us. While I knew the song and the artist, it’s not a song you will find in my collection, however the chance to dance and have fun with my daughter was worth it.
If you’re not willing to step away of the “old songs” in your career and business, you’ll be doomed to wallflower status, and that’s a precarious place to be. It’s very easy to be comfortable in what made you who you are and put you in a position of strength, however that strength might be fleeting. Like the DJ did at the dance, you have to find an effective balance of what worked in the past so you can keep doing it, with innovation, new ideas, and the vulnerability to implement them.

It’s your choice. You can either sit in the corner content with the same old songs, or you can climb that stairway to heaven because the “ceiling can’t hold you.”

© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

“Music is the mediator between the spiritual and sensual life.”

~ Ludwig van Beethoven

No Weedin Unleashed today due to Columbus Day. The next broadcast is on Monday, October 12th.

Weedin Unleashed Recording – What’s Your Brand?

September 29, 2015 Leave a comment

18 minutes, 55 seconds

© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved

Unleashed Leadership LAST WEEK to Pre-Order at 40% Discount

Extra Points: What’s Your Brand?

September 28, 2015 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This week’s focus point…What’s Your Brand?

The pope made his first visit to the United States last week to much fanfare and celebration. As a Catholic, I was very interested in the pontiff’s trip and his message. From the White House, to Congress, to the United Nations, and to a mass at Madison Square Garden, Pope Francis’s visit took on a rock star aura.

Trolling through Facebook during his visit, I saw a shared post where the author wrote above a picture of Pope Francis, “I’m an atheist, but I like this guy!” Now why would that be? How does a 70-something head of the global Catholic Church influence someone that refuses to believe in God to “like” him? The answer should be important to you and your career and business.

Influence is achieved when someone has the skill to communicate a message clearly, concisely, and without fear of rejection. It’s achieved when one offers a contrarian viewpoint without denigrating others. It’s achieved when one is bold and refuses to conform for the sake of what society thinks. It’s shaped Pope Francis’s “brand.” And the brand becomes the vision and mission.

Your career – your business – can learn a lesson from this pope. What can you do to more effectively influence others? Are you willing to be bold and take risks; willing to be contrarian in an effort to improve the condition of others; and can you make decisions quickly without allowing fear and trepidation to hold you back? Are you willing to be different? What’s your “brand?”

If Pope Francis can get an atheist to like him, can’t you stretch yourself to become more influential by stepping outside your comfort zone to share your branding message with your world?


 © 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

“You may delay, but time will not.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

The next Weedin Unleashed broadcast is today Monday, September 28th. Join here.


Are You Leading the Pack?

September 22, 2015 1 comment

I see that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is bowing out of his presidential bid after a pedestrian performance last week in the Republican debate. I think more will start following suit.

But this is NOT a political blog or article. It’s a metaphor for comprehending where your business is now and where you aspire for it to be. Allow me to explain…

Before Walker dropping out, there were 16 candidates (or so…I lost count). There were so many that many of them had to eat at the kid’s table in the debate structure….that is they were the not ready for prime time players according to the polls. Carly Fiorina made such a splash in the first debate, she moved her way up the chain and forced her way to the adult table for Round 2. In the second debate last week, you had 11 (and at times it seemed more) candidates trying to get a word in edge-wise. The result was that a few improved their position (including Fiorina) and some others dropped like the proverbial lead balloon…Walker among them. If you are following the debates at all, you’ll notice in such a large field, not everyone can capture the attention. Those that don’t are left in the abyss, while others rise.

Here’s my point…

YOU have competition. Sometimes it’s others that do what you do, or live in the same industry. Often, you have competition within the organizations you’re trying to attract as clients (e.g. consultants getting push back from internal sources). Whatever the case, if you’re not adept at becoming an object of interest, you may be yourself eating at the kid’s table and not even know it!

In presidential races, it’s often the loudest and most bombastic that take the lead. Ultimately, the ones that are most skilled at influence rise to the top. The same is true with you. There may be others that are louder, but the ability to influence, persuade, and be interesting usually wins the day. Here are some quick tips to do that:

  1. Don’t shrink from being contrarian. Everybody regurgitating the same ideas gets boring and lost. Find a way to get your message across in a way that’s brand new and thought-provoking.
  2. Defend your position. If someone challenges you, that’s fine. Make sure you don’t shirk away from controversy. I’m not talking about being obnoxious. I am saying that you need to be prepared to defend your position with interesting examples, stories, and facts.
  3. Avoid vanilla. Delivery is everything. How you express your message is just as important as your message itself. It’s steak and sizzle. You need both becasue without any sizzle, nobody will buy the steak!
  4. Being ordinary gets you pushed down. In the debates, that means going to the kid’s table. Its really about distinguishing yourself. Can you distinguish your products and services versus your competitors? How do you know?
  5. Never get fazed. The ability to smile in adversity and remain cool is noticeable to others and carries great power.

Bottom line – your business (no matter the size) needs to distinguish itself as THE front-runner; and that is up to you. How are you faring in your own “polls?”

© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Weedin Unleashed – Temptation

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment

15 minutes, 21 seconds

Pre-orders down to the last week with a 40% discount!
Click Here to order


© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved

Extra Points: Temptation

September 21, 2015 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This week’s focus point…Temptation

Temptation is a funny thing. On the surface, it sounds like a peril; a danger to be avoided. We can be tempted to do all sorts of things that aren’t good for us, or are perceived by others to not be good for us. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with chocolate chip cookies. They tempt me all the time as they sit tantalizingly on the counter calling my name (in a voice ominously similar to Marilyn Monroe – but I digress). I generally give in about as easily Captain Jack falls asleep after his walk. Temptation wins just about every time.

However, temptation is not inherently evil. On the contrary, many times we are tempted and need give in just like I do with chocolate chip cookies. They can come in the form of being tempted to – Take a bold step outside your comfort zone and ask for help when you need it; Take a risk and bet on yourself to start your own business; Face your fear of public speaking and find your voice; Give your candid opinion when asked, rather than be concerned about looking bad; or decide to make a change in your life without fear of rejection or failure. You see temptations often speak in softer voices inside our heads, yet they are just as powerful as the vices that might charm us.

Bottom line – giving in to some temptations may just produce the same results as gooey chocolate chips melting in your mouth…sweet and worth the risk.

© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

“Lead us not into temptation. Just tell us where it is; we’ll find it.”

~ Sam Levenson

The next Weedin Unleashed broadcast is today Monday, September 21. Join here.

First Impressions Matter…Online

September 15, 2015 1 comment

58842033-Dan+Weedin+%22Unleashed%22-21This is my September column for the Kitsap Business Journal / Kitsap Sun. I’ve been a monthly columnist since 2010. You can find many of my recently archived columns on my website.

Do you remember being advised by someone at some point in your life that you never get a second chance to make a first impression? It might have been your mother or boss, yet the concept generally was centered on how you presented yourself — your clothes, your hair, your grooming. You were encouraged to make sure that the first impression you were giving was professional and pleasant.

How good is your company’s first impression in the digital age? Is it attractive and presentable, or does it look like a virtual unmade bed?

Last month, I was a speaker at a conference of life insurance company executives. One of the other speakers stated that research from last year indicated that 71 percent of Americans did online research on life insurance companies prior to buying it. Long gone are the days of static Yellow Pages advertisements and zealous agents in plaid pants pitching their products. Today, life insurance buyers are increasingly doing their own research on insurers and products first, and making judgments on the veracity of the company before they even call anyone. This is forcing life insurers to adjust their online presence and marketing in order to assure they are giving off the desired first impression.

What is your company doing to accomplish the same thing?

It doesn’t matter what business or industry you’re in today. Social media, websites and online resources are driving consumers to (or away) from you. Buyers of your products and services under the age of 30 have grown up with technology and are very competent in using it. They are also very discerning on the quality of the website translating into the quality if the company. Just in case you don’t catch the magnitude of that last sentence, allow me to be very clear — the quality of your company is being judged by others based on the quality of your website. This means clients, customers, prospective customers and potential employees. In the case of the latter, you can think of it this way … one might ask if the website is outdated and bland, why would anyone want to work there?

You may be saying, “Dan, I understand this. We keep our website current.” My response is that “current” is no longer good enough. “Current” is a given, not a nicety. Your web presence (including social media) needs to be dynamic. It needs to be interactive. It needs to be cutting-edge. The reason? It’s because the bulk of your market is going to go there at some point and check you out. If you’re just “current,” you may not make the cut!

Here are my seven strategies to make sure you are staying on the digital cutting edge:

1. Change your “look” at least every six months. Change and creativity are considered innovative. The same old look is considered stale. By changing the look (images, services, products, pages and interactions), you invite people to keep coming back.

2. Make testimonials ubiquitous on your site. The best heralds for your products and services you can have are happy customers and clients. Why not have their words on every single page, so others can see them? Don’t be shy; ask for and post your testimonials and references liberally.

3. Be pretty. Show images, smart graphics and visuals. You don’t have to go overboard with pop-ups or flying graphics, but you do need to be attractive. Your executive leadership, your sales staff and your customer service team should all have their pictures available with their contact information so they can be seen as real humans.

4. Create interactive options. This is new to my strategies because I just heard about the proliferation of “gaming” modules at the conference. An increasing number of companies are using games to promote, deliver value and recruit. People love to use games, and if you can implement a game that allows you to keep people on your site and interacting, you will be considered innovative.

5. Create exclusive programs. Many websites have private pages dedicated to clients that access them with a username and/or password. There is always something very appealing about being special, and making clients special will keep them coming back for more.

6. Videos, please. Our society is becoming more visual because of technology. Take advantage of that by giving them something to watch. Use video for testimonials, promotions and recruiting. Keep them under four minutes, and pack them with an optical punch.

7. Dynamic, not boring. I see a lot of boring websites. Be bold, take risks and have fun in your language, your images and your message. You need to get your website visitors to navigate through your site, and the only way to do that is to be interesting.

If your website looks the same as it did one year ago today, you’re long overdue for a change. Use professionals to build your site, to dress it up, and to send a strong first impression of your company and its people. If you want to start a relationship with new clients, and sustain the ones you have with current ones, then make sure your declaration to the world is that you’re a 21st-century business.

It never hurts to get a new haircut every once in awhile. You can start with the new virtual face of your business.

© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed_LeadershipPre-Order My new book, Unleashed Leadership today for a 40% discount. The book is scheduled to release October 1. Purchase today for the deepest discount!



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,276 other followers