Extra Points: Find The Helpers

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40As I attended the graduation ceremony at my local high school, I was impressed specifically by one of the graduate speakers. She mentioned a quote by that great American philosopher, Mr. Rogers. She said that Mr. Rogers was influential in her mother’s life (which reminded me of the generation I’m in) and he had once said that in this world, there are “helpers” when people are in trouble. Her mother explained, “whenever you see a crisis on television, look for the helpers. You will see them.”

That simple statement is so very true. Think of even recent calamities like the Boston Marathon bombing, the devastation of natural disasters, and countless school shootings. You always will find the helpers.

You’d like to think that we are all “helpers,” but it’s not the case. We are all wired differently and bring value, however others are intrinsically wired to be helpers.

This week, we will be performing a crisis simulation exercise for a client. These exercises often reveal those that are leaders, those that are talkers, those that are followers, and importantly, those that are helpers. Every organization – for profit and non-profit – need to identify helpers in their organizations. Every neighborhood and community must identify the helpers. And every family should know the helpers. It’s paramount for resilience and survival when calamity hits.

We all play a role in the affiliations we have. Those of you that have a leadership role in business or in your personal life need to take heed of the wise words of Mr. Rogers. Go find the helpers.

Quote of the Week:

”My father gave me the greatest gift anyone can give another person; he believed in me..”

~ Jim Valvano

Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers out there!

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Empathy

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This past week was marked by the deaths by suicide of two prominent celebrities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. I knew of Kate Spade because I have a wife and daughters who all carry purses (and I think at least one of them is her brand); however I really followed Anthony Bourdain’s work as a foodie and amateur cook always looking to learn. I found his work on television to not only be educational, but edgy, provocative, and entertaining. Both deaths from all appearances seem shocking to even those that knew them well.

I’m no expert on depression, mental illness, or what would compel someone to commit suicide. What I do know is that money, fame, and success don’t deter the action; in fact they might actually contribute to it. I’ve seen countless pleas from people on social media trying to raise awareness of depression and as noble as that is, I’m not sure it leads to people with depression suddenly coming forward, or to make it easier for those that don’t to observe it. What I do find poignant is the testimony of those who are brave enough to share their stories of depression and mental illness to help raise the depth of the discussion.

Life is volatile and we humans are complicated. Emotions and our sheer humanity are shared equally among us regardless of station in life or money in the bank. We all strive for peace in our hearts, acceptance from friends and family, reward in our work, and strong, loving relationships. What I fear is happening in our world is a decrease in empathy; a growing unwillingness to genuinely understand someone else. Social media has become a repository of judgments and opinions meant to harm others emotionally.

We all can become better when it comes to empathy and concern for others. While there’s no proof that a change in this will reduce tragic suicides or alleviate mental illness, it can’t hurt. And, if we do make even slight changes, think about how this will positively affect us individually and improve the relationships we have.

Quote of the Week:

”Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.”

~ Anthony Bourdain

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Trimming the Fat

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40As you’re reading this, I’m in Carpinteria, CA at LinkedIn headquarters filming my LinkedIn Learning course scheduled to be released later this year. Part of the preparation for the course is writing the scripts to be used for the videos. Last week, I met with the producers virtually to read a few of them. The consensus?  While they were good, they were too long. I needed to reduce the number of words for each from about 650 to 500. That’s a 25% reduction.

The process of cutting that much out while keeping the value in is a challenge. It requires a very precise analysis of what is really important in the text. The goal of being pithy is searching to use fewer words to say the same thing even better. The legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld said in an interview, “I will spend an hour taking an eight word sentence and editing it down to five.” Trimming the fat leads to better communication.

Trimming the fat in your communications isn’t relegated to scripts and speeches. Consider your emails; Facebook posts; text messages; and business meetings. How much time is spent because the communications were bloated with excess, fatty words? Not only does it waste your valuable time, its more often less clear, which leads to miscommunications, misunderstandings, and unwanted drama.

If you want less drama, learn from a comedian. If Jerry Seinfeld values less words, then we should, too. I was forced to take on this task and in the end, my scripts and the course will be better for it.

This week try trimming the fat in your communications and correspondence. You’ll find the results leaner and meaner!

Quote of the Week:

”To err is human; to err repeatedly is research.”

~ Unknown. Sent in from a reader that saw it on Twitter and shared!

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Seattle Shrimp Tank: John Martinka

Check out the latest episode of the Shrimp Tank with our guest, John Martinka!

Learn about how to buy and sell a business with this national thought leader on the subject…

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The 100 Deadliest Days

The 100 days between Memorial and Labor Days are the deadliest on American highways. You likely know the reasons: more cars, more drinking, more impatience, more rage, more distractions.

As a risk management expert, I promise you that the greatest risk you take daily is getting in your car and driving. As your public service announcement (and because I care), please don’t drive distracted meaning: texting, intoxicated, angry, eating, stupid, medicated, with a dog on your lap, shaving, putting on makeup, dialing or answering your phone, or complacent.

I have plenty of reasons to avoid doing any of these, and these are two of the biggest ones.

Nothing is so important that the risk is worthy it. Be safe out there this summer.


© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Memorial Day Special


This week’s memo is a reprint from last year’s Memorial Day Special…

In memorium. In memory of. Remembrance.

All words that signify and define the word, “memorial.”

I can’t imaging what it would have felt like on June 6, 1944. To be 21 years old, standing on a Navy ship, and set to be on a landing party to the beaches in Normandy. The odds said that you’d be a casualty and you knew it. The chill of the wind and the rain in the Atlantic just off the shore of France, and far away from wherever you hailed from.

By the time the fighting was over, there would be 4,414 confirmed dead, and over 10,000 casualties. That scene I describe can certainly be played out over centuries. Men and women facing certain death, yet risking all for all for country.

My dad spent 30 years in the Navy and fought in World War II. He wasn’t at Normandy, but was at the North African Invasion and certainly survived the war. He was always quick to point out that Memorial Day was not the day to honor those that served, but those that died. Those that gave the greatest sacrifice. Veterans Day is the day to honor all, Memorial Day was the day to honor the fallen. I’ve never forgotten that.

Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor the dead. During the first national celebration on May 30, 1868, former Union General and sitting Ohio Congressman (and future President of the United States) James Garfield made a speech where 20,000 graves were “decorated” for both Union and Confederate soldiers. Today we honor all those that have fallen in wars, conflicts, and service from the Revolutionary War to the present. Let’s all remember this as we take a holiday break from our labors to recall those that gave the ultimate sacrifice so we can.

In memorium. In memory of. Remembrance.

Quote of the Week:

”In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Occam’s Razor

The latest edition of Unleashed® with Dan Weedin discusses what NFL owners and you can learn from the “simple is better” concept of Occam’s Razor….

© 2018 Toro Consulting. All Rights Reserved