Extra Points: Puzzles

June 19, 2017 1 comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40My wife Barb and I like doing jigsaw puzzles together. One of our friends (who also likes puzzles) calls it a “disease,” and I think she’s right!

The current puzzle we’re working on is a gift from friends from The Netherlands. It’s a cartoon style picture with lots of people and activity going on around a canal in Amsterdam. The hard part is that nearly all the people (and there are a huge number of people) are wearing orange. There are three Santa Claus figures, several home country flags, and just a sea of orange with faces attached. As we started diving into it, the task seemed insurmountable.

As we spent more time with the puzzle, nuances became apparent. There were many small stories in the different scenes; we found a crocodile, a martian, and a ghost. Even though everyone seemed to be in orange, the individual people and situations made the puzzle more unique and helped us put it together. We are still working on it, but much better than when we started. We uncovered the secret of the puzzle.

Your business is like a jigsaw puzzle. What may at times seem like a jumble of people all doing the same thing and often in what appears to be chaos, has all the intricacies and nuances of our puzzle. The pieces all fit together; you just have to find the where to put them. The big picture requires effort in understanding and appreciating all the individual stories, motivations, and differences that make the process fun and exciting.

Your career is like a jigsaw puzzle. While it sometimes seems that the pieces will never really fit together (or that a couple of them fell on the floor and were eaten by the dog), by intentionally and positively looking at the big picture, honoring the struggle, and being patient, your puzzle will also come together and create the result you desire. Don’t consider the challenge as insurmountable; rather an opportunity.

I’ve heard that jigsaw puzzles are good for your brain. I’m pretty sure the jigsaw puzzles that are your business and career are good for your personal and professional growth, resilience, and spirit as long as you never give up and enjoy the experience.

Quote of the Week:

”My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could ever give another person. He believed in me.”

~ Jim Valvano

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Would you like help improving your leadership development strategy for your company? Need help getting your organization to a higher state of resiliency and profitable growth? Then call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

The Shrimp Tank: Jason Erickson

June 13, 2017 Leave a comment

From our June 7th show, meet filmmaker Jason Erickson of Vehicle Films. To listen to the entire podcast, visit our website.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Driving Leadership

June 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40News came out over the weekend that Uber board of directors would be discussing a leave of absence for its embattled CEO, Travis Kalanick. This comes on the heels of months of terrible press related to claims of sexual harassment allegations, berating drivers on video, and a Pandora’s Box of other workplace and public scandal and crisis. According to the Wall Street Journal, the board will also vote on setting up an investigation onto workplace issues.

Just because a person has the CEO acronym following their name on their business card, doesn’t mean they have a clue how to lead, manage, and inspire people. Kalanick had publicly admitted he needed to grow his leadership skills, but hasn’t shown much growth so his board is now taking more swift action to try and salvage the brand of the company.

Small and medium-sized business (SMB) leaders should take note. Just because one can start a business doesn’t mean they can effectively lead, manage, and inspire people. In order to tap into and unleash the power and potential of a business, that SMB owner or executive must intentionally enhance that part of their professional repertoire. It should be a daily discipline and requires accountability. Unlike highly-visible public companies like Uber, there often isn’t a board of directors there to do it. The metrics are most often a combination of high turnover, workplace drama, apathetic employees, and lack of production.

If you’re in any type of leadership position, I encourage you to make the development of your skills in this area a daily discipline. Read articles and books, watch videos by experts, and most importantly find an advisor (or advisors) to hold you accountable to your leadership growth goals. You’ve got your hands on the wheel; make sure you’re driving down the right road.

Quote of the Week:

”All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Would you like help improving your leadership development strategy for your company? Need help getting your organization to a higher state of resiliency and profitable growth? Then call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

Extra Points: Picking Up Tomatoes

June 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Picking Up Tomatoes

Last week, my wife and I were walking into the grocery store when a guy about our age walking out of the store had his small plastic box of tomatoes plummet from his cart and spill out on the ground. My immediate reaction, was “bummer,” while proceeding to walk in. Barb is a way kinder person than me (and those of you who know both of us don’t need to be told this). She immediately asked, “Do you need help,” and then proceeded to stop and start picking up tomatoes before he could even answer. Of course, I then sheepishly joined the tomato picking by association to the kind person, which ultimately is to my own personal growth.

What does picking up tomatoes outside of a grocery store have to do with any of us?

Here’s the deal…the mere act of genuine kindness resonates in every business and organization regardless of size. Barb volunteered to help someone she didn’t know who had a misfortune happen. How many of us eschew showing genuine kindness to people we employ, work with, live with, and/or care about because we are either not paying attention, don’t think it’s our problem, or are in such a hurry to take care of ourselves that we become uninterested in the plight of those around us?

Organization resilience always starts with people. That sentence is worth reading again. Overcoming adversity and crisis; finding solutions to difficult challenges; and just sometimes getting through a bad day shouldn’t be a lonely path. When we as fellow humans lighten the load of those we work with and employ, then resilience is enhanced through better decision-making, swifter resolutions, improved collaboration, and enhanced morale. Resilience isn’t simply about being tough; it’s mostly about helping each other out when we dump tomatoes on the ground.

Quote of the Week:

”An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

~ Winston Churchill

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Need help getting your organization to a higher state of resiliency and profitable growth? Then call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

Extra Points: Memorial Day Special

May 29, 2017 Leave a comment


This Week’s Focus Point: 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

Extra Points: Walking Hills

May 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Yesterday my Rotary Club had a big fundraising event during our city’s annual festival. The location was only about a mile and half walk (22 minutes to be exact), so I decided to walk to it. The weather was beautiful – maybe one of the best days of the year. The festival also brings lots of traffic and parking challenges, and I figured the exercise would be good. 

After a full day of volunteering in the sun, the time came to walk home. The majority of the walk back is uphill, which added to the exertion level. By the time I hit the stop light to cross to the final big hill, I took a deep breath and thought, “Oh boy…” (The word boy is a place holder…it was actually a different word)

I climbed the hill no worse for wear, just a little more tired and strengthened. Strengthened because hills develop physical strength and stamina, and build toughness.

We all face hills in our business life and career. Nothing is a straight level path. We never know when these hills will emerge, or how long a duration they are. But just like my final hill home yesterday, we are forced to climb them to reach our destination.

Here are three quick tips to help you traverse these hills in your business (and personal) life and career:

  1. Take a deep breath and charge forward…always remembering to breathe. It’s rarely as bad or as steep as we think.
  2. Don’t take side routes. I considered taking an alternate route where the hill was less steep, however the longer path would take more time to get home. Speed in business is everything. Find your inner strength and persevere.
  3. Honor the struggle. The hill will make you stronger and tougher; and ultimately make the reward at the end more satisfying. If you honor the struggle, you will honor your ability to conquer it.

There will always be another hill coming up. You may have just finished walking your hill; may be in the midst now; or may see it approaching. Regardless of where you’re at in business or in life, prepare for your hills by being strong of mind and body. It’s the only way to run the race.

Need help walking your hill and rapidly achieving your goals? Contact me at (360) 271-1592 or dan@danweedin.com and let’s talk about it!

Quote of the Week:

”He who angers you, conquers you.”

~ Elizabeth Kenny

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

A Little Privacy Please…

May 17, 2017 Leave a comment

He is ready to fight for success

A Little Privacy, Please…
How to guard and protect yourself and your company from cyber crimes

As a first world society, I’m afraid we are becoming numb to calamity around us. Once upon a time, a global cyber security breach would have been the main news story for several weeks. The major attack that happened last week that impacted countless businesses around the world is now largely forgotten as we did into the FBI, the White House, and Russia.

We live in a growing less secretive world. The ability for a criminal with some technology skills to “break into” a small or medium-sized company and steal information is alarmingly easy. We all lock our doors at night to keep the bad guys out. The problem is that the bad guys don’t need to pick your lock; they just need to figure out your password and then they can steal information, money, and profits.

I will be brief today, but that doesn’t lessen the severity of this threat to your company and employees (including you and your family). Here are three steps you should take right now to help prevent and mitigate this risk:

  1. Create (or review and revise) a written cyber security plan for your company. I don’t care if you are a company of five or 500, you use the Internet and you need to protect yourself. Just like unprotected sex leads to bad consequences, unprotected systems could result in more serous viruses (see link to article below).
  2. Form a team. Being a lone wolf doesn’t work because you can’t possibly know everything. You need an IT expert, a risk specialist, and key employees in your company to build a strong fortification. It also supports accountability and implementation.
  3. Read this article in the Harvard Business Review written by Luke Bencie. A colleague of mine shared it on Facebook yesterday and it’s excellent. You and your employees are probably violating a lot of his suggestions. I know I am and that will start changing. Are you ready to change to match the new risk to your business?

Bottom line: This isn’t 1977 any longer. Your most valuable assets and information are no longer stored in a safe in your locked business. They live in a cloud that can be accessed by people with skills and bad intent. It’s time to re-awaken to what your most concerning risks are and do what you can to ferociously guard them.

I’m an expert in resilience, risk management, and crisis planning. I have a proprietary scorecard to assess where you are today when it comes to protecting your most important assets and your bottom line.

If these are important to you, then call and let’s talk. Call me at 360-271-1592 to schedule a meeting.


WHAT’S NEW…my Private Brokerage Client program.

I’ve expanded my consulting practice to include the ability to place insurance coverage for clients. Through my affiliation and partnership with First Underwriters, I now can not only help you control your risk exposures, but finance them in a way that ferociously protects your profits.

My business model is different for two reasons. First, clients gain access to certain intellectual property and resources that before were only available to consulting clients. These resources will help clients save time, money, and frustration on their entire risk portfolio. Second, the program has a capacity limit. In order to offer this full-service, concierge style approach, I will limit the number of Private Brokerage Clients I will take on. Just since starting about 45 days ago, I’ve added five new clients.

If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you ferociously protect your profits and lifestyle, call me to see how this program might look for you.