Extra Points: The Present

December 11, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This holiday season always makes us think of presents. The act of exchanging gifts with family and friends starts ramping up around Halloween these days and goes all the way through Christmas. Today, I’d like to talk about a different kind of present and a different kind of gift.

Barb and I are fortunate to get regular photo updates of our granddaughter. One of the most recent shows her looking right into the camera and flashing a beautiful smile, which for her is a newfound and growing skill! I quickly turned it into the wallpaper for my lock screen on my phone, so I see it often. It dawned on me that infants like my granddaughter live totally in the “present.” And what a “gift” that is. She isn’t ruminating on past failures or calamities; nor is she obsessed with worries about the future and what might or never occur. She’s living completely in enjoying and making the most of her present. For that matter, so are both my dogs. Captain Jack and Bella almost always wear that same impish grin.

Somewhere along the way, we humans lose that gift and start focusing on the past and future. While utilizing the past for lessons learned and cherished events is good, dwelling and living in the past is not. While eager to find opportunity and enjoying the future is good; being filled with anxiety and fear is not.

Here’s my holiday gift to you (actually I’m keeping and sharing from my granddaughter): Live in the present more. The past holds many experiences both good and bad and nothing can change what happened. You can’t write the future in your head because it’s likely to turn out differently than you planned. Be cognizant of where you are today becasue it will soon be the past. We only come around this way once, so make sure your present is truly a gift to yourself and others.

Quote of the Week:

“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”

~ Harry S. Truman

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get and your company sprint to the finish line, call me. I have ideas on how you can finish strong and start fast! Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592.

7 Questions Non-Profit Directors & Trustees Need to Be Able to Answer

December 7, 2017 Leave a comment

58842029-Dan+Weedin+Unleashed-43 copyAre you a non or for profit board member or trustee? If so, you’ve got tremendous liability for property, people, and growth. Here are 7 questions for Board of Directors or Trustees for any organization:

1. What’s the plan if we have an active shooter at our location or event?

2. What’s the plan if we suffer a cyber attack and personal information of people is compromised or important information lost or stolen?

3. What’s the plan in the event of a sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuit?

4. What’s the plan to evacuate and protect people and property if our building is on fire?

5. What’s the plan if we have a natural disaster that blocks transportation and halts communication?

6. Are we doing everything possible to safeguard our employees, volunteers, and those we serve?

7. Am I willing to accept the liability and financial consequences of not being fully compliant and prepared for a crisis?

I have a longer list of questions that revolve around your fiduciary and leadership responsibility as a broad member for either a non-profit or for-profit board of directors. By completing this exercise, you will learn how your organization grades out.

It doesn’t matter the size of your organization, any one calamity like those listed above can destroy a non-profit and damage your reputation. As you begin strategizing an planning 2018, are you sure that your organization is fully ready and prepared to deal with a crisis?

If you have any doubts or concerns, let’s schedule a time to talk.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: The Impossible

December 4, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This past Saturday I boarded The Santa Train with my granddaughter and family on a 105-year old train in a rural gem in our area. As we traveled the rails back at a brisk 20 MPH, I wondered about what it was like traveling on a train even more than 100 years ago just to get someplace. I thought about soldiers heading out to war, businessmen on travel, and families off to visit families or move to a new place. I tried to put myself in their place and the thought of people traveling on airplanes, communicating instantly with anyone in the world on their watches, and dropping into a Starbucks for a caramel brûlée latte to begin a ride home in a vehicle that plays music and has heated seats.

Impossible to imagine.

I the started pondering the next 100 years. What would we deem impossible? Frankly when I was a kid growing up in the 1970s, the Internet, digital music, and video calls like FaceTime and Skype were impossible to imagine. The fact that this is only 40 years ago, what does the future hold? The impossible is what’s ahead. Sadly, too many people allow the impossible to dictate their lives.

Like I wrote in my book, Unleashed Leadership, people are apt to build “invisible fences” around their lives. Due to fear of rejection, fear of failure, and fear of what others might think, they choose to eschew trying for the impossible. As we have seen over the past hundred plus years, humans can create artificial intelligence, fly to the moon, and exterminate diseases like polio.

Nothing is impossible unless you just don’t try. To live unleashed, tear down that invisible fence. Captain Jack can’t be fenced in and neither should you.

Go be possible.

Quote of the Week:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get and your company sprint to the finish line, call me. I have ideas on how you can finish strong and start fast! Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592.

Shrimp Tank Podcast with Erin Jones

December 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Our latest Shrimp Tank podcast episode featured our guest, Erin Jones.

Erin Jones has been involved in and around schools for the past 26 years. She has taught in a variety of environments, from predominantly Black to predominantly White to some of the most diverse communities in the nation. Erin received an award as the Most Innovative Foreign Language Teacher in 2007, while working at Stewart Middle School in Tacoma and was the Washington State Milken Educator of the Year in 2008, while teaching at Rogers High School in Spokane. She received recognition at the White House in March of 2013 as a “Champion of Change” and was Washington State PTA’s “Outstanding Educator” in 2015.

After serving as a classroom teacher and instructional coach, Erin worked as an executive for two State Superintendents. Erin left the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction 5 years ago to work in college-access at the school district level. She left her job to run as a candidate for State Superintendent and was the first Black woman to run for any state office in Washington state, a race she lost by a mere 1%. Erin has given TED Talks which can be found on YouTube.  A few samples of her TED Talks are “Passion for Change” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ7xY60a6z4 and “Be A Bridge” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFc9axy2ktQ.

Erin has two children in college, one who works full-time and plays rugby, and a husband, James, who is a teacher in North Thurston School District.

Listen to the PODCAST

 

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Lauer and Rose and Weinstein, Oh Boy.

November 30, 2017 2 comments

LauerThe sudden firing of popular NBC television personality Matt Lauer yesterday is just the latest in a series of high profile terminations stemming from sexual misconduct and harassment. Charlie Rose and Harvey Weinstein are also on the short list of others that have plummeted from grace in a split second. The main thing these three have in common is that they were all promptly terminated from their jobs because the allegations came from co-workers where they wielded power and authority over their victims. That’s where your concern should come in…

It’s easy to be lulled into thinking that this is a big media, high profile, social media fueled phenomenon. The sad truth is that bad behavior, discrimination, harassment, and bullying occurs every day in small and medium-sized businesses and flies under the radar to the detriment of the employees that are victims. That is until you get a lawsuit dropped on your desk.

Employers get sued for a bevvy of discriminatory practices: gender, age, and race are the most prevalent. However you can include wrongful termination, retaliation, unsafe or toxic work environment, and social media bullying as other reasons. With the enormous spotlight being shone on this issue now, more than ever you need to protect your people, your reputation, and your bottom line. Here are three thoughts:

  1. Commit to taking care of your employees by having a zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior. It’s easy to say that you do, but how are you validating it? Do you have annual training; do people in leadership positions confront issues promptly; are there written guidelines and policies communicated to all employees; and is everyone subject to the same disciplinary actions? Talk is cheap; are to taking actions to protect all your employees?
  2. Watch out for water cooler jokes and language. This goes for BOTH genders! If you allow “locker room talk” to become water cooler talk, then you’re setting yourself up for a fall. You know it happens. This is more than political correctness. The issue is creating a work environment that is welcoming to everyone and creates a culture where people want to work for you. You’ll also be dramatically reducing the likelihood of a lawsuit.
  3. Protect your profit by purchasing Employment Practices Liability insurance. Even by doing everything right, employees may still sue you. Don’t tell me you have a “family environment.” Families fight, disagree, and are dysfunctional. If they aren’t really your family, you’ll get sued. The average cost for damages is $150,000 and attorney costs will triple that. If you don’t want to have a catastrophic bill then transfer the financial risk to an insurance company. Just like with cyber insurance, you’re more likely to be sued by an employee than have your building catch on fire. Protect your company wealth.

Take care of your people and you’ll be rewarded with higher performance, productivity, and profits. Finance the risk of being sued through Employment Practices Liability insurance and protect your company valuation and wealth from something you can’t control. If you have questions on your current company culture, practices, and/or insurance, let’s talk. Make sure that you’re heading into 2018 doing the right things for your people and your business.

I’m an expert in resilience, insurance, 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. I can also buy Employment Practices Liability insurance for you to adequately protect your profit and business. Call or email me at 360-271-1592 to schedule a meeting.

Extra Points: Finish Strong

November 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40What did you resolve to accomplish last January?

Some of the more popular personal “resolutions” might include increased exercise, improved eating and health habits, more time spent with family and less time on social media, and discovering greater life balance.

I find that professional resolutions pale in comparison. They often seem to be carry-over goals of making more money, improving growth goals, hiring more people, expanding demographics, and boosting the bottom line. Well, how are you doing with one month left?

The problem with many of these resolutions is that once met somewhere in the year, the foot will often ease of the gas pedal and coast into the next year. If you feel that happening to you, it’s a mistake.

While December is filled with holiday parties, end of the year reports, and an enormous amount of other distractions, it doesn’t have to be a time where nothing gets accomplished. In fact, for the savvy business professionals, it’s time to go fast and furious while others enjoy too much holiday cheer.

Look, I’m not suggesting you bypass the spirit of the season. On the contrary, revel in it while at the same time sprinting hard through the end of the year so that the momentum carries you into a fast calendar year-start.

A few suggestions on how to begin that mad dash:

Find ways to help your clients finish their year sprinting. Create new opportunities to meet people that you didn’t get to work with this year. Be innovative and create a new service or product. Stop emailing and pick up a phone to talk to someone. Smile more. Seek out opportunity each day. Improve your self-talk. Set a growth goal (personal or professional) for each day. Ask for help when you need it. Stay enthusiastic.

Life’s too short. I’m as guilty as the next person in taking each day for granted that there will be a day to follow and time to catch up. The time is now. It matters not if it’s the last month of a year or the third. Commit to sprinting through your life each day; not in a hurry, but in running a great race that keeps you living life fast and furious.

Quote of the Week:

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

~ Aristotle

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get and your company sprint to the finish line, call me. I have ideas on how you can finish strong and start fast! Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592.

Living Thanksgiving Every Day

November 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I’m watching my alma mater, the University of Washington Huskies playing the University of Utah Utes in a wild and exciting game Saturday night. The Huskies down late in the game make an improbable comeback and are in a position to kick a winning field goal with only two seconds left. The kicker has had a tough year and had already missed an extra point and field goal in this game. With victory at stake, he calmly boots the game winner and is mobbed by his teammates.

It dawns on me as we head into Thanksgiving week, that this is a lesson on thanks.

Although true, it’s easy to point to family, friends, and health as things to be thankful for. As I get older, I become increasingly thankful for the journey. The journey includes struggle, resilience, good days, bad days, and mediocre days. The journey includes teammates and opponents and ultimately offers opportunities for redemption and glory. Sometimes we lose the battle as Utah did and sometimes we are victorious. But in all cases we are blessed with another day and opportunity until we won’t be and the journey ends.

Here’s what I’m thankful for: the journey, the struggle, the opportunities, the people, the redemption, the uncertainty and the fun. Honor the struggle and the journey and be thankful you’ve got the opportunity to live and craft your on journey and share it with those you want to.

Thank you for being a part of my journey and for continuing to allow me to be a part of yours.

Quote of the Week:

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, becasue I was a different person back then.”

~ from Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get your company culture stronger and more robust. Contact me to discuss how you can better and more quickly reach the results you want. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592.