Extra Points: Flexibility Rules

July 25, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Flexibility Rules

My daughter got married over the weekend. I’m writing this the Monday before the wedding because I know that the week leading up to it is flush with moving parts, potential jobs for me, and the need to be flexible. To that end, I’ve planned out my business week to be complete by end of the day Tuesday. I’m sure I will have found a few nuggets to write about soon!

I’ve worked with many a business owner, leader and professional that fills every nook and cranny of their days. They bemoan not having enough time because they are so busy. Some see an open space in their calendar and just have an insatiable need to drop a new meeting, call, or project in it. I know you might not believe me, but many of you reading this right now resemble this example to some level. And, it’s dangerous.

Balance is necessary to be successful and happy. You must find discretionary time to relax, enjoy hobbies, exercise, and often just do nothing. In order to achieve this, you must build in flexibility into your calendar. You accomplish this by intentionally leaving plenty of open space and resisting the urge to fill it with work or chaos. Step 1 is strategizing for the future by doing or scheduling things in advance (hence my newsletter being written 4 days earlier than normal). Step 2 is prioritizing activities into urgent, important, and normal. Some of you are overflowing with urgent, when the normal bucket should be the most used. Step 3 is to include flexibility and nimbleness into your day. That’s right…plan for the unplanned and the relaxation. When you’re flexible, you can more adroitly deal with the unexpected and enhance your own life balance.

Quote of the Week:

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. ”

~ Jim Rohn

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Guest Blog: How To Quantify the Value of Your Consulting?

July 19, 2016 Leave a comment

betsy-jordynThis is a guest blog by my friend and colleague, Betsy Jordyn. She and I have collaborated on working with consultants to accelerate their business growth. She joins me as a Master Mentor in Alan Weiss’s global consulting community. I’m happy in this week off preparing for my daughter’s wedding, to feature Betsy’s work!

How to Quantify the Value of Your Consulting

By Betsy Jordyn,  Accelera Consulting Group

One of the biggest challenges that new and seasoned consultants both struggle with is: how to quantify the value of their consulting. In other words, they know that what they do makes a difference but they can’t seem to connect the dots between their expertise and the tangible business results that their expertise creates.

If this sounds like you, here are some insights that can help you get started:

  1. Your Track Record: How much time and money have you invested in developing your expertise? In comparison to others, how does those investments impact how well you can deliver to your clients quality, speed and effectiveness?
  1. Typical Results: When a client engages to work with you, what BUSINESS OUTCOMES does your consulting create? If you are a trainer or coach, how do your programs enhance workplace culture and environment and employee engagement? If you are a digital marketing expert, how does your website or social media support create stronger consumer awareness, lead conversion, or product/service utilization?
  1. Project Value: When a client asks for you help with a solution, how does that solution change leadership, employee or customer behaviors? When those behaviors shifts, what difference do those shifts make in terms or tangible business outcomes?
  1. Consultant Contribution: When you work with a client, what INCREMENTAL VALUE do they get? Do you reduce the project cycle time (and all the cost savings and revenue upside that comes along with it?)? Do you create stronger buy-in and reduce resistance (and all the cost savings that goes along with avoiding that dreaded “flavor of the month” syndrome)?
  1. Actualized Results: When you conclude a consulting gig, do you measure the results? Are you able to demonstrate to your client the Project ROI (financial benefits offset by project costs) and their Return on Approach (the incremental financial benefits and intangible benefits offset by your fees) that you uniquely were able to create for them?

Henry Ford once balked at $10,000 bill provided by “consultant” Charles Steinmetz of General Electric whose help was needed to resolve a generator problem. In response to Fords’ objections, Steinmetz sent this: “Marking chalk mark on generator, $1. Knowing where to make the mark, $9,999.” Ford paid the bill.

When you are able to quantify your value, you are able to stand in your worth. When you are clear on why your client really needs you, it will give you the courage to confidently say: “I am not an expense to be managed. I am an investment that will generate a dramatic return.”

Betsy Jordyn is a seasoned consultant and mentor aspiring and thriving consultants. If you want enhance your ability to CALCULATE and COMMUNICATE the value of your consulting, join Betsy in her one of a kind professional development experience “Consulting Skills Practice Sessions Bootcamp.” Through on demand video instruction and LIVE virtual role-play, you will learn EXACTLY how to ask for (and receive) what you know you are worth. Sign up today!

You can learn more about Betsy on her website

 

 

 

Extra Points: Distracted Driving

July 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Distracted Driving

Last week, I was driving through town when the Honda CRV in front of my suddenly (and violently) veered to the right, striking the sidewalk that jutted out and nearly taking out the tree inside of it. The vehicle corrected quickly and went on its way. While I never saw the driver, the incident looked exactly like someone being distracted that lost focus and ultimately control of the vehicle long enough to get the heart pounding and then got back on track. In our world, we have many distractions while driving including text, talking, food and beverage, wailing children, and dogs sticking out of the driver window.

This person was fortunate. It appeared that no damage was done, other than a good scare. The reality is that they could have hit another car or pedestrian, and caused damage, injury, or death. Distracted driving is hazardous to everyone’s health.

Distracted driving of your business or career has severe consequences, too.

While you may never stop to be concerned about your destination when getting in a car to drive away, are you clear of what your destination in your life is? Or, are you driving down your career and business path distracted by the sights, sounds, and “noise” of the world. If you are, you may have passed some pretty important mileposts and never know it!

If you own a business, you’d better have a plan on where you’re going, how long it will take to get there, metrics of success, and an exit strategy. If you get caught up in your day to day “fire fighting,” then it may be too late when your destination is the next exit.The same is true for all of you “employees” that plan to retire someday. Are you paying attention at the wheel?

Bottom line, if you are like so many entrepreneurs and business professionals in the world that are distracted by the days events, you may be surprised when the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train. Rather, why don’t you clean off your windshield, get focused on where you’re going, and enjoy the ride.

Quote of the Week:

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

~ General Eric Shineski, USA (Army Retired)

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

What Message Is Your Company Sending?

July 15, 2016 Leave a comment

20 Under 40 20_3Last month, I went on my annual weekend golf outing with my high school buddies. We go somewhere new every year and play four rounds of golf, eat too much food, and generally pretend we are still in high school. At our final course this year, I went to pay for my green fees with my American Express card and the employee behind the counter said, “Sorry, you’ll have to pay with Visa or MasterCard.”

I found it odd that a golf course the caliber of this one didn’t take every single credit card on the face of the earth! I shrugged and changed cards and went to the first tee. After our round, we had our final lunch together, and as is the case with all our meals, we draw two credit cards from a hat and those two “losers” get to pay the check for the group. Unfortunately for me, this time I was one of the “losers.” When I received my check, I noticed that imprinted on the leather-bound cover was the American Express logo as the desired method of payment. This made me chuckle. Either the employee at the golf shop didn’t get the memo or they had two sets of rules for the same place.

Regardless of the reason, one thing was certain. The golf course and restaurant were sending a mixed message. One side of the company accepted a form of payment, and the other side didn’t. Is your company inadvertently sending mixed messages both internally and externally?

It’s not uncommon for companies to send out mixed messages to employees. Notwithstanding a company’s size or industry, humans are susceptible to such errors. For example:

• Inconsistent treatment of employees when it comes to promotions, pay increases, and time off

• Inconsistency regarding discipline and reasons for termination

• Inconsistent hiring practices and training

• Lack of follow-through on new procedures and practices

• Failing to properly communicate changes

• Failure to set adequate contingencies, leading to confusion and frustration in time of crisis

• Saying one thing and doing another

Don’t tell me this only happens at other companies; that you’re immune to it. I have yet to observe a company that doesn’t have at least a few inconsistencies that lead to internal strife. To fix these issues, allow me to offer some internal best practices and suggestions:

1. Don’t worry about being perfect. I talk to business owners that aspire to have a perfect culture, perfect employees, and perfect harmony. There is perfection in imperfection as long as it’s part of the humanness of a company. Take perfect out of the equation and strive for exceptional. There’s a big difference.

2. Be consistent. Just like one organization should accept the same credit cards, you should be consistent with how you treat employees when it comes to benefits, pay increase opportunities, and advancement guidelines.

3. Become fluent in speaking their language. Make sure you’re clear in how you communicate your message, your priorities, changes in procedures, or anything else that requires education. It’s your message, yet you need to deliver it in way that is understood and implemented.

4. Get help. Subscribe and join associations and groups that provide information and education on human resources. Hire experts to help you navigate challenges and find solutions. Be vulnerable enough to admit that investing in help will ultimately make you a better company.

It’s also a reality that messages can get mixed up externally, just like my story depicts.

• Is your sales team making promises it can’t keep?

• Is your brand clear to your target market, or are you trying to be everything to everyone?

• Is your website current? The worst thing you can do in 21st-century marketing is becoming obsolete in a post-Yellow Pages world.

• Does your customer service team treat customers as you wish they would? How do you know?

• Are you accessible to people you most value as customers and clients?

To fix these issues, allow me to offer some external best practices and suggestions:

1. Invest time, money and resources into assuring your sales message and vision resonates with the entire operation. Sales must know what is practical for steady growth without becoming a burden to operations.

2. Create a plan to monitor your cyber presence. That includes your website and social media platforms. Respond to concerns and stay current.

3. Hire and train customer service people that like talking to people. I’m not kidding. Have you ever had a conversation with a customer service person that was surly, uninterested, or even just rude? You know what I mean then!

4. Engage your employees. Ask them for help and suggestions for improvement when it comes to your external message.

If you want to truly be significant and successful in business, you must communicate your message both internally and externally. Your employees must understand and exemplify your mission and vision. Your clients and customers need to know what you do and how you’ll help them.

It’s pretty basic, but important. Sort of like knowing which credit cards to accept, right? Make sure you keep your message clear and concise, so that your company can be Unleashed.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Want to get powerful and exclusive tips, tools, and techniques to grow you business, build your career, and enrich your life? Check out my lifetime membership as part of the Unleashed Universe.

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A Personal Invitation to Unleashed Universe

July 13, 2016 Leave a comment

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The 21st century is a decision-making universe. 


Speed, skill, perspective and perspicacity are needed more than ever by business owners, managers, and all professionals to drive results and assure resilience.

Unleashed Universe is a dynamic and unique digital learning environment to help small and medium-sized business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, sales professionals, managers, and any business leader substantially enhance their ability to maximize their talents and skills, while helping and influencing others in their company do the same.

“Unleashed Universe pushed me to stop and reflect on my own habits and aspirations as an individual, as a team player and as a leader. The focus on simple, yet revolutionary steps towards building winning teams–and having fun doing it–is spot on. It’s that piece, among others, that I’ll keep at the heart of my continued leadership development.”
~ Alanna Imbach, CEO and Founder – Vibe Coworks

Lifetime Value

This is the only lifetime access program I offer. For a fantastically small investment, you will gain continuous and consistently powerful resources, tools, and best practices to build your career, grow your business, and create a better life for you, your family and employees.
You will get:
* The 12-episode video series, Unleashed Leadership, plus all future series
* Monthly resources and tolls exclusive for members only
* A monthly 30-minute conference call exclusively for members
* 24/7 online access to private repository of resources

Learn More

What’s in it for you….
* Enhance creativity, innovation, and decision-making
* Improve top-line revenue growth
* Accelerate speed and effectiveness of implementation of ideas
* Focus time on priorities and eliminate wasted time and effort
* Improve your ability to communicate and influence
* Maximize your talent and that talent those around you
* Enhance individual and organizational resilience
* Increase skills in creating intellectual property
* Enhance marketing and branding strategies and tactics Improve work-life balance and…
* Have more fun in your life

Lifetime membership for only a one-time investment of $950 before September 1st. After September 1, the membership fee increases to $1,500.

Purchase Membership

“Dan Weedin presents concepts and solutions that are practical and workable whether our staff has years of experience in business or fairly new to our company. The immediate benefit of the series was knowing that we have professional assistance and ready answers to questions that at first can seem daunting, but with help are surmountable and stepping stones.” 

~ Susan Ogilvie, Paul Ogilvie Construction

“The program and related “homework” really made me slow down and engage in the learning. It forced me to self-assess and re-evaluate how I react to both professional and personal situations. Because of that analysis, I now look at life, work, and family situations differently. My focus as a leader is to help others improve in their work and career.”
~ Leon Capps, Tim Ryan Construction

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: In Sync

July 11, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week, I had a golf swing analysis done, along with 90 minutes of coaching. My game has been inconsistent for the last several years, and after trying to fix myself, I elected to get professional help. I’d also never performed a swing analysis before, and I was eager to see how it worked.

The result was that the foundation of my swing was very good, but had one major flaw. My weight shift was bad, meaning that my arms were coming through faster than the rest of my body causing inconsistency hits and results. I originally thought I was swinging too hard; in reality I was “out of sync.” The golf pro gave me tools and drills to help me get back that feel back. When I inspected my high school yearbook, I found a picture of my swing from my junior year. It was perfect. I’d managed to inadvertently and unknowingly deteriorate over the years and desperately needed expert help to get back “in sync.”

Have you allowed your business, your career, or your life get “out of sync?”

Too often, in any (or all) of these areas, it’s easy to allow past success and satisfaction to grow monotonous and pedestrian. You don’t even realize your “swing” becoming diminished because it “feels” the same. It’s one thing to have that happen to a golf swing (that’s easy to fix). It’s quite another to let it impinge on your business, career, and life.

Go get your own “swing analysis” on your personal and professional life. Get help in the areas that you want to improve or achieve change. Be disciplined to implement that change. And start shooting better scores in the much more important “game” you find yourself playing daily.

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”

~ Auguste Rodin

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

Extra Points: Independence Day Special

July 4, 2016 1 comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Two-Hundred and Forty years ago today, 56 men signed a document that today is know to us as the Declaration of Independence. I guess we should consider it the very first “Brexit.”

It was signed by these men after tumultuous meetings over the span of years; severe disagreements over a myriad of issues, including slavery; and uncertainty of what the future would bring. The immediate future brought years of war, because the British didn’t just unambiguously accept our declaration. It still had to be earned on the battlefields. At the time, it’s doubtful that these delegates at the 2nd Continental Congress In Philadelphia concerned themselves with fireworks, days off from work, or backyard barbecues. More likely, they worried about their families, their land, and their own mortality. But with courage and fortitude, to a man they mutually pledged to each other and to generations of people, “Our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

It is for that courage – and the courage of many that followed the signing – that we celebrate. I love this video clip from the outstanding series, John Adams. I share it with you today..

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Quote of the Week:

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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