Memorable Meeting Times

I have a meeting on Monday with a client at 9:01 am. I will not forget that time…

Jerry Parrish is a long-time football coach at North Kitsap High School. All the years that he coached, practice or meetings started on the :01…whatever it was – 2:31, 9:01, 3:31 – you get the point. Being late was bad news.

Jerry is now the Executive Secretary for the Washington State Coaches Association and my client for the past 5 years. We are meeting Monday to get their insurance renewed. I e-mailed him a 9:00 am time at our normal coffee shop in town. He responded, “Jack’s on Monday, 26 July at 9:01…” I will not forget that time.

Jerry knows the psychology of remembering. Have a unique time and it won’t be forgotten. 9:00 is easy to forget…9:01 isn’t. It’s just the way it is. Have you ever thought of being “out of the box” and setting times on the :01 or :07 or something off-beat like that? Nobody’s going to get mad. They probably will be amused and never forget the time.

I think I may give that a try. It works on me, it will probably work for me, too!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points for Today

This week’s focus point
Jack sleeping
Last week I was taking the dogs for their morning walk when Captain Jack stopped to smell the bush on the edge of our property. I thought he had some business to attend to, so I stopped to give him time. He did his due diligence in sniffing, and then as if shot out of a cannon, dove headfirst into the bush and emerged with a foot-long garden snake clenched in his mouth! The snake had a beautiful red stripe on its back and was flailing on both sides. I jerked the leash and Jack lost control of the snake, who immediately retreated back into the bush. To say the least, Captain Jack was disappointed about the “one that got away.”

Do you dive headlong into your passions? Might be professional or personal, but each of us have passions that excite, motivate, and often challenge us. If you’re going to be a member of an organization like Rotary or Kiwanis, dive headlong into it so you can give the most and get the most. If you own your own business, dive into it with assertiveness and confidence and you will engender the same in your clients and prospects. Develop your personal and professional relationships that you cherish with zeal.

I guess the bottom line is that if you attack your passions and dreams with the same exuberance and confidence as Captain Jack, you will emerge with your own snake and won’t have to give it back. Happy hunting!

This week’s quote –“God gets you to the plate, but once you’re there you are on your own.”
– Ted Williams, Hall of Fame baseball legend and last player to hit over. 400 for a season

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Testimonials from Libby & Dan at the Seattle Chamber

It’s always valuable to find out what your audience takes away from your presentation. Libby Wagner and I presented a program at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce titled, “Recession to Recovery: Entrepreneurial Strategies for Business Acceleration.” Here are a few of the comments and testimonials from those who were there:

“Shook me into realization I’ve gotten stale.”

“What was discussed is immediately usable and implementable.”

“There are many resources for help; this put some much needed creative wind in my sails.”

“Great information on building your network and prospect list and time management.”

“It affirmed some of the paradigm shifts I’ve been undergoing. Reinforced and encouraged me that I’m on the right track.”

“Good fresh ideas, especially for personal development.”

“Helped clarify and better understand some key strategies for growing business.”

“It helped identify gaps in my current operations that are keeping me from expanding.”

On behalf of Libby, we would like to thank all the participants and of course the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce. The chamber is an excellent way to get the professional development you need, as witnessed by these folks. If you’re not a member yet and you’re in the Greater Seattle area, why not?

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Highlights from Seattle Chamber Event

Yesterday, my friend Libby Wagner and I presented a program to a terrific group of business professionals at the Greater Seattle Chamber Focus On series. Our topic was “From Recession to Recovery,” and we tackled issues related to leadership, personal growth, marketing, sales, branding, and life balance. After the meeting, several people came over to chat with us and I typically ask what they most valued from the program. Here are a few responses…

  • Have three personal and three professional priorities or goals each day. Focus on those and get them done first. Doing this will enhance how you manage your time and stress.
  • Ask for referrals early and often. This will keep your pipeline full.
  • Call three people each day – clients, prospects, referrals. Offer value, ask for referrals, see how they are doing, etc. By keeping in contact, you leverage your ability to increase opportunities.
  • Be “wholehearted” in your work. Be passionate and share that passion with others.
  • Building strong relationships is critical to success professionally and personally. Find a variety of ways to do this in your career and life.
  • Be specific in your language. In order to be an effective “influencer,” you must be clearly heard and understood.
  • Speak, publish, network, and use social media to get your message out to the masses. The more people who need what you do/sell/service/provide, the more opportunities to help them and you.
  • Now is the time to take risks, step out of the box, or reinvent yourself. Have courage and confidence in your abilities.

Many thanks to the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, out guests, and to Libby. It was an excellent day and we hopefully will be invited back to do it again!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

How Leaders Communicate

It’s time to keep a close eye on Jack Zduriencik.

The Seattle Mariners General Manager is near a deal to ship out All-Star left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee to the New York Yankees for three top prospects nobody outside of the depths of the baseball world ever heard about. The Mariners fans and media have been buzzing about this for the last month. There will be plenty of conjecture, speculation, and interest in what Jack has to say.

Being a leader of any organization – sports or otherwise – requires confidence in delivering a message. This year has not gone as planned and with the imminent trade, Zduriencik must now face critics after  trading away the best player on the team this year. It will be interesting to watch how he handles the media, the fans, and the players. He may say all the right things, but how he delivers it will be telling. A few things to watch for…

  • Does he appear sincere and genuine? Do you believe him?
  • Is he still positive? Does he show firm resolve?
  • How strong is his eye contact? Is he willing to hold it with questioners?
  • Is his voice consistently strong? Does he show any cracks?
  • Does he show empathy for the fans?

I will be watching as a Mariners fan and as a professional speaker to see just how skilled an “influencer” Mr. Zduriencik is. So far, I’ve been impressed. This will be his toughest test to date.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Weeding One Inch at a Time

Can you imagine a guy with the last name Weedin hating weeding?

Well, I do. I am not a gardener and never intend on being one. Working around the yard holds no enjoyment for us. That’s why our yard has recently become simply a disaster. To get it back to normal either meant hiring someone or doing it ourselves. We decided it was our mess, so we undertook it this weekend. The weather was just right – sunny skies yet cool. We spent two days digging, pulling, tossing, cleaning, and getting stuck by thorns. I even found a gently used Callaway golf ball in the weeds! I honestly don’t remember hitting that shot, but I try to get those wayward ones out of my mind quickly.

We didn’t finish, but are at least 25% of the way into the project. We will continue to chip away at it daily to get to a point where we can actually enjoy our yard. It’s not perfect, but it looks a heck of a lot better.

A couple of lessons come to the forefront. I thought of them as I was swearing at the blackberry bushes…

1. Small chunks will eventually devour the elephant. What may look to you like a monumental and overwhelming task need not be. You don’t have to do it all at once. Take small, manageable bites daily and keep working on it. Eventually, the bites become more palatable and you will start seeing improvement. Before you know it, the unmanageable task is done.

Are you sitting on something that seems overwhelming, so you put it off until you can complete the whole thing? Where has that gotten you? Probably about as far as my yard was!

2. Success, not perfection. Many people are perfection-oriented in their yards. That’s fine if it’s what you like to do and not an obsession. For most of us, just getting to a point where you can enjoy a yard is deemed success. Don’t let the goal of perfection stand in the way of being successful.

Do you do that in your career? Is your quest to be the “perfect” speaker, writer, consultant, entrepreneur, or manager block your successes? What about trying to be the “perfect” father, mother, son, daughter, or friend? This was one of the greatest pieces of advice my mentor Alan Weiss ever gave me, so I will continually share it with you. Go for success, not perfection.

If you do both of these, you may end up finding a golf ball in the weeds!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved