Just in Time Learning

With the advancement of technology at an astounding rate, the opportunity to increase your value to others has never been better. Here is an example…

I use Constant Contact for my newsletters. I was finishing one and wanted to preview it. An error notice I had never seen popped up. I copied the text and went to their instant chat for customer support. Within one minute, I was instant messaging a support person with my question. Within 3 minutes it was resolved. Now that’s what I call “Just in Time” service.

The value was that I got the information when I needed it, how I needed it, and just in time for me. I am setting up new ways to make “Just in Time” learning, consulting, or access to me a reality in my business. What about you? Where are ares that you can provide instant support that will differentiate you from your competition?

I encourage you to take some time and be creative. Determine ways that you can implement “Just in Time” service to your clients and prospects. Take advantage of the technology at your disposal and become a leader in your industry.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Rules of Engagement

Like many people, professional golfer Jim Furyk uses his cell phone as an alarm clock. Because of it, last week it cost him a double-bogey!

Furyk’s alarm didn’t work and he overslept, causing him to miss the start of the pro-am portion of the Barclays Classic. The penalty? He was disqualified from the tournament. Now, as absurd as I believe this rule is (the pro-am portion doesn’t count towards the regular competition – it’s just an exhibition), Furyk knew the rule. His breaking of that “rule of engagement” probably cost him tens of thousands of dollars from the tourney and the Fed Ex Cup standings.

What rules of engagement are in your business?

How about these often overlooked “rules:”

  • Being on time to meetings
  • Calling and e-mailing back promptly
  • Proper manners while eating a meal
  • Being dressed properly for the situation you are in
  • Sending thank you cards
  • Confirming appointments

You can probably think of more. These seemingly small things can cost you and you probably don’t even know it. Just like Furyk’s slip up, making a double-bogey on one of these may cost you tens of thousands of dollars and you will never know it.

Figure out your rules of engagement and make sure you follow them. You never know when doing so will make all the difference in the world!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

A fun day in Pittsburgh is capped by a day at PNC Park to watch the Pirates battle the St. Louis Cardinals. Below is a copy of my latest blog post for the Kitsap Sun, where I am a community sports blogger. I wanted to share the experience with you…

I went to PNC Park last night to take in the Pirates-Cardinals game. Here are my impressions of the evening…

1 – It’s a beautiful ballpark. A couple years younger than Safeco Field, it has a spectacular view of the downtown skyline in Pittsburgh. It appears to be smaller (fences too) as there is considerably less seating in the outfield than Safeco. That being said, it has a cozier feel. I still like Safeco Field the best, but PNC Park is right there. A great place to watch a game and enjoy.

P.S. The food was also less expensive!

2 – The Pirates actually won for us with a little help from a couple NW homies. Ryan Doumit (Moses Lake) was the catcher and played well. Evan Meek (Inglemoor HS in Kenmore) picked up the save (even though he gave up a run). He got out of a bases loaded, one out, and Matt Holliday at the plate situation.

Ronnie Cedeno (the former Mariner) played flawlessly at shortstop and made the final out. He also had a double. Lots of other ex-Mariners in the stadium including Ryan Franklin and the now third-string catcher Jeff Clement.

3 – It’s amazing that a guy who has been dead for 37 years is still so idolized. Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, who died in an airplane crash on December 31, 1973 on a humanitarian mission, had more #21 jerseys than anyone else. The Bucs have memorialized him on the field with a 21-foot right-field wall (where he roamed for 20+ years). Clemente was a legend and continues on in Pittsburgh after nearly 4 decades.

4 – After the game, we went to the Jerome Bettis Grill for dessert. My cousin told me about the cool men’s bathroom. Yes, you read me correctly, the cool men’s bathroom. I had to check it out.

Guys, when you walk in and hang a right into the urinals, you see a huge one-way window. You ge to look out but nobody else can see in. Kind of like NCIS! As you are taking care of your business, you can casually look at all the people in the bar, the myriad of big screen TV’s, and keep tabs on your girlfriend if you need to (I didn’t even have my wife there, so I simply gazed at all the people and activity). Now THAT is a cool men’s room!

BONUS – I forgot to add on my blog for the Sun – it was a thrill to watch a future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols. He went 3-5 with a run scored, however he is sitting on 399 career home runs. I have to admit I was pulling for him to jack one out so I can say I “was there” on that historic event. No such luck.

A very fun evening. That’s what going to baseball games is all about….a wonderful setting with your family, a Pittsburgh cheese steak and beer, a home team win, and a trip to the coolest bathroom ever!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
Read more: http://pugetsoundblogs.com/daily-dan/#ixzz0xcitQjYQ

The Attitude of Gratitude

This morning, I attended Mass at a beautiful church here in Pittsburgh. The priest’s homily was on the attitude of gratitude. It was a poignant reminder of all that we should be grateful for in our lives. Regardless of your spiritual persuasion, gratitude is an important aspect of anyone’s life. Why?

First, it shows humility to be grateful for what you have. Second, gratitude leads to a positive attitude. Third, it keeps you focused on the important things in your life.

What are you grateful for?

Mine are easy, yet the simple task of listing them is important to keep focus, perspective, and humility. Here are just a few off the top of my head…

  • My family
  • Our health
  • Living in this country that allows us great freedom of choice
  • Our extended families
  • Our dogs (they may not be happy about this placement)
  • My business and all the associates and friends that have come from that
  • The opportunity to send my kids to higher education

I’ve seen first-hand through my Rotary experiences how the majority of the world live. That’s not me, and if you are reading this, it’s probably not you, either. Gratitude is a gift in and of itself in keeping our lives (professional and personal) in perspective. We often need to be reminded as it’s easy to take what we have for granted. I got my reminder this morning. I hope this serves as one for you!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

New Rave Review

As Alan Weiss has always said, “If you don’t toot your own horn, you don’t have any music.” I also believe that when others toot your horn, the music goes twice as far.

I was honored over the weekend to have been given a wonderful testimonial from professional speaker Frank Kenny…

“It is my pleasure to recommend Dan Weedin to you. I have found him to be a smart, effective, passionate worker on behalf of clients and community, a talented public speaker, knowledgeable business person, and dedicated family man. He was a featured speaker at our Bigfoot social media conference, playing a very significant role in the conferences’ formation. If you need speaking, coaching or consulting services, give Dan a call.”

Thank you, Frank! I appreciate your kind words.

With those kind words being said, please note that there are a couple of opportunities around the corner where you can gain professional growth:

September 3 – Free Teleconference on Being an Influential Leader – 11:00 am Pacific

September 28th – Two live workshops at the Clearwater Casino Hotel – Panic to Power and Got Confidence?

Click on the links to learn more and register!

Libby and Dan Part 2 – Time Management & Speaking

This is the second of a three-part series with Libby Wagner and Dan Weedin from their presentation at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce last month. This episode focuses on time management techniques from Libby and speaking strategies from Dan.

For some reason, this video is not being embedded. Sometimes technology doesn’t cooperate. To watch the video, click here.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

A Little Creativity Redux

Yesterday I wrote a blog article on being creative with marketing tools like You Tube. Here is a prime example.

I met a local general contractor, Brent Erickson from RESCOM General Construction, through Linked In. I checked out his website and found a terrific video introduction to his company and their work. This is an example of using video proactively to promote your business.

Click here to go to Brent’s website

Thanks Brent for giving permission to give your web site out as an example. I mean, who wants people to look at your web site right? (For those wondering, this was meant to be funny!)

So get creative and find ways to expand your market…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Alan Weiss Unveils Lessons from Dogs

My mentor Alan Weiss frequently relates lessons he learns from his dogs. I am in the same boat…Captain Jack and Bella constantly teach this old dog new tricks.

This recent post is geared towards consultants, however I think will apply to many. To read the article, click here.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

A Little Creativity Goes a Long Way

I was responding to a thread on Facebook this morning on marketing. The question was – what is your best source of marketing and advertising? My response to the thread is that I believe a lot of business owners are missing the boat by overlooking very powerful, FREE tools. Namely, blogging and You Tube. Professional service providers are basically getting it. They are their own brand and they are drinking the Kool-Aid. However, a lot of service organizations can also do the same thing. It just takes a little creativity…

  • Auto Dealers – Create You Tube videos on the cars you have for sale. Have your best sales people point out the must-have features. Car sales is a visual sale…bring that sale to life.
  • Auto Body Shops – What myths about rebuilding a car are pervasive in your customers? Write a regular blog advising us of ways we can better take care of our cars ourselves. That way when we can’t do it anymore because it’s above our pay grade, we think of you. Create 3-minute videos of why your process is best for your customer.
  • Barber shops and hair salons – Talk about a visual business, you can have some fun with this by creating fun commercials. Get some of you best customers to give wacky testimonials, make fun of hairstyles, and make yourself stand out like, well a bad haircut.
  • Restaurants – write blog posts reviewing your best meals; teach us how to best shop for cool recipes; video record your best customers chowing down on your food.
  • Physical Therapists – You can add great value to your target market by teaching them through word or video how to better take care of themselves, do exercises, or generally promote good health.

This isn’t rocket science. If I can think these things up in about 7 minutes listening to 3 Doors Down sing “Here Without You” (a favorite of mine), then what can you do if you get away from your desk, grab an iced mocha at your local coffee shop and just think. That reminds me…

  • Coffee shops – Why should you be the place everyone goes to? Don’t tell them, show them! Make a great video showing everyone how terrific your ambiance is and what great people frequent you establishment. Maybe you can write a blog with special coffee recipes.

So how do you get people in your target audience to see these fantastic creations of yours? Tell them with newsletters, social media platforms, press releases, word of mouth, keyword and tag placement (SEO), and any other way you can imagine. After all, how are you reading this blog post right now?

Once you gain a following, then they will start spreading the word for you. Whether your target audience is local or global, you can use a few free tools to spread your value and message.

All you need is a little creativity…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Have You Lost Your “Team?”

How do you know if you’ve lost your team?

Yesterday, the Seattle Mariners fired manager Don Wakamatsu after only a year and a half. Last year, he led the team to 85 wins and was a strong contender for Manager of the Year. Less than a full season later he’s the poster child for failure, as the team will undoubtedly lose 100 games. His biggest perceived failure is that he “lost his team.”

How do you “lose” a team? Basically, what this means in sports vernacular is that the team lost respect for him as the boss. It started with Ken Griffey Jr.’s quick departure after what seems to be differences with the skipper. It morphed into a very public dugout fight with Chone Figgins, captured on national television. By the time this week arrived, General Manager Jack Zduriencik decided that Wak must go, even though the team won 2 out of 3 games over the weekend.

In sports, head coaching has become more of a management position than an expertise one. Yes, you have to know your “stuff” when it comes to X’s and O’s. However, it is now more important that you are able to effectively communicate with prima-dona athletes, who can become as petulant as your 5-year old when they don’t get their way. This situation can clearly be seen in many management positions in business.

How good is your management team at effectively communicating with employees? How quickly and efficiently can they deal with conflict? How well do they motivate employees and do they really have influence?

If you are the owner of a business, your “coach” in the field is critical to your success. When you evaluate them, are you truly gauging their ability to communicate and influence? How do you know?

If you are a manager in charge of a team of employees, you should be asking yourself the same questions. Your career and remuneration may hinge on how well you communicate, inspire, and lead. How well are you doing?

Sports are played out on the big screen of our lives. The wins and losses are easy to track and the personalities are open books to read and sometimes even come with notes. Business operates more in a cloud, sometimes even to the owners. Unfortunately, you might be losing as many games as the Mariners and not really even knowing it until it’s too late.

Make sure it doesn’t happen to you by making educated decisions on your top people. Give them training when necessary and help them to enhance their communication and leadership skills so they don’t “lose” your team.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved