Losing my mind on loose…

Pet peeve of the week. I’ve now seen this three times – the word when you lose weight, lose a game, lose your mind is spelled “lose,” not “loose!” Loose is when your pants are too loose because you were able to “lose” weight. These are all adults spelling this way. Please…no more. It’s spelled “lose.”

That is all…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Crazy Rules That Drive You Crazy

The Washington State Officials Association (WOA) which is the governing body of the high school football referees recently called a penalty on their own. It seems that several “rogue referees” decided to use pink whistles last Friday night to show their support of breast cancer awareness. I guess there is a dress code for officials and since this was violated without proper procedure, the rogue refs are being disciplined to the tune of a 2-game suspension and loss of playoffs opportunity. This goes on top of the fact that they donated their game pay for Friday to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Read the article

The part that was really unbelievable (even though it was all absurd) is the president of the association actually saying the refs were a poor role model for kids because they did this heinous act without proper clearance! Perhaps, this association needs to look at new leadership.

How does this apply to you?

There are rules and then there are rules. Some are enough to drive you crazy. Does your organization have rules that are so stringent that common sense won’t allow to bend when necessary? Are some of these rules even needed? What purpose do they meet?

Organizations and individuals can get so wrapped up into their own rules that they breathe in their own exhaust. Don’t get caught in that predicament. Having sound rules and practices is paramount to success. Enforcing crazy rules and not using common sense can have the reverse effect and cause undue embarrassment and loss of reputation.

It’s never a good time for an “unsportsmanlike conduct” penalty!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points PLUS

I had a reader of my Extra Points this morning ask a follow-up question and I wanted to share it and my response.

The question was – “Dan, could you define the word ‘intentional’ as you have used it in today’s piece?”

Great question! Here was my response…

“For me, becoming ‘intentional’ means you make a concerted effort to think about, prepare for, and plan. Many people ‘unintentionally’ execute due to the results of others, good fortune, or just serendipity. If you make doing these things a practice by thinking about them in advance, your rate of success will improve.”

Being intentional means planning for success. I was challenged by my accountability partner today to set more specific goals for the rest of the year. I guess she read my mailing today!

What about you? Where can you become more intentional in your preparation?

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Fire Drill

Do you remember being a kid in elementary school and practicing the fire drill?

I remember vividly the unannounced (and sometimes planned) fire alarm going off. We would scamper to the coat rack, grab out coats (always happened in rain, cold, or both) and file outside in a single file. We would then wait freezing until we were cleared to go back inside. In all my time there, we never had an actual fire.

Today, I know schools still practice emergency preparedness drills and they are even more global – earthquake, bomb threats, etc. Kids are prepared for anything that can happen at school.

What about your business or the one you work for? How many “fire drills” do you have every year? In my experience, they seldom happen unless they are required by law. Here are a few questions you should ask. In the event of an emergency, can you:

  • Operate a fire extinguisher
  • Vacate your premises
  • Perform CPR or First Aid
  • Operate a defibrillator
  • Save someone who is choking (I’ve had to do this personally – very thankful for my years of training)

What if the event is overnight?

  • How do you contact your employees?
  • Where do they go to work?
  • How do you contact your supply chain?
  • How do you contact your insurance?
  • Will you have any phones?
  • Is your information backed up and are you able to get it easily?

Too many business owners and executives never practice for these situations. When I coached high school basketball, we always had to allocate time to what I called, “situations.” Those unique situations in games that might or might not pop up, but you had to be prepared for just in case. Just like a fire drill. Just like an earthquake drill.

How well prepared is your business?

P.S. While you’re at it, check out your home for the same issues. Don’t forget about protecting your house, too.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Observations about Observing

I’m always amazed at how well my wife Barb is able to pick out the “bad guys” in the television programs we watch. We are big NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles, and Hawaii 5-0 fans. We also have started watching Bones from the beginning on Netflix. Note – being “empty-nesters” has its advantages.

We always try to figure out “who dunnit” early in the show. I think I come up right about 25% of the time, yet Barb has a nearly perfect record, I think. I asked her last night what makes her so smart. (By the way guys, this is an excellent question to ask regularly) Her reply was pretty profound. She said it wasn’t about being smart; rather it was that she believes she is very observant.

She’s right. Being observant is a vital skill in life, particularly in business. Where are areas you can be observant? How about…

  • Your client or prospect’s office. What memorabilia do they display? Who’s photos are hanging up? What accomplishments or hobbies are they proud of? I remember being in a client’s office and noticing his photo while running the Boston Marathon.  I also always look to see if they are a member of Rotary because I am. You can learn a lot about what motivates a person by observing their office.
  • At breakfast or lunch meetings. How does your prospect treat the wait staff? What does she order and how does she liked things cooked? Is he allergic to anything? The proverbial “breaking of bread” tends to be a fairly relaxed setting and you get a chance to see your prospect or client in a more natural setting.
  • At events. Golf outings, ball games, or charity functions are excellent places to observe behavior. When you know the personality and social style of your prospect or client, you are better able to serve their needs and get your message heard.
  • Over the phone. You can observe even when you can’t see. Active listening is a key component of observing. Be in the moment and focus on their words. Key in on phrases, terms, or comments which will offer you insight into them personally.

Be careful not to judge. This isn’t about whether you agree or disagree with their behavior. Don’t assume that someone is damaged. Being observant should be about fact-finding, not fixing.

In the end, you are building a relationship with someone. In order to do that well, you need to be observant. By practicing and honing this skill, you will find that you will build greater rapport and earn more business.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Buy-Sell Insurance – Protecting Your House

I’m heading out this afternoon to the memorial service of a client who passed away. He was the CEO/President of his business, which he ran for over 30 years. I know the buy/sell agreement was in place for his organization as we often spoke about it. How well is your organization protected if the leadership dies or becomes disabled?

Part of “protecting your house”is making sure if you as the leader dies or becomes incapacitated to the point of not being able to run the company, then there is a financial plan is place to fund that strain on the business. It’s essential to create what is called a Buy-Sell Agreement with partners or the organization, so that in the event of that misfortune, the company can survive.

Example – Bill Jones is CEO of his small business. His wife Susan plays no part in the business and never wants to. Bill dies suddenly. Susan is ready to cede control of the company to the next in line as soon as she gets her buy-out. The questions to ask are – who is next in line and where will the buy-out money come from? That’s what a well-structured and communicated buy-sell agreement will do.

Life insurance is the normal funding source. I recommend making the company the payor and the beneficiary. You have many options in the life insurance to consider between term and permanent plans. Regardless of your product appetite, some funding mechanism must be in place. Talk to your agent.

BONUS – You are 65% more likely to be disabled by the age of 65 than to die. Disability on Buy-Sell Agreements are often overlooked. Make sure you talk to your insurance professional about that, too!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Leaders Go Last

Leaders are often categorized by “leading” men into battle, “leading” a crew into a burning building, or “leading” an organization by being the face of it. While all these are true statements, often leaders must go last.

I was struck with this thought as I watched in awe at the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners the past two days. As I watched the last three being pulled up, I noticed that the guy who stayed until the bitter end, the last guy to be rescued, was the foreman. Leaders often go last.

He made sure his crew was safe. Can you imagine having been exiled 2,200 feet under the earth’s surface, finally having the chance to be rescued, and waiting for 32 people to go before you over the course of about 36 hours? Leaders often go last.

This man gave the world a tremendous lesson on humility, compassion, patience, and above all leadership. It’s something every one of us can learn and grow from.

Leaders often go last.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved


I mentioned last week in a Tweet that I watched the Clint Eastwood directed film, Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. It was a marvelous movie. In fact, my wife Barb had zero interest in watching it and I literally coerced her into it. She now says it’s her favorite movie. Period. She should listen to me more often…but I digress.

I did a little research on the word Invictus. It’s Latin for “undefeatable.” It’s also a powerful poem by William Ernest Henley that is recited in the movie by Freeman (one of the great voice-over guys ever in my opinion). I’ve read and re-read the poem several times now. The power in it is comes from the imagery and emotion that Mr. Henley scribes. I love it.

Regardless of where life has brought you or where you are today, I think you will be able to connect with the power of this prose. I hope you enjoy…


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved


My Extra Points memo this morning dealt with the subject of “Community.” You can read it and subscribe to the Monday morning memos by clicking here.

Today, I got yet another opportunity to see “community” at work. I attended the annual Olympic College Foundation Columbus Day Luncheon. I’ve lost track of the number I’ve attended. My wife and I are proud to support the foundation and captained a table again. This year, I was asked to do the “ask.”

In briefing with the executive director prior to the event, I was mildly surprised to learn that this event (which regularly brings in just under 300 people) was going to draw the largest attendance since 2006. Joan estimated well over 300 people. This is right in the middle of a challenging economic time for individuals and businesses. Yet, this community of which I am proud to be part of always rallies for those who really need it. In this case, helping young people (including the young at heart) get their education.

Community means more that just a geographic area. My definition of community is a group of people, diverse in culture, ideas, and strengths, that band together for the greater good. That can be a professional group, a faith community, a service organization, or a business community advancing education. What communities do you belong to? What rewards do you realize from being part of it? And, most importantly, what do you contribute to it?

How you answer that last question will help you find balance in your life…

To learn more about the Olympic College Foundation, click here.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved


Do you remember when Letters to the Editor had to be signed or else they weren’t allowed to be run in the newspaper? It might still be that way. Yet the “new” letters to the editor – the blogs – are filled with anonymous contributors. How many people actually use any part of their name? Not many. I get in the habit of reading some of the blogs just to stay up to date on what the masses are thinking. It amazes me that all the avatars have slick or cute names that people hide behind. All the easier to be outrageous, unintelligent, belligerent, or just plain dumb without retribution.

I always use my name because I stand behind what I have to say. If I am going to make an effort to be part of a conversation, I want people to know who is talking. Ironically, the majority of the posts are either spouting agendas, spouting nonsense, or simply spouting. I find that the rational pieces (doesn’t matter what the opinion) that are well thought out are actually being posted by people using their name.

If you have something to say, be bold. If you will be embarrassed by it, maybe you shouldn’t write it. If it’s important to say, then you should stand behind your words, just like millions of people have done through the centuries in letters to editors.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved