Extra Points – Encouragement and Accountability

This week’s focus point

Encouragement and Accountability.
I recently bought a new pair of Nike running shoes to work in tandem with my new iPhone app, Nike + i Pod. It’s a wonderful invention where my shoes (or at least the little sensor in the shoes) talks to my i Phone while I run, tracking miles, pace, and calories. I then download the information through i Tunes into the Nike web site and between the web site and my phone, keep a record of my training runs. For a guy who needs every motivation to run, its great accountability!

The last run I had on Friday, I was really on a great pace. I ran the farthest yet since I purchased the shoes (and frankly, longer than I can remember). At the end ot the workout, Lance Armstrong’s voice came through my ear buds – “Hi, this is Lance Armstrong. Congratulations! That was your longest run yet!” Okay, a little hokey, but I liked it. For some reason, that small encouragement, gave me a boost of energy.

Accountability and encouragement help in all aspects of life – training, business, and family. In business, we are kidding ourselves if we think we can be brilliant by ourselves. We all need support; we all need someone to talk to; and we all need someone to hold us accountable, push us, and provide that small encouragement regularly to stay on track. We need that person who has “been there and done that” to guide us through our journey. That’s why the most successful people in business all use coaches and mentors at some level. I’ve had several in my professional and personal life, and always will.

What about you?

This week’s quote –“The 1 % Solution. If you improve 1% a day, in 70 days you’ll be twice as good.”
Alan Weiss, my professional mentor and the Million Dollar Consultant

Webinar Announcement

I’m thrilled to announce an upcoming webinar series titled, “Beyond Fires and Floods.” This series is intended to help organizations and executives identify, plan, prepare, respond, and thrive in the face of crisis.

Register here

The webinars can be taken individually, OR you can realize a 20% discount by purchasing them all in advance prior to the first one on March 25th. The cost is $59 per webinar or $425 for the entire nine programs. Space is limited, and I mean really limited. This is meant to be an intimate setting, so only 15 seats are available for each. If you purchase the entire series, you guarantee your “seat” on the webinar for each one. I anticipate this will sell out fast, so don’t wait to act!

If you know anyone that can benefit from this program, please pass on the information.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points on Honesty

This week’s focus point

Honesty. Integrity. Trust.

Yesterday, my wife Barb and I stopped after church at our local Starbucks to grab a mocha and relax. After coming out to the car, I noticed the rear passenger tire was really low. I mean really low. Fortunately, we were next door to a Wal-Mart that has a tire store. We went in and the tire guy found that there was a slow leak caused by a puncture. He was honest and said he didn’t know if it was repairable, but would know more after looking at it closer. We left instructions that if it could be repaired, great ($10), but if not go ahead and put on a new tire that we picked out ($100). When we checked back an hour later, we found out the tire indeed was repairable and the total cost for us was $10.

That’s the way it’s supposed to work, but doesn’t always. They tire place could have easily told me it needed to be replaced and charged me ten times the amount, and I’d have been none the wiser. In fact, they led me to believe that this would be the case, so I was resigned to it already! Being honest as they were is good business.

We have opportunities every day to exert honesty and integrity to increase trust. Sometimes they are small things, and sometimes they are big. You know when you’ve done the right thing, and your clients, prospects, and associates will, too. Spend some time reading the Wall Street Journal and NY Times and you will see business isn’t always conducted with honesty, integrity, and trust. Keep doing what you do and you will always rise above your competition.

This week’s quote –“Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? “
The Rotary 4-Way Test as created by founder Paul Harris and friends

Is Someone Renting Your Brain?

I’m part of a men’s group that meets weekly and today one of my friends shared a quote which I have never heard, but really like. I don’t know who to attribute it to, so we can just use that tried and true – Anonymous.

“If you allow bitterness to enter your heart, you allow that person to rent your brain.”

This has many applications:

  • If you are angry with someone and remain bitter towards them, they occupy your head and distract you.
  • If you wallow in self-esteem or self-worth issues, you yourself occupy your brain and distract yourself.
  • If a lost opportunity isn’t let go, it occupies your brain and distracts you.
  • If regret or despair are allowed in your heart, they occupy your brain and distract you.

I could go on, but you get my point. We are terrible multi-taskers. If something bad is “renting our brain,” that means that the good we could be doing for others or ourselves don’t have room to work. Don’t charge rent. Simply evict “stinking thinking” (bitterness, jealousy, regret, anger, despair, fear) and allow your brain to go on to the next great thing!

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Happy Valentine’s Day – Extra Points-style

This week’s focus point

Valentine’s Day Special
If you were like me, Valentine’s Day in grade school was a huge deal. You had to go out and buy a whole bunch of flimsy cards (or actually your mom did), make sure there was one for everyone (as a guy this was kind of weird), and then pass them out to everyone (while everyone else did the same thing). If you forgot, it was like a plague had been put on you and your mother would be banished from the PTA (not really, but it was awkward). I don’t know if they still perform this Valentine’s Day ritual in school, but the memory of it is still clear in my mind.

I guess in the end it’s about giving you an opportunity to tell your classmates you care. As an adult, it’s a chance to tell your significant other you care. How often do you tell your employees, co-workers, and clients you care? Now I’m not suggesting you run out and buy flimsy Valentine’s Day cards to hand out today. However, what I am saying is that we all have a need for validation. We all have a need to know that someone else appreciates and cares about us. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day and miss opportunities to say “thank you,” or to simply acknowledge others. This Valentine’s Day, perhaps it’s a good opportunity to do just that with those you spend the most time with.

Happy Valentine’s Day and THANK YOU for being a part of my community!

This week’s quote –“Three rules of work: Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulties, find opportunity.”
Albert Einstein

Read today’s Extra Points online

Extra Points Archive

Just a reminder that you can find every Extra Points column in my archive on this site. I receive a lot of positive (and sometimes challenging) feedback on these pithy, yet hopefully thought-provoking memos. It’s now been a little over a year, so you have about 52-plus (I’ve failed to count) memos to peruse. They take about a minute to read, so I hope you will occasionally check them out in the archive.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Simple Words, Simple Message

I attended the annual Boy Scouts Breakfast this morning in Bremerton to raise money for the local Chief Seattle Council Boy Scout program. I go to this great event as a guest of one of my clients. It draws about 500 leading business men and women from a two-county area. Our speaker today was marvelous. Ivar’s CEO Bob Donegan spoke eloquently and passionately about how customer service has propelled Ivar’s to a bastion of leadership in this area and in his industry.

However, one of the more riveting thoughts came from a Scout leader. It’s one that really stuck in my head. He was saying that there is one thing they tell the Cub Scouts (the farthest in ranks I progressed in the system. I failed whittling miserably). The message to the Cubs is this – “Do your best.” That’s it. That’s all. But, how powerful that statement is to all of us.

I know I’ve been guilty of trying too hard, trying to do too much, thinking I can give 110% when math tells us that this is impossible and 100% is all you can do. Keeping the mantra of “Do your best” will keep us all in line with reality. It will let us be satisfied that we made the best decision we could with the knowledge that we had at the time. No hindsight needed.

“Do your best” means having the confidence to know that your best is all you can give. It should be all we strive to do and if we do then success will surely follow. The Boy Scouts are proof of that.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved


Extra Points – On Being Better Prepared than Christina Aguilera

Francis Scott Key must be turning violently in his grave.

The Star Spangled Banner which Mr. Key wrote more than a century and a half ago is a tough song to sing, with the variances in keys and melody. The lyrics are, well, the lyrics. They are what they are. On Super Bowl Sunday, Christina Aguilera forgot what they were. In front of about a gazillion people, she flubbed the words to our anthem…at least twice. Take away that she’s probably heard and sung this song countless times in her life, in one of the biggest stages she wasn’t prepared and it showed in front of everyone. If you take on the gig to sing in the Super Bowl, you’d think you would at least prepare.

How do we fare when performing in our own little worlds?

If you’re in sales, you’d better be prepared to respond to any objection. If you’re in retail, you’d better be prepared to be warm and friendly every time. If you’re an executive, you’d better be prepared to deal with conflict and drama in the workplace. If you’re a speaker, you’d better be prepared to know your audience. If you aren’t in any of these, you come across as unprofessional as Ms. Aguilera. Find the simple “blocking and tackling” that comes with your industry and field and make sure that you’re prepared to hit every note and lyric.

This week’s quote –“If I do not practice one day, I know it. If I do not practice the next day, the orchestra knows it. If I do not practice the third day, the whole world knows it.”
– Ignace Paderewski – Polish Pianist

Human Assets

Excellent story from CNN for all employers out there. You do have human assets, not just human resources. Helping to “makeover” yourself and your team leads to improved morale and higher efficiency. This leads to better client service and ultimately increased income. Bottom line – it’s a win-win-win.


© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved