Saving Time and Money

I’ve had my new iPhone now for a month and am wondering how I ever lived without it. Yes, I’ve added a few games (I’m still not proficient in Angry Birds, but working on it), however the majority of the apps I’ve either downloaded or purchased have been great time saving tools. For instance…

  • I get all my business reading done quickly, efficiently, and often while standing in line or waiting for someone. I have Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Seattle Times, CNN and the two local papers on my phone. Tom Petty was right…the waiting is the hardest part! Use your time wisely.
  • Every contact I need is stored and backed up on the phone. I always have the information I need at my finger tips. My ability to quickly and easily find locations, restaurants, and contacts saves me time. My calendar is always handy (I keep it on Google Calendar). I can’t tell you how many times those features have saved me embarrassment and/or valuable time.
  • On a personal note, I’m surprised how often I’ve used my flashlight and level apps. I’m not good at keeping the real-life tools handy, but when you need a flashlight, you need it now. Have phone will flashlight travel!

Bottom line – a smart phone is an investment, especially if you’re in business. Apps were developed to make your life easier. Find the tools that best fit your situation and take advantage of them.

Now it’s time to get those dumb pigs!

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points on Sacrifice

This week’s focus point

Last Friday was my Dad’s funeral. In the audience was someone I hadn’t expected to see. She is a parishioner at our church and was very close with my parents. However, her husband had told me she was scheduled for a special cancer treatment that day at the University of Washington and regrettably couldn’t make it. Certainly understandable.

However, there was Brenda – early – at Dad’s funeral. She left early from her treatment, still with the tubing for the treatment in place, in order to be there for this occasion. She sacrificed her needs to be there for others.

How do we sacrifice in our daily lives, both professionally and personally? Seeing Brenda there made me ask myself this question. Sacrifices of a huge nature often end up on front pages of newspapers and newscasts. The most common sacrifices, the ones we often don’t even see, are played out every day by you, by co-workers, by employees, and by businesses. They go unnoticed and unrewarded….thus the definition of sacrifice. I challenge you this week to keep your eyes pealed for those sacrifices that you see from others, and the ones that you do yourself.

This week’s quote – “He who gives what he would readily throw away, gives without generosity; for the essence of generosity is in self-sacrifice.”
– Henry Taylor (English Dramatist 1800-1886)

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Webinar Change

Due to a death in the family, I am making a revision to the planned webinar series that was set to be this Friday. I’m moving everything forward a month. That means, the first webinar will be set to go April 22nd. I will add the final one on in December sometime. The good news for you is that there is still time to register. Go to the Webinar/Teleconferences section of the blog to register.

Thanks for your understanding…


Japan in Crisis

As everyone now knows, Japan suffered a horrific 8.9 earthquake causing a tsunami and major damage. The tsunami threatens most of the Pacific, including Hawaii and the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts. Amazingly, loss of life has not been as bad as what has been seen with smaller quakes around the world. Most of that can be attributed to Japan’s preparation and technology.

Japan was well aware that an earthquake and tsunami with this force was a possibility. They knew they were vulnerable. They took steps in preparedness and education to mitigate the damage and loss of life. The same can be said for many countries in the Pacific. Knowing what perils create the greatest frequency and severity is part of responsible leadership.

What about your company or organization? Do you clearly know where you are vulnerable and are you prepared to meet the crisis? Disaster planning and planning to recover require proactive steps by business owners and executives to ensure survival. This should be a stark reminder to you that it’s never too late to check your disaster planning and business continuation processes.

Our hearts and prayers go out to Japan and its people…

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Crisis…your name is Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen

I just received a New York Times e-mail notice that Charlie Sheen was fired from CBS’s sitcom “Two and a Half Men.” Sheen was the lead character and highest paid television star. He recently made big news for all the wrong reasons. His troubles with the law, bizarre behavior, and recent antics on television and radio was finally too much for CBS. They canned the troubled star today, probably putting the final nails in the coffin for the show and the rest of the cast. This situation isn’t too unlike Tiger Woods’s travails in November of 2009. His auto accident which led to his dirty laundry of exploits resulted in many of his sponsors dumping him. You can throw in Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who was suspended for 4 games this year for embarrassing his team and the NFL after accusations (of which he was never formally found guilty of) were levied against him by a woman he met in a bar (sound familiar?).

Reputation is one of my 5 key areas of impact when it comes to crisis management. Make no mistake about it…this was a crisis for CBS. Media outlets are always vulnerable to reputation hits from their “stars.” Corporations who sponsor celebrity athletes, move stars, and the like are in the same boat. How they handle these crises will ultimately determine how they are preceived, and how badly the crisis will hurt.

CBS wasted very little time. Sheen spent last week making a fool of himself to any media outlet that would give him time. CBS at some point has made a decision on how it wants to be perceived and held the line with its biggest (by dollar amount at least) star. Their crisis management decision has huge implications – loss of revenue, legal action from cast members or employees, loss of fans, etc. However, in their organization, they set a standard of appropriate behavior for their employees.

These types of decisions can’t be made on the fly. Your organization must determine it’s own vulnerabilities and decide to make commitments to action in advance, not in real time. You may not ever have the same exposure of a renegade television star. However, you may have employees who can get into their own behavior problems. How do you deal with substance abuse, driving while intoxicated, criminal charges, public humiliation, libel, slander, or other issues? Are you willing to fire your best employee for conduct detrimental to your organization? Do you have a policy stating that?

Recently, Washington State University benched its star basketball player, Klay Thompson just before a huge game against UCLA for possession of marijuana. I’m not saying it was the right or wrong move; too much or too little. What I am saying is that they have a policy that includes everyone and they are prepared to deal with behavior crises on their team.

My question for you is this – are you?

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Communication

This week’s focus point

I just saw an amazing story on ESPN’s college basketball program on the Gallaudet Lady Bison. Gaullaudet is a Division 3 basketball program that is like every other women’s college team, with one exception. They are all deaf. The school is solely for the deaf and extremely hard of hearing. Their coach can hear, but he’s tasked with the difficult job of communicating in their language; in a game that is built around communication. Puts a whole new meaning to your players not listening to you!

Somehow, this team is successful on the court because they’ve found a way to communicate with each other and with their leader through the ups and downs and emotions of a basketball game and season. As a high school basketball coach myself, I find this remarkable and a lesson for all of us who can hear. Perhaps we can often be more “deaf” to communicating in our workplace, with our clients and prospects, with our colleagues, and with our family. Perhaps we are talking too “loudly” to actually be heard. Communicating with each other requires all parties to be engaged and committed. There’s no better example than the Lady Bison.

These women and coaching staff have found a way to make what seems nearly impossible possible. What’s our excuse?

This week’s quote –“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”
– My wonderful wife Barb sent this to me. She doesn’t know who said it so I’ll give credit to her:)