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Boston Journal #3

September 25, 2012 3 comments

Terrific way to end the trip. I watched my Seahawks play Green Bay on Monday Night Football at a sports bar next to the Harvard Club. We met up with my daughters’ classmate, and a former basketball player of mine. She went to college in Boston and found a job here. It was great to catch up with her to watch our hometown team. We went back to the hotel at the start of the 4th quarter and watched one of the most improbable, crazy endings I’ve seen in over 40 years of watching football. The Seahawks won on a play that was improperly called…on national television on the biggest stage! Believe me, this stuff usually happens to the Seahawks, not in favor of them!

The girls left early this morning to get back in time for classes. I got up a few hours later and headed out for a walking tour of Boston. From 8:30 to 11:15, I walked Boston. I am an avid walker, but even I was pooped! I got back, packed up, and went to a great lunch and out to the airport.

The only downer is that I am leaving my sunglasses here. Somehow I managed to lose them. Not that I’m usually hung up on sunglasses, but my daughter bought me Oakley sunglasses for Christmas and they were perfect. Who knows, maybe they will show up. I know the girls took my hairbrush with them today…turned into a hat day! Other than that, an incredibly enjoyable trip.

I’m anxious to get home and see Barb. I miss not being able to always take her with me. She took one for the team by staying home with Mom. She’s awesome.

Thanks for following. Starting tomorrow, we will return to our regularly scheduled blogs!

Copyright 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

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Boston Journal #2

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Boston is quickly becoming a new favorite city for me.

Yesterday, the girls and I went to Fenway Park and watched the Red Sox win 2-1 over Baltimore. The game came down to the last batter being struck out with the bases loaded. Perfect weather, competitive game, hanging out with my daughters… With apologies to MasterCard, this was priceless.

After the game, we met with my colleagues from Alan Weiss’s consulting community. We all went out to dinner at a terrific Italian restaurant downtown near the Boston Garden. Afterwards, three of us found a cool, underground cigar bar and shared a cigar and scotch together. We then caught up with the others and ate dessert from Mike’s Pastries. This is a new group that has been formed within Alan’s community, and the chance to build relationships by eating and having fun together is, well, also priceless. It was a real treat to include my adult daughters in the evening.

Today was our day with Alan. We discussed a myriad of strategy and tactics related to our consulting careers. The best way to improve and grow is to learn from your peers. It was a value laden day. The girls spent the day touring Boston. I am a little jealous, but plan to do some catch up tomorrow!

Tonight, we watch the Seahawks play on Monday Night Football. A real treat to watch our home town team play on a national stage from the other side of the country. We are meeting one of my daughter’s classmates, who I also coached in basketball in high school. She went to college here, and is now working in this great city.

Full day, with more fun ahead. Stay tuned to tomorrow for more!

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Boston Journal #1

September 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Our first day in Boston was fabulous. I met the girls at the Midway airport in Chicago and we flew into Beantown together. The weather is perfect…70 degrees, blue skies, and a perfect Fall day in New England (yesterday, today, and the rest of the days).

The Harvard Club is perfect. Great old building that has wonderful ambiance, rooms, and location. We are a 12 minute walk to Fenway Park.

We found a cool restaurant in the trendy part of town near the Harvard Club. The name is Sonnies and it was featured by Giada DeLaurentis in one of her shows. We has a great meal together and then came back to the club to watch the Notre Dame – Michigan game. I have to admit the 2:30 AM start time for me got me tired!

Today, we are off to Mass, Starbucks, and Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox and Orioles. God, coffee, and baseball. Now that’s a good day! Dinner with my colleagues tonight prior to our meeting tomorrow and maybe closing out with a little Sunday night football. I do miss my wife, Barb. I wish she could be here enjoying the time with us. I do love Skype so we can still talk!

Time to head to Mass. More later on my Boston journal. I hope you will check in and see our adventures!

P.S. – I did learn that in these really old New England buildings, it takes FOREVER for the hot water to come up 4 stories!

 

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Extra Points – Staying Power

September 10, 2012 2 comments

I visited the Experience Music Project (EMP) in Seattle this weekend. It’s the Paul Allen tribute to music, and I can’t believe this was my first visit, because I’m a rock and roll guy.

The big attractions currently in the EMP are exhibits featuring Nirvana, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and my personal favorite, AC/DC. All these bands and acts have staying power. The Stones are still popular 50 years after they got started. AC/DC is well into 40 years and two lead singers into their journey, and all ages still love them. Hendrix and Nirvana founder and lead singer, Kurt Cobain are both dead, yet their legend lives on to new generations. Why?

The music industry is hard. Terrific talent has come and gone and never made it, or lasted. Yet acts like the ones mentioned have. The reason? Engagement that leads to evangelism. These entertainers had charisma, engaged their audiences, touched their souls, and were characters that transcend time.

How do you transcend time and have staying power in business? You stand out in a crowd; you build loyalty; you create unique intellectual property (in music terms – songs and albums); you offer unbelievable value; and you leave them wanting more AND seeking you out. In music and business, there are rock stars and one-hit wonders.

Build your “fans” and a lifetime of evangelists by being a rock star!

This week’s quote – “All the world’s indeed be a stage, we all merely players; Performers and portrayers; Each another’s audience outside the guilded cage. ”  
~Lyrics from the Rush song, “Limelight.”

Politics & Social Media: Danger zone for business

September 6, 2012 2 comments
From my September column in the Kitsap Business Journal….
September 5, 2012 @ 3:48pm | Dan Weedin

It’s September and we are heading down the backstretch of this political season. For business people, this means you are entering a danger zone.

Fear not, I am NOT the political pundit this month. Far from it. But, I am here to warn you of the dangers of “mouthing off” with a click of a “post.” The consequences could cost you business.

Let me preface by saying that I have no problem with business people supporting a candidate or a cause. You have every right to voice your opinion and advocate whatever positions you like. That doesn’t mean you should be a social media bully.

In an era where Facebook and Twitter send your sound bytes viral in milliseconds, you may find yourself wishing you could turn back time and control your finger. Your clients and prospects may solely be on Facebook for fun. In fact, the odds say that they are.

With that in mind, I present to you Dan’s 10 Rules for Surviving the Political Season:

Tip #1 — Proofread your posts. Don’t write your last line; click send; and walk away feeling triumphant. You probably aren’t. If you’re angry or agitated, you probably wrote something you shouldn’t have.

Tip #2 — Avoid “fighting words.” It never ceases to amaze me what people will say when they don’t have to say it to your face. Case study — I had a “friend” write on a Facebook post that people with a certain line of thinking were “knuckle draggers and crack pots.” This was the husband of someone I sent business to! If you’re using verbiage like this to attract attention, be careful what attention you will get.

Tip #3 — Avoid using “labels.” Liberals, Democrats, Conservatives, Republicans, Tea Partiers, whatever. By lumping them all together, you may include people you don’t want to. Some of those may even be your clients! Many Facebook “posters” are notorious for lumping in outliers by enlarging their demographics through generalities.

Tip #4 — Don’t enter into a war of words online. I’ve been guilty of this myself. No good can come from it. Either back off, or pick up the phone and call. If you don’t know the person well enough to call, then why do you even care?

Tip #5 — Beware of Pinterest. I know it’s the new hot craze. You can’t go through Facebook without seeing a gazillion posters (90 percent are absurd, based on my personal scientific study). When you start posting these things, people will assume you are fully supportive of the meaning. The problem is that the meaning may not be all so clear.

Tip #6 — Don’t take things personally. People have different opinions. It’s still okay to have them as friends or do business with them. There is a direct correlation where the less fighting words are used, the less likely someone will take something personally. Just saying…

Tip #7 — Don’t be angry. Anger usually leads to rash judgments, vitriolic posts and hurt feelings. Do you really want to hurt your potential customers’ (as well as current customers’) feelings? Anger tends to subside quickly; hurt feelings not so much.

Tip #8 — Be open to learn. When positions are cited without rancor or mean-spiritedness, I feel I can actually learn something new. I may not ultimately agree, but I am happy for the discourse and opportunity to grow.

Tip #9 — Have some perspective. These elections will all be over in a few months and the winners and losers will all go their own ways. Your words may linger on forever with those who read them.

Tip #10 — Don’t engage in political debate on social media. This will save you from yourself. Social media has the ability to take your position, inflate it past what it really is, attach a really mean voice, and shout it to the world. If you’re in business, the only thing you want shouted to the world is how you can help them, not whether you favor donkeys or elephants!

Bonus — A really large majority of Facebook “posters” aren’t in business. They have nothing to lose. They can break all my rules and be no worse for wear. If you get into battles with them, your posts are available for all your community to see (you knew that, right?). You may be slinging mud at your brother-in-law in Hoboken, but your best client may read it.

I’m not perfect. I’ve broken a few of my rules over the years (how do you think I thought of them?). I can tell you that as things get heated up, I will keep my opinions off the Facebook news feed. You and I may chat about them over a cold beer, but you won’t be “liking” or seething from them online.

My recommendation to you as a business professional is that you adhere to my rules, focus on building your business, and dodge the mud!

Dan Weedin is a Poulsbo-based management consultant, speaker and mentor. He leads an executive peer-to-peer group in Kitsap County where he helps executives improve personally, professionally and organizationally by enhancing leadership skills. He is one of only 35 consultants in the world to be accredited as an Alan Weiss Master Mentor. You can reach Dan at 360-697-1058; email at dan@danweedin.com or visit his website at www.danweedin.com.

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Alan Weiss on Politics and Social Media

September 3, 2012 Leave a comment

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Amen!

This was from Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, my upcoming column in the Kitsap Business Journal is precisely on this subject. I had not talked to Alan about it, but I knew we were on the same page. I have no issue with who you want to vote for or what your political opinion is. State your support; show encouragement; and bring up points to support your cause. Heck, feel free to debate. But, for goodness sakes, stop the incessant mud slinging, labeling, and name calling. You never know what person that is important to you that you offend with your language, not your political point of view.

Alan’s post today…

This week’s focus point: Whatever your politics, people who resort to demonizing the opposition and launching ad hominem attacks simply have no new ideas themselves. We find this in business all the time in those who resist and attack any change initiative, as if they are the organization’s immune system. There are “professional disagreers” on the social media platforms who really need to get a life and stop finding fault with others’ ideas without having any of their own. If you don’t think someone is right, illustrate a better way. Light a candle, don’t curse the darkness.

Monday Morning Perspective: Two old men. Enemies who spoke different languages and couldn’t even agree on a way to prevent the world from blowing up. Yet there they were, embracing like brothers on world television at the simple act of a man jumping over a bar. — Roone Arledge of ABC on the most important thing he ever broadcast: Kruschev and Averil Harriman celebrating Valery Brumel’s record high jump in 1963.

Extra Points – Paying Attention

September 3, 2012 Leave a comment
Paying attention. 
Kelli and Dan
BANG!
My daughter Kelli was on campus walking to her second class of the day. A beautiful day at Robert Morris University found her texting furiously. Head down…focused on her phone.
BANG!
Kelli walks right into bike rack attached to a car in the parking lot. Fat lip and bloody mouth walking into class. You can’t make this stuff up.
How often are you working head down and focused only on what is in front of you? What periphery things are important (like a bike rack sticking out in the air) and that you need to address? Are you spending your career and life texting away and about to walk off the proverbial cliff?
In my experience, we as human beings obsess on today and what’s in front of us only. While being disciplined and focused is not a bad thing, not living in the moment and being unaware of your surroundings is.
Take a lesson from Kelli. As you walk along life’s journey (both personal and professional because you really only have one life), keep your head up so you can watch out for danger, know in which direction you are heading, and enjoy the walk.
This week’s quote – “Enjoy this day. It is all we can do. We can’t change yesterday and worrying about tomorrow steals today.”
~I don’t know. Barb found it and didn’t remember. That has never stopped me, so here it is!
© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved