Extra Points – No Power

No Power       Captain reading the paper

Last week I arrived at the Colman Dock ferry terminal in Seattle to head back across Puget Sound for home. My iPhone was at 9% power, so I thought I’d plug in and power up since I had a 30 minute wait for the next ferry. I searched and searched for an outlet. I was surprised that I couldn’t easily find one, so I thought I must simply be “blind.” I stopped over to the employees and asked where the outlets were. “No outlets,” was the response. I couldn’t believe my ears.I asked why and she quickly gave me the two reason. The first was that someone had plugged their laptop into an outlet, and some power malfunction ruined it. The other was that people would “hog” the outlets. The terminals simple solution? Avoid it all and just remove them. This is crazy. The ferries have outlets all over, yet the terminals eschew them because of fear and that people might actually use them! In today’s highly digital world, they do a disservice to their customers for selfish reasons.

Do we ever do that? Do we ever make decisions for our own self-interest and in so doing, do a disservice to our customers? Consider some of the kooky phone systems that require you to select from 7 different options, which leads you to another 4 options, which lead you to an outdated voice mail or a disconnection. Or how about arriving for a doctors appointment only to find that the office has double booked and you will be lucky to be seen sometime in the same day as your appointment? Sound familiar?

Make it easy for people to do business with you. Give them the power. You do this by making contact with you easy; access to you and your products simple; and a level of courteousness that might just overwhelm them with delight. Or, maybe you can at least provide an outlet for their phone…

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
“A vision without execution is merely an illusion.”
– Ron Karlberg

Help Me with my Kitsap Business Journal column for June

Dan Weedin
Dan Weedin

Hey all my faithful readers of my monthly column for the Kitsap Business Journal, I want your help!

My column for June is due on Monday and I am planning on writing it tomorrow (Sunday). I’ve received many kind words from you over the past couple of months and I am grateful. Now I would like you t respond before the column! Here is what I want…

I want you to tell me what topic you want me to write about. What’s your burning question, your biggest challenge, your most pressing issue? What do you want to read about next month when your Kitsap Business Journal hits your mailbox, or you read my copy on this blog or on social media? I am asking for your input right now.

Here is what you do. Send me your choice via a comment on this blog, a comment on Facebook/Linked In/Twitter/Google+, email (dan@danweedin), or a really fast homing pigeon. I need it by noon Pacific time tomorrow. I know it’s the weekend, but that’s how it works. Hopefully a few of you read this and give me some suggestions. Here are a few topics to get your brain thinking…

  • Change Management
  • Executive Leadership
  • Motivating Employees
  • Increasing Sales/Revenue
  • Marketing & Branding
  • Something else….

Give me a topic and an issue right away. If I choose your topic, you will get a free 20-minute coaching session with me. Hurry up…I need to start writing!

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Transitions

This week’s focus point…  Mom and Bella


Today is the day my mother moves out of our home and into a memory care/skilled facility. After 2 years of living with us at our home, Barb and I knew the time was now to transition. Her care was about to exceed our pay grade. It will be best for her from a comfort, care, and mobility outlook. It will also be a relief for Barb and me.

Transitions can be bittersweet. They often involve tough decisions and a commitment to the benefit of the most. They also involve consequences. For us, a “hidden” consequence is that the dogs have come to love her and I know they will miss her. They did when she was recovering from a hospital stay. But dogs are resilient and they move on with transitions often better than humans do.

Your career has probably seen transitions. Even if it didn’t entail a job change, your position changes in order to grow, develop, and reward you. It also creates its own “hidden” consequences that you might see right away, or may not manifest themselves for years. That’s part of living and transitioning.

Don’t fear transitions. Most times they are to ultimately change and reward you. You just have to be open to that change and willing to burst through that door.

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
“When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.”
– Albert Einstein

Extra Points – Unsolicited Advice

Unsolicited advice 

Don’t accept unsolicited advice. As my professional mentor, Alan Weiss reminded us at his Seattle event last week, unsolicited advice is for the giver of the advice, not the recipient. Only accept advice from people who you want to gain advice from. As a member in Toastmasters, I accept advice from fellow members because it’s implicit in my membership. I don’t accept advice from someone I don’t know after walking off the platform when I speak. I accept advice from my mastermind group because I value and respect their opinions and it’s again implicit as part of that group. I don’t accept advice or comments through the internet where someone is anonymously hiding behind an avatar (see electronic comments on newspaper articles).  Choose wisely who you take suggestions and advice from. They need to have gained your trust and respect in whatever it is they are mentoring or coaching you on (or even simply giving advice).

One additional note. Don’t get angry by people’s comments or “advice” on social media sites like Facebook. If you posted something, you have given the right to everyone seeing it to weigh in. It has now become “solicited!” I am constantly amused by people who are agitated by other’s comments on their life when they put themselves out there. If you don’t want to take comments on your life or business, don’t post on Facebook, Twitter, or Linked In. If you are looking to be provocative and edgy, be ready to take the heat. Unless of course the heat comes form someone you don’t know hiding behind a green Martian’s face…

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
– Mark Twain

May Day Precautions and Prevention Lessons

umbrella_riskI will never forget last year’s May Day protests. My wife Barb and I were in New York City and sat in Bryant Park watching protesters peacefully march with signs around the Big Apple. The New York City Police were out in force, looked serious about their jobs, and everyone stayed cool, calm, and collected. We never felt like we were in danger, nor felt fearful. Imagine our surprise when we returned to our hotel and saw our very own Seattle on the news. May Day riots were out of control in the downtown area with protesters smashing windows and setting cars on fires. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Here I was safe and sound in one of the biggest cities in the world, and my relatively small hometown was being ravaged.

This year, things are different. The police have already started preparations and are sure not to be caught flat-footed again. In addition, businesses are being much smarter. I just saw a push notification on my phone indicating that US Bank in downtown Seattle was closing up shop at 3 pm due to the expected protests. They made a decision in the best interest of their customers and employees. While they might not be able to prevent damage to their building, they do have control over the people  they serve and employ. While it might be a slight disruption for customers, my guess is that it pales in comparison to anyone being injured.

The lesson for you as a business owner is this…

You need to learn from history. I can’t tell you how many times in my years as an insurance agent and consultant, where I have seen business owners ignore history and trends to their detriment. For example, if you have a fleet of cars that continually racks up rear-end accidents, and you take no preventative action to educate and/or discipline your drivers, you will fall victim to larger self insurance costs, higher premiums, and loss of production and revenue. In this case today, US bank knows it’s located right in the heart of the rally. They know that banks are a target. They saw what happened last year. They made a decision to avoid calamity in the places they can control. Kudos to them.

You need to be skilled at spotting trends. If you have a strong, professional relationship with your insurance agent, they should help you. This is an area that consultants are invaluable. The net result of learning from history is that you don’t repeat the bad stuff; only the good stuff! At least one business in downtown Seattle has figured it out. Have you in your business?

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved