To Tell the Truth

“My name is Bob McDonald and I was in Army Special Forces.”Dan Weedin Unleashed-40

“My name is Bob McDonald and I was in Army Special Forces.”

“My name is Bob McDonald and I was in Army Special Forces.”

Will the real Bob McDonald stand up?

If you watched the old game show, To Tell the Truth, you will recognize this exchange. Three people all claiming to be the same person, yet 2 are fibbing. Of course, they are fibbing on purpose to fool the contestant. Seems like newly minted Veteran Affairs boss Bob McDonald is taking a cue from NBC News anchor Brian Williams and playing the fool.

I watched the news last night and watched with my own eyes the video of Mr. McDonald having a dialogue with a veteran who had fallen on hard times. He asked what service the man had been in and the response was, “Army…Special Forces.” The head of the federal administration that is tasked with helping this American hero in bad times then glibly replies, “Yeah…I was Army Special Forces!, too” Trouble for McDonald is he wasn’t. Yes, he was in the army. No he wasn’t in Special Forces. Oops.

McDonald quickly apologized after he was called out by a veterans group that did a little fact checking. A contrite McDonald said he made a mistake “in an effort to connect” with this man. The term “misstatement” has now been used again in just a matter of weeks. It’s becoming as popular to use as Marshawn Lynch saying, “I’m only here so I won’t get fined.” At least Marshawn is telling the truth!

Here’s how to connect. Be humble. You can say, “Wow, I was army too, but not special forces. What an honor to meet you!”

McDonald is no newbie to leadership positions. You don’t get to be hired for this role by the President of the United States if you have no background in leadership. Which leads me to believe that “misstatements” may also be idly tossed about on a daily basis around board rooms and offices around the world. In business, it’s harder to get caught and easier to get away with.

Here’s the deal…

If you desire to be influential; to be a leader; and to be significant (see my previous article on this matter), then your misstatements need to be actual mistakes, not a fancy word for lying. The quickest way to lose credibility to your team (employees, co-workers, clients, boss, community) is to stand up and lie. Let’s be clear, a lot of misstatements being made are probably considered “little white lies;” you know those things that won’t actually hurt anyone.

Do yourself a favor. If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you are in some leadership or management position. Even if it’s being influential in your family with your kids, you at some point are being looked at to guide. The best way you can gain trust and lead effectively over time is to avoid “misstatements” like the ones Mr. Williams and Mr. McDonald have recently made. Instead, learn how to improve your language skills so you can honestly, genuinely, and with empathy tell the truth.

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Significant

This week’s focus point…SignificantCapt Jack and Dan

Last Friday, I was meeting with a new mentoring client and we were discussing his move into the world of consulting. He made a comment that really caught my attention. He said, “Dan, I have always been successful, however we define that. However, I’m at a point in my life where I want to be significant.”


The word significant has tremendous significance. It seems to me that when people start creeping into their 40s, the issue of being more than successful in making money begins to seep into our consciousness. What does being significant mean?

For me, my definition is simple. Being significant means making a meaningful contribution to the success and/or happiness of another human being. I want to be significant to my wife; to my daughters; to my extended family; to my friends; to my clients; and to my community. That means more than merely being in the room. It means offering something of compelling value – love, concern, opportunity, teaching, experience, wisdom, hope…

What’s being significant mean to you?

How about this for a “never been done before but should have been” opportunity? Email me or post a comment on my blog of one way you’ve been significant in the life or business of someone else last week. Just one. I will gather all of them and pick three at random (I’m not about to judge significance!). Those three people will receive a free copy of my book, Unleashed (see below). Let’s see if we can reward the significance in your life!

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Becoming an Object of Interest

Last week, I watched The History Channel’s 3-part mini-series, The Sons of Liberty. I’m a history buff, especially when it involves the Revolutionary War era. The show was good, the acting decent, and the entertainment fine. That being said, it was purely fiction. For instance, the young man playing the spirited Sam Adams was probably 33 years old. In reality, Adams was 50. His second cousin John (eventually to be our 2nd President) was portrayed as meek, cautious, and quiet. The real John Adams was loquacious, emotional, and cantankerous. The show had poor Paul Revere in virtually every battle and conflict, when in truth he was mostly a spy.

Here’s the deal… Even though the station is called The History Channel, the intent of the mini-series was to be good theater. Just as in public speaking, never let the absolute truth get in the way of a good story meant to convey a message. The goal was to be interesting, which it was. In fact, it caused me to do some research on factual events and I learned a few new facts. Mission accomplished.

You and your business need to be an object of interest. If all you ever do is spout out the boring “facts” about what you do, then your audience may flip the channel before they even get to know you. What they want to hear is how you improve their condition, and it had better be engaging, dynamic, and interesting. We humans have a short attention span. It’s grown shorter as platforms like Twitter make us think in sound bytes. Your “bytes” better be delicious or your target market will find other more appealing morsels.

Bottom line, you may need to eschew a little “fact” for “entertainment”purposes to gain and keep attention. Focus on your message of how you make people and businesses better by becoming a true object of interest.

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

50 Shades of Cheeseburgers

Dan cookingCheeseburgers get a bum rap in my estimation. The are easily viewed as being common, ordinary, or one shade. I can still hear the late John Belushi screaming out “Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger…Pepsi no Coke,” on the famous Saturday Night Live skit of the 1970s. I would argue that there are more shades of cheeseburgers than meet the eye. If you venture outside of a fast food joint, you may just be surprised.

Cheeseburgers can be unique based on the cheese. The 99 cent option at the drive-thru window may be offering some faux cheese, yet I’ve dined at many a restaurant where the cheese is cool, be it Blue, Muenster, Cheddar, Swiss, or Pepper Jack.

The buns always are important (Just as in the movie I am parodying, I’m sure). Instead of some flimsy white bread that probably came out of a plastic wrapper, consider your delight in a Kaiser, Sourdough, Multi-Grain, or even gluten-free!

Heck, I even add some bourbon and honey to my cheeseburgers to pump up the taste.

Hungry yet?

Here’s the deal. Cheeseburgers can seem ordinary and uninspiring to people unless they are dressed up a little bit. So can you and your business. If you don’t dress up your value to others (be it for individuals or companies) then you’ll be as unappealing as that fast-food cheeseburger for 99 cents.

Here’s how you add some uniqueness to you…

Become an object of interest by being well-read and well-versed in the issues surrounding business. Improve your vocabulary and delivery of your message to incite emotion, rather than logic. Develop singular and exclusive intellectual property that jumps out at people like a bacon cheeseburger on the grill. Get away from your computer and interact with people. You will learn how to best help them and that will make you valuable.

Final thought – not only does straying from looking and tasting like an ordinary cheeseburger work for your success, it also helps you recruit and hire interesting and talented people. That’s similar to adding a little bourbon and honey to your cheeseburger mix…it keeps everyone coming back for more. Why don’t you try adding a few shades to your business and your burgers? The results may just be stimulating!

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Fat Tuesday Tidbits

Dan Weedin Unleashed-19Today is Fat Tuesday and as a practicing Catholic from the cradle, I know this is my last shot at tomfoolery for 40 days. Since I’m in Seattle and not New Orleans, my guess is my shenanigans will be somewhat, let’s say, muted.

For us Catholics, the season of Lent is a time for giving up something in the spirit of prayer and penance. This is NOT a religious or spiritual blog, so hang with me on this one. I have tried over the years to both give up something and to do something as part of my Lenten observations. This practice can also be applied to your business and/or your career.

Over the next 40 days, why don’t you consider improving yourself in business by both subtraction and addition?

By means of subtraction, what can you eliminate that will improve you – inordinate Internet and social media time; procrastination; poor self-talk; wasted effort on areas that aren’t making you better or enhancing your business; gossiping and drama proliferation; too much game playing on your mobile devises; or plain negative thinking? What are others that you know about within your own self-assessment?

By means of addition, what can you start doing to improve yourself – exercising every day; getting away from your desk and in front of people; saying thank you to others more often; giving compliments you employees and co-workers; eating healthier; rewarding yourself when you do things well; saying NO to projects that others want you to do that will take your time; and getting more rest and relaxation?

While the season of Lent may have different implications for me from a faith perspective, I also plan on taking my own advice for my career. I’m going to spend Fat Tuesday contemplating what those will be and share with you tomorrow. What about you? Are you ready to boost your career and your business; and significantly enrich your life over the next 40 days?

I double-dog dare you…

Until then, eat well today for tomorrow we get lean and mean! Happy Fat Tuesday!

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Presidents Day Special

This week’s focus point…President’s Day SpecialCapt Jack and Dan

When I was young, the country celebrated the birthdays of both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in February. They were recognized as perhaps the two “greatest” presidents at that point. Years later, we as a country simplified and basically honored all presidents with one special holiday, which we celebrate today.

In college I was a history major. I learned much more about Washington and Lincoln, as well as many of the less heralded commanders-in-chief. As a youngster, these men held more of a mythical status in my head. As I learned more and eventually visited Washington D.C., a more real view of them emerged.

All the men that have held this office over the past 225 years (remember we went about 15 years after the Declaration of Independence with no president), have taken on a tremendous responsibility. Not one of them were universally beloved while they sat in office, not even Washington, and especially not Lincoln. We’ve had scoundrels and martyrs; men of different character and charisma. In the end, we as a country would not be where we are today, nor would the majority of us reading this have the opportunities without each of them.

Take this day to honor our presidents by simply learning more about one of them. We are currently on #44 (ironically we’ve had less POTUS’s than Super Bowls). There still aren’t all that many, yet each one has left a mark on our country. We should be grateful each one stepped up and took the challenge.

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.

~ George Washington
Want to discuss this topic? Join the conversation! No Weedin Unleashed today due to the holiday. The next free Weedin Unleashed broadcast is next Monday at 12 pm Pacific.

The One Rule

Coach from NK Herald Feb 2006When I coached high school basketball, I only had one rule for my players (although they thought I found many ways to adjudicate it). The rule was simple, yet all-encompassing – Don’t let your teammates down.

Don’t let your teammates down.

For my players, that rule had more to do with issues off the court than on. On the court, it never meant physical or even mental lapses or gaffes. Those happen. It meant losing your temper and getting a technical foul, or being selfish with the ball to the detriment of the team. Off the court, it had everything to do with behavior and responsibility – academic eligibility, eating well, hanging around with the right crowd, no drugs or alcohol, safe driving, and (since I coached girls) not getting pregnant.

The same rule can easily apply to your business. Many companies and organizations have elaborate mission statements with rules of decorum to be followed. They believe that covering every base when it comes to transgressions on the job is necessary. Their “rule book” ends up looking more like an insurance policy exclusion section!

How about the two big recent violations in the news:

  • Brian Williams at NBC News let his teammates down
  • The coaches and leaders of the Jackie Robinson West Little League World Series USA champs out of Chicago let their teammates down

Here’s the deal…

You have many teammates – family, business, boards of directors, volunteer work, and friends. If you choose to adopt this rule for yourself, you will be able to stay clear of embarrassing and damaging situations. If you are able to implement it in your business, you will be able to build a team that is dynamic and “play for each other.” The results of both mean you and your business are on the path to being unleashed.

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – February 9, 2015

This week’s focus point…Do You Believe in Magic?Capt Jack and Dan

Last Friday, I took my adult daughters to the Father-Daughter banquet at the Washington Athletic Club, of where I am a member. While there is a small mix of age ranges (the oldest father-daughter pair have come to 54 straight years!), the majority of the young ladies were, well pretty young. Mindy, Kelli and I had the good fortune of sharing a libation prior to dinner when something really cool happened. Robert showed up…

Robert is a magician that has a prodigious talent for magic tricks with playing cards. He showed up at our table first to show us his trickery. Soon, a crowd gathered. Let’s just say that Robert is GOOD! One of the best I’ve ever seen, in fact. While Kelli wanted really wanted to know how he did it, I was pretty happy just being awed. All three of us (and the entire room) were mesmerized by his skill and artistry for slight of hand, humor, and…magic.

Do you make magic in your career or business? Do you kindle curiosity, awe, and excitement to your customers and clients with your service and products? If not, you’re missing the boat. Robert owned the room. In fact, I picked up one of his business cards (well…his name written on the Ace of Spades). His ability to engage an audience and then follow through with exceptional skill proved to be successful for him. If you’re not owning your own room and creating interest and following through, you might as well be the a magician without a deck of cards to play with. Take a cue from Robert by becoming an object of interest and then delivering with flair and style. That will keep your audience coming back for more.

Do you believe in magic?

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

Want to discuss this topic? Join the conversation! The next free Weedin Unleashed broadcast is today at 12 pm Pacific.  Click here to get the link.