Extra Points: Memorial Day Special

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Memorial Day Special

In memorium. In memory of. Remembrance.

All words that signify and define the word, “memorial.”

I can’t imaging what it would have felt like on June 6, 1944. To be 21 years old, standing on a Navy ship, and set to be on a landing party to the beaches in Normandy. The odds said that you’d be a casualty and you knew it. The chill of the wind and the rain in the Atlantic just off the shore of France, and far away from wherever you hailed from.

By the time the fighting was over, there would be 4,414 confirmed dead, and over 10,000 casualties. That scene I describe can certainly be played out over centuries. Men and women facing certain death, yet risking all for all for country.

My dad spent 30 years in the Navy and fought in World War II. He wasn’t at Normandy, but was at the North African Invasion and certainly survived the war. He was always quick to point out that Memorial Day was not the day to honor those that served, but those that died. Those that gave the greatest sacrifice. Veterans Day is the day to honor all, Memorial Day was the day to honor the fallen. I’ve never forgotten that.

Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor the dead. President James Garfield presided over the first “decoration day” at Arlington National Cemetery in 1868 where 20,000 graves were “decorated” for both Union and Confederate soldiers. Today we honor all those that have fallen in wars, conflicts, and service from the Revolutionary War to the present. Let’s all remember this as we take a holiday break from our labors to recall those that gave the ultimate sacrifice so we can.

In memorium. In memory of. Remembrance.

Quote of the Week:

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed Resiliency

031A6785Chris Tucker from the Central Kitsap Reporter wrote an outstanding piece for his newspaper about a speech I gave to a business forum a week ago. He obviously was paying attention becasue it’s spot on. I didn’t even know he was in the room! Here is his article in it’s entirety along with his contact information. Thanks, Chris!

Crisis Recovery Plans Can Help Business Thrive

by CHRIS TUCKER,  Central Kitsap Reporter Editor
May 23, 2016 at 11:00AM
SILVERDALE — Having a plan to deal with a potential crisis is one way that businesses can not only survive challenging times, but thrive.

That according to Dan Weedin, who spoke at the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce’s Kitsap Business forum May 10.

Whether a person is an entrepreneur or an employee, having a plan on to be ready to deal with disaster was important, Weedin said, because “the continuation of funds into your bank account is important to you.”

Weedin said a resilient business was one that could “take a punch” and also “bounce back up” and throw two punches of its own.

“It’s one thing to be able to survive. It’s quite another to be able to thrive out of it.”

Many businesses do not have a crisis recovery plan because, although they know such a plan should be created, they’re busy dealing with day-to-day tasks.

The enemies of resiliency are apathy, complacency and arrogance.

Apathy is when a business might say it doesn’t need a plan because it has insurance. But not all crises are insurable, Weedin said, such as when a key employee leaves to join a competitor.

Complacency is a “CNN event,” such as when a tornado levels a city.

“‘I’ve been in business 35 years and nothing has ever happened to me.’ Can you hear people saying that?” Weedin said.

“‘That’s not going to happen to me … that happens to people on CNN,’”

Arrogance is when a business says they’ll just “figure it out” when a crisis arrives, but “decisions made in real time are usually pretty bad,” Weedin said.

The cost of not having a recovery plan could include loss of income, inability to deliver product or service to customers, inability to pay bills, higher stress and lower employee morale.

“Your employees really want to work hard for you … they also care about their income,” but if a business is shut down for several weeks due to a crisis, employees could become worried about the security of their jobs.

Loss of opportunity was also an issue, such as when a crisis resulted in something as simple as not having a functioning telephone.

“You might not even know of that opportunity that you never had because you weren’t able to answer the phone.”

Weedin said a business during Hurricane Katrina earned an extra $5 million simply because their business had functioning telephones. Their competitors may have also survived the crisis, but they did not thrive.

A business owner’s time “at a minimum is usually worth about a thousand bucks an hour … your time is your inventory … insurance doesn’t buy you time back … too many of the people I talk to undervalue what their time is worth.”

A recovery plan could be completed in just eight hours, he said. Money could be invested in purchasing safety equipment and in training for employees.

To “throw back two punches” a recovery plan allows a business to thrive rather than simply survive: A plan reduces anxiety and allows for ingenuity; it provides security for employees; it keeps a business nimble and responsive; and it keeps a business operating.

If a business operates without a recovery plan it will eventually encounter a calamity that will cost it dearly, Weedin said. But if the business has a comprehensive, thoughtful and practiced resiliency plan that is communicated to employees and customers then one crisis will be manageable.

CHRIS TUCKER,  Central Kitsap Reporter Editor
ctucker@soundpublishing.com    or 360-536-4637

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Extra Points: The Wrong Gate

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week, I spoke at a conference in Spokane and flew in and out of their airport. After dropping off my rental car to head home, I hightailed it straight to the nearest security point. Spokane is not a huge airport and I have TSA pre-check, so the process was pretty painless. Until I went to find Gate C22.

Fortunately, I decided against getting lunch right away as I was early. Instead, I started searching for C Gate. There was A; there was B, and then there was nothing. I asked one of the security people where I could find C Gate. She looked at me with empathy (as if I was not the first person this happened to) and told me I needed to go back outside to the terminal, take a left and start walking. She said, “If you think you’ve walked too far, you’re not there yet.” So off I went.

Basically, I lost time, effort, and energy (and added a pinch of frustration) by going to the wrong destination. The security point clearly stated this was for A and B gates. In my haste, I overlooked reading the signs and planning ahead. It might have been much worse had I not arrived early.

It’s also easy for business owners and leaders to go to their own “wrong gate.” In our haste to achieve revenue goals, project completions, leadership development, and a myriad of other objectives, it’s easy to overlook the signs and planning required for a successful outcome. That leads to your own loss of time, effort, and energy; and might also include loss of opportunity and more than a pinch of frustration.

Bottom line – read the signs. Get help when you need it. Know where you’re going and why. And make sure you get to your destination safely and rapidly.

Quote of the Week:

“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”

~ Lou Holtz, former college and pro football coach and analyst
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Be Good To Yourself

20 Under 40 20_3Jordan Spieth was arguably the best golfer in the world in 2015. He won two major championships – the Masters and United States Open – and culminated the year with the FedEx Championship. All the golf pundits were not taking a giant leap of faith when proclaiming he was going to have another terrific year in 2016.

Spite has gotten off to a very slow, and in some cases, a rocky start. He’s been uncharacteristically poor in his shots and noticeably more agitated on the golf course. Now let’s be fair; Spieth is only 22 years old and has had a ton of early success. People have been amazed at his poise and savvy at such a young age. Regardless, it’s been a surprising start to the new year.

Last week, Spieth finally admitted in a press conference that he was being too hard on himself on the course. His self-talk was bad; he was intolerant of his own mistakes; and he found himself trying too hard to make up for poor shots. Basically, Spieth has fallen victim to what many of us do more regularly. That is not being good to yourself.

Many entrepreneurs and business owners left one boss to start their own business, and ended up working for a tyrant. Themselves. Is that you? Just like Jordan Spieth is susceptible to being too hard on himself on the golf course, business owners can do the same thing. For that matter, business professionals and all people can do the same thing. We are willing to cut somebody else some slack, but incapable of doing to ourselves. Sound familiar?

I’m pretty sure Spieth will adjust. His track record already indicates that. What about you? Are you willing to improve your self-talk and cut yourself slack when you aren’t perfect, make mistakes, and fail? In order to maximize your talent and unleash your potential, you must. In order to take your business or company to greater heights, you need to have positive self-talk and be able to forgive yourself for failures and try again.

Are you willing to be good to yourself?

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Being Memorable

20 Under 40 20_3I was recently interviewed for an article on being “memorable.” This is a quality that is important for any business professional. I thought I’d share my answer to the interview here with all of you…

To be “memorable,” a business professional (or anyone for that matter) must:

  1. Be willing to be contrarian. Agreeing with everything and everyone becomes white noise. Even if one agrees with the concept, they must find a different way of framing it to create interest.
  2. Be a compelling storyteller. If we think about those people that we consider memorable, I bet everyone of them was a great storyteller. Stories stick – you’ll find these in both your professional and personal life – and those people that can match a story with a message are even more notable.
  3. Have a broad vocabulary. In an age where perspicacity around vocabulary seems to be on the decline, those with a strong one stand out. It should never be meant to be snobbish, rather a component of creating a better understanding with the right words.
  4. Have a 35,000 foot view of life. I’m always amazed when people say they don’t like to travel. Travel is the quickest way to broaden your perspective around other cultures and peoples. Those that are able to broaden their own view through things like travel, reading, education, and accomplishments, will transfer that characteristic to to their personality, and lend themselves to being memorable.
  5. Leave something lasting. It might be a book, a speech, a movie, a song, etc. People that leave something as a legacy that comes out of their talent and skills leave a lasting memory.

Read the entire Fast Company article HERE

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Noise

One of the biggest threats to your success in business and in life is noise.Dan Weedin Unleashed-40

Last week, I was part of a conference call with well over 100 attendees. I was a guest speaker for a group of the most highly successful brokers for a publicly-held insurance and risk management organization. I was told that as one of the speakers, my “line” was going to remain “open,” so any sound made through my phone would be heard by everyone.

Because I had a meeting scheduled with a new client soon after the call, I parked myself in a pretty abandoned parking lot in a shaded area. We’ve had unseasonably warm days here in the Puget Sound area, and this day was no exception. Even in the shade, I had the sunroof open to get fresh air. I quickly realized that although I had eliminated the possibility of Captain Jack or Bella causing havoc by howling at some passerby at home, I had the possibility of being unwanted “noise” if a large truck went by, someone from outside yelled, or even if I just suddenly sneezed! I quickly hit the mute button on my iPhone and waited my turn. When that time came, I closed the sunroof and unmuted myself to give my 10-minute presentation.

We should all have such a “mute button” in our lives. I find that many people give too much importance to the noise they constantly hear. Examples include heeding and listening to unsolicited advice; naysayers, complainers, harbingers of impending doom, passive aggressive behavior, and those that dwell in perpetual gloom. In most cases, these “energy suckers” live only to bring others down and don’t have your best interests at heart.

Don’t listen to them. Punch that virtual mute button around your consciousness and decide that you’re not going to fall victim to the noise. Just like I was committed not to let some inadvertent clatter distract from the conference call, neither should you allow unwanted and fallacious noise to throw you off course.

Focus on making your own music.

Quote of the Week:
“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

~ Oscar Wilde
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: That’s What We Do

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: That’s What We Do

Barb and I watched the third and final movie of the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay Part 2 this past weekend. There was a scene heading into the climax of the film that captured my attention and kept me thinking into the next day (don’t worry, no spoilers).

In the scene, the protagonist Katniss Everdeen (portrayed brilliantly by Jennifer Lawrence) said to her fellow hero Peeta Mellark (actor Josh Hutcherson, equally impressive) as they were about to face another seemingly monumental challenge, “That’s what we do. We keep each other alive.”

“That’s what we do. We keep each other alive.”

I thought about my own relationship with Barb. For the past 30 years married and 34 years together, that’s what we’ve done. Certainly, we’ve never had to battle poisonous snakes, exploding mines, or human combatants in a fight to the death. But we have faced plenty of the adversities, challenges, and tests that come with living a life together in a volatile and uncertain world. Heck, even just raising  children often feels like being in the middle of the jungle hanging on for dear life! We’ve kept each other “alive” emotionally, spiritually, and resiliently.

But what about business? Do we have others watching our backs? I can think of people who have (and still do) help keep me “alive.” My coaches, mentors, accountability partners, and trusted advisers have all had my best interest and “survival” at heart. They are key factors to my survival through a business world that sometimes might resemble the Hunger Games. I’d like to think that I’ve done the same for them and for others.

Here’s your takeaway question for today. With whom can you say, “That’s what we do. We keep each other alive.”? Personally and professionally we need these people. Life is about relationships. Relationships where you can count on others to have your back, to help you when you need it, and who count on you to do the same. Katniss and Peeta demonstrated that in the book and movie series. How about you in real life?

Quote of the Week:

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

~ Dr. Suess
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Oops. Now What?

58842030-Dan+Weedin+%22Unleashed%22-30Yesterday was the day that my county (as well as many other communities nationally) hold their “Great Give.” It’s a unique way to ask donors to support all their favorite charities with one payment. It’s a pretty slick process, until…

I went on yesterday afternoon armed with my credit card to make my donation. When I arrived at the website, I was stunned to see that it didn’t want my money. Well, not really. The website was down due to technical difficulties. This would be the disaster that all the charities (and the organization ) would most fear. The event only runs for 24 hours, and at the very least was looking to lose over half that day.

Fortunately, somebody thought of that obstacle to success. The website indicated that because of the gaffe, the Great Give was going to be extended until into the evening the next day.  I simply moved my calendar reminder to today.

Calamity and “obstacles” happen every day to us in business. Some of them are minor (a key employee is out sick for the day), or major (see above). The business owners and entrepreneurs that are best prepared to deal with these obstacles more effectively overcome and even thrive out of crisis. Take the Great Give for example. Now, the event may actually add time to the giving, all the charities get to keep sending additional reminders to their lists, and the chance that someone might have forgotten and not donate is lessened. In all, the charities may end up being better off than if nothing happened!

Things that go “oops” will happen to you and your business. The best thing you can do is to in advance, identify your obstacles to success, create a contingency plan to rebound and thrive, tell everyone in your company about what to do, and then hope it doesn’t happen. The good news is that if it does, you’re ready and that is a great security blanket and peace of mind.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: The Power of Persuasion

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: The Power of Persuasion

When I was in New York City in March, I had the great pleasure of dining with friends at historic Keen’s Steakhouse. The Manhattan restaurant was founded in 1885 and is famous for its steaks, chops, and collection of 90,000 clay pipes that line the walls and ceilings.

I was there during Lent and it was a Friday, which meant no steak for me. Fortunately, their fish selections were fantastic. The menu featured their acclaimed Dover sole. I was also intrigued by the chard because while familiar with the Atlantic fish, I’d never tried it. When I asked the waiter for his suggestion between the two, he of course said they were both grand, yet he had a twinkle in his eye and a heightened hint of enthusiasm when he spoke of the chard (which was decidedly less expensive than the sole). It intrigued me enough to get it, and boy was I glad I did! It was one of the best fish dishes I’ve ever had, if not the top. The power of the waiter’s suggestion persuaded me to a great dining experience.

The waiter gave me his honest opinion in spite of a lower bill (meaning the possibility of a lower gratuity). His candor was in my best interest and translated into a memorable experience. His focus was on the value of that experience.

In your business, sales are mandatory for survival. Are you (or your sales team) persuading people with enthusiasm based for the value your customer or client will receive, or based on money in their pocket? Sales people focused on earning a commission rather than the client’s best interest ultimately get found out. The problem is they bring your company’s reputation and future sales down with them. You can do a lot for the growth and sustainability of your business by building a culture of outcome-based sales. In other words, believing in the tremendous value to others and transferring that benefit in exchange for equitable compensation. In the end, it’s a win-win-win situation.

In my story, I won (magnificent experience) , the waiter won (equitable compensation), and the restaurant won (reputation and brand). I can’t wait to go back.

Are your clients saying the same thing about you?

Quote of the Week:

“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.”

~ Miguel de Cervantes (16th century Spanish novelist)

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved