Extra Points: Trick or Treat?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The first Halloween I remember trick or treating was when I must have been around 6-7 years old. I was dressed up as Captain America. I had the the whole packaged suit, replete with cape, a makeshift shield, and the cheap plastic mask that caused beads of sweat to form on your forehead within seven seconds of donning it. I remember Dad taking me up and down the neighborhood appealing to friends and strangers to give me rock hard candy that would send me on a sugar high, while helping to fund our dentist’s retirement.

Oh, if it were only that easy as adults….

As adults, we “dress up” in our best attire, go knock on doors of people we don’t know, pretend to be someone “better” than what we are, and ultimately ask for a treat. More often than when we were kids, it ends in a trick, not a treat.

This analogy goes beyond sales. Think of your own business, career, and life. How many times have you tried to be someone you’re not (maybe in your own mind a better someone) to impress somebody else? Might be at a social function, a golf course, a meeting with the board of directors, a sales pitch to investors, your banker when seeking a loan…. you get my point.

Here’s your treat for today – Be yourself. Dress for the occasion (rule of thumb is always be slightly better dressed than your “audience”). Be warm and engaging. Ask more questions. Care about the answers. Don’t pitch your business; demonstrate your incredible value. Have fun. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Have big picture perspective. Boldly aim high. Be unleashed.

Trick or treating was fun as a kid. It can be fun as an adult, as long as you commit to going as the best character you can – yourself.

Join in on the conversation on my blog

Quote of the Week:

“I’ve arranged with my executor to be buried in Chicago. Because when I die, I want to still remain politically active.”

~ Mort Sahl – Canadian born, American comedian

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Speaking of Swinging…

cubsAs a lifelong baseball fan (and a novice baseball historian), I LOVE this World Series. The Chicago Cubs are appearing in their first World Series since 1945, and haven’t won one since 1908. The Cleveland Indians have been in two World Series’ in the past 25 years, but haven’t won since 1948.

While there are certainly no players (or even managers and coaches) that were even alive when the Cubs or Indians last won a championship, there is a exponentially heightened air of pressure on both teams to finally break through, especially the Cubs. The weight of decades of failure and futility for the respective cities and fan bases are on their backs. These aren’t robots; they are humans and they fully understand this. For both teams, that extra pressure can cause one to subconsciously try too hard, and those results are normally bad.

The very best athletes know how to slow the game (and their mind) down. They are able to reduce or even eliminate pressure by focusing on the job at hand in the moment. They stick with the process that got them there; they don’t allow one failed at bat or pitch carry over into the future; and they ignore outside voices.

Can you do the same in your business?

Have you ever felt the pressure to perform? We all have. Certainly when times are tough, you might be getting external pressure. Creating new revenue, exceeding sales goals, getting work out faster, etc. Whatever your stress, you are compounding it by adding too much pressure and altering your performance. You’re not letting your own skill shine through.

To stick with the baseball metaphor, you’re trying to hit the curve ball instead of waiting for the right pitch. Curve balls are hard to hit. Rather, stay with your process and force the fastball.

Bottom line – we all feel pressure. Sometimes it’s external; often it’s self-inflicted. In either case, stress can take you out of your game by making you try too hard. This gets compounded by failure. To avoid this, stay in the moment, slow down your brain, have confidence in yourself and your team, and lay off the curve ball. Instead, hit that fastball over the fence!

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Hey Batter, Batter…SWING

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Growing up, I was a huge Pete Rose fan. In fact, I even tried (unsuccessfully) to mimic his unconventional and awkward stance. I know Pete bet on baseball; of that I have no doubt. However, I’m guessing he always bet on himself and he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. But, I digress…

I was sent a video of Pete talking batting swings with other FOX Baseball analysts Frank (The Big Hurt) Thomas and Alex Rodriguez. He had them both mesmerized by his simple yet powerful strategies and tactics around doing the hardest thing in sports…hitting a baseball.

Rose had six basic changes he would make when in a batting slump. All of them focused on where he would stand in the batters box (up or back/side to side). He said he never changed his swing because that swing had gotten him to the big leagues. The changes he made were based on what pitchers were throwing him. He’d adjust his position in the batters box, but never his swing.

Here’s a swing tip for you…

You’ve had success in your career; of that I don’t doubt. However too many of you are trying to change the wrong things when you hit a “slump.” Rather, you should simplify your process. For example, I’ve heard a lot lately from clients that want to enhance their life balance and find more time for themselves and their family. Great. That doesn’t take a complete overhaul of how you work (your swing). Instead, focus on simple adjustments in your “batters box” – delegate work you don’t have to do; say NO to projects/tasks that you don’t want to do or aren’t priorities; schedule in discretionary time and hold it sacrosanct; cut down on water cooler conversations and social media surfing; and (here’s the most important one) STOP feeling guilty for doing any or all of these!

Life will throw you a bunch of curve balls. If you haven’t shown an aptitude for adjusting to and hitting them, you’ll find they keep coming and ruin your “batting average.” Don’t over think this. Make simple adjustments, commit to them, stay vigilant, and find a way to get more hits.

I’m betting on you…

Join in on the conversation on my blog

Quote of the Week:

“I don’t think knowing what’s the right thing to do ever gives anybody too much trouble.  It’s doing the right thing that seems to give people trouble.” 

~ President Harry S. Truman

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Seattle Shrimp Tank Today!

shrimptanklogoToday is the next podcast edition of Seattle Shrimp Tank. Our guest will be Jim Tschimperle, CEO of Pacific Machine Shop.

Note the early time just for today – 1 pm Pacific. Join us live at http://www.seattle.shrimptankpodcast.com

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Of Storms and Calamities

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40As I sit writing this edition of Extra Points on the Friday before, the day outside is miserable. And that’s being kind. We are in the midst of a series of rain and windstorms that are projected to be some of the worst and most damaging in recent history. Those who went through Hurricane Matthew a few weeks ago know all too well the wreckage that Mother nature can inflict.

So in advance of the worst of it – I’m hurrying to write this before we lose power; have purchased food and other necessities (as instructed by Barb) to last through the weekend; fully charged all devices and portable chargers; and battened down the hatches as best as possible to mitigate damage and create resiliency. And of course, Captain Jack is pacing and barking at the wind, doing his part to protect the ship…

We’ve known this storm was coming for the last three days. It was hard to believe becasue the preceding days have been sunny and pleasant. It created a false sense of security and many people are just now braving the elements hoping to stock up and prepare. Why the delay?

Why do you delay preparing for the storm in business? While your daily operations may for the most part seem sunny and pleasant, we all know that calamity comes – unlike winter storms – unannounced. Too often business owners and entrepreneurs are left scrambling to recover and sustain operations in the midst of the storm. Had they planned in advance, it would have been easier and less costly both financially and emotionally.

Make resilience part of your basic business planning and strategy. In grade school we used to do fire drills in preparedness for the building fire that never happened for me in 12 years. (Lights blinking and Jack barking, so tying fast…) Bottom line – protect your business, protect your employees, and protect your revenue. Resilience management may not be sexy, but it might be the most important work you do.

Quote of the Week:

Behind every cloud is another cloud.

~ Judy Garland

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Peering in the Looking Glass

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The past few weeks, as the Youth Exchange Officer for my Rotary Club, I’ve conducted Question & Answer sessions for students and parents interested in our outbound exchange program for next year. It’s an opportunity to provide details on being a Rotary exchange student to another country, and recruit students to apply. It’s a fantastic program, and as you might imagine, there are many questions.

One of the most common involves the potential countries that students may be sent to. Our district has worked diligently to develop relationships with countries we want to exchange with, and at times have had to terminate relationships due to poor experiences. We are very pleased with our current roster.

That being said, parents are often nervous of certain countries due to what they’ve seen in the news surrounding violence (e.g. France, Belgium). I must then remind them that parents in other countries around the world likely voice similar (if not more vociferous) trepidation about sending their children to the Unites States based on violence they view in the news (e.g. school shootings, gun violence, campus rapes, and more). The sudden realization on the parents faces that I’m speaking to quickly indicate the newfound perspective of peering in the looking glass.

When was the last time you looked at your business from the perspective of an outsider? Are incoming phone calls received with politeness or brusqueness? Is correspondence replied to promptly or belatedly (or never)? When someone walks into your office, will they be impressed or ignored? Do your employees contribute to the community or are they visibly absent? Notice all of my queries are around how people are treated, not your product or service. Business is and has always been about relationships and the “brand” that relationships create. Each person in and of themselves are a brand within a larger organizational one.

When you peer into your own looking glass, what do you see?

Quote of the Week:

The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.

~ Mignon McLaughlin (American journalist 1913-1983)

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

No Rest for the Stupid

Dan Weedin Unleashed-19Yesterday afternoon, my daughter Mindy and I went out to hit golf balls at the local driving range. I purchased a large bucket instead of my normal medium or small size because I’m getting ready to play in a tournament on Saturday, and figured I could use the extra swings.

While the concept was okay, the results were stupid.

The reason for the stupidity was centered not so much on strategy, but on tactics. Instead of keeping with my normal practice pattern, I found myself “raking and ripping.”This is a common malady for golfers on a driving range. It’s the act of “raking” a golf ball from it’s little waiting trough to the mat, and then “ripping” at it. The increased number of balls over time actually wore me out. It’s not how you play golf. You don’t just stand in one spot hitting ball after ball with no break; rather you hit a ball, walk to the next one, hit a different club, and rinse and repeat. I basically hit more balls in rapid fire mode, than I would over four hours on the course.

The results by the end of the session were terrible. I lost all accuracy, got mad (which exacerbated the situation), and left for home frustrated at my results. While I enjoyed my time together with Mindy, that would have even been improved with a better experience.

What would NOT have been stupid was slowing the process down, being patient, having goals, and resting when I needed it. The results and experience would have been better and I’d have had more fun.

This analogy also fits a business problem.

Business leaders often spend too much time “raking and ripping” in their business an career. Here are a few examples:

  • Not having clear goals and metrics before implementing initiatives and projects
  • Veering from strategies and tactics that worked in an effort to falsely accelerate results
  • Becoming impatient with bad results and not taking the time and effort to find the root cause of those results
  • Being stubborn rather than nimble
  • Seeking perfection rather than success
  • Allowing poor performance in business to encroach in personal relationships
  • Working one’s self to exhaustion, rather than taking time to rest and rejuvenate

It took me until this morning to realize that my mechanics aren’t bad, rather my process was …, well, stupid. At the very least, I needed time to rest. Just like in weight training, your muscles need time in between sets (and days) to rest; I needed to rest at proper intervals; you need to find time to rest your brain and spirit. Otherwise, you end up frustrated and that transfers to everyone in your circle of life.

So don’t be stupid like I was. Take time to plan, strategize, learn, and have patience. And by all means, carve out time to rest and re-charge so you’ll always be on your A game!

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved

Extra Points: Branding Your Path to Success

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Arnold Palmer died at the age of 87 just over a week ago. His passing not only impacted the golf and sports world, but the business community, too. Arnie was not only a legend in golf; he was an iconic business leader and entrepreneur.

The most Arnold Palmer ever won for any one golf tournament was $50,000, yet he was worth in excess of $650M at his death. During his playing days, Arnie created a true persona of the “every man;” bringing golf out of the country club and engaging everyone. His charisma, style, and genuine love of people spawned “Arnie’s Army,” followed by gobs of endorsements. He actually paved the way for all athletes to earn income outside of their playing contracts through endorsements. He also was highly astute in business, forming corporations, starting The Golf Channel and Champions Tour, and countless other endeavors. He understood that you are your own brand. That who you are, how you treat others, and being authentically unique would lead to archetypal business success. Heck, he even has his own beverage named after him!

What about you and your business or career?

How would others define you? Are you recognizable? Does the value you provide resonate because of your skills, knowledge, and charisma?

While you may face competition in industry, no one can be you. You’re uniquely brand-able, and you’d better understand the power of it. Without maximizing your unique value to others, you’ll be emblematically leaving putts short for birdie much too often. However, if you unleash your brand through strategic marketing, planning, and delivery, then you’ll be hitting greens and sinking birdie putts on the way to becoming legendary.

Quote of the Week:

The road to success is always under construction.

~ Arnold Palmer

shrimptanklogoNext Seattle Shrimp Tank podcast is October 4th at 4 pm PST. Our guest will be Rusty George of Rusty George Creative. Catch the recorded podcast from September 27th and our gust Matthew “Griff” Griffin from Combat Flip Flops. WEBSITE

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved