Extra Points: What’s That You Say?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40As the Youth Exchange Officer for my Rotary Club, I get the honor of helping to pick up our inbound exchange student every summer. This student will stay a year with families from our club and have an exciting time. This year, we have a young man from Thailand.

I was speaking to my colleague in the club who is hosting our student to see how his first week went. He said things were great, and that the young man’s English was very good. As with all languages, we have idioms and slang that don’t translate very well. He laughed when he said, “I had to teach him what ‘I’m just messing with you’ means!” I’m sure this learning curve will continue as the young man starts school next week. 

There’s a language to business, both holistically and by industry. While one may have studied the language of business, they may may get stumped with the acronyms, slang, colloquialisms, and insider humor that is prevalent in all businesses and vocations. It’s as if someone were messing with them.

This is actually quite simple to fix; keep it simple.

Never assume someone else knows shortcuts and acronyms; avoid making things more complicated than they need to be; be pithy and clear; use strong vocabulary to clarify and define. In other words, make it easy to do business with others.

We are now a global economy and must be able to quickly communicate ideas and concepts with each other, whether it be with clients and customers next door or halfway around the world. The better you are able to accomplish this, the more rapidly you’ll be able to leverage success and build relationships.

And I’m not messing with you…

Quote of the Week:

”We cannot forever hide the truth about ourselves from ourselves.”

~ John McCain

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Not A Robot

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Lexi Thompson is one of the premiere women golfers in the world. At only 23 years old, she’s already amassed remarkable accomplishments on and off the course. Earlier this year, she shocked the golf world by taking a month-long hiatus in the middle of the year, skipping one of the major championships. This past week upon her return to the tour, she explained her reasons at a press conference.

The simple answer is she was mentally and physically exhausted. While that may seem odd to hear from a 23 year old, consider that in the past 18 months, she suffered a major meltdown in a tournament that she should have won easily, dealt with her mother’s fight with breast cancer, grieved over the death of her grandmother, and suffered a hand injury. She did all this on a worldwide stage and it ultimately took its toll. She realized golf had been her whole life and now she needed time seek out more. Two sentences from her press conference caught my attention. She said, “I’m not a robot out here. I need to have a life.”

Athletes and entertainers are often viewed by the public as immune to human frailties. Athletes are expected to rebound from injury without missing a beat; entertainers are supposed to not be swayed by criticism. In other words, they can often be mistaken for “robots.” As Ms. Thompson points out, they are not.

And neither are you.

I’m assuming that people who read this are successfully and gainfully working on running businesses, creating careers, and leading a great life with family. It’s easy to get caught in a mindset where we consider ourselves immune to criticism, drama, mistakes, illnesses, injury, and often just plain bad luck. I regularly talk to clients about life balance techniques, as I also work to practice what I preach.

While Lexi Thompson was never in danger of missing a meal due to her sabbatical, it was a significant – and an unheard of – thing to do. She took time away that she could afford to get her mind, body, and spirit right again. The consequences of not doing it could have been disastrous; while the results will likely lead to a more relaxed and confident golfer and person.

We could all use a little dose of relaxed and confident, couldn’t we? Maybe even this week…

Quote of the Week:

”It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

~ Nelson Mandela

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply. 

LinkedIn Learning Course Now Available

IMG_2124I’m thrilled to announce that my LinkedIn Learning course is now available!

The title is: Protecting Profitability by Reducing Financial Risk

The course is just under two hours in duration, broken up through 28 3-4 minute videos to make it easier to watch and learn. Just like reading a book!

This course is ideal for business owners, entrepreneurs, CEOs, Presidents, Directors of Risk, and anyone who is tasked with protecting the profitability and assuring business continuity. In other words, if you’re in charge of keeping the doors open no matter what, this course is perfect got you.

The course is FREE for LinkedIn “premium” members. In fact, all of the LinkedIn Learning courses are. If you’re not a premium member, you’re missing out on great courses to help you run and grow your business. Why don’t you join and start with mine!

Here is the link to the preview. I hope you’ll watch the entire course and let me know what you think. Watch the first chapter and email me to tell me and I will send you a copy of my business continuity template as a gift.

Thanks and please spread the word on this course!



© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: The Next One

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I regularly begin coaching and mentoring sessions with clients by asking this question, “What’s the most important thing we need to talk about today?

While we may have a pre-determined agenda, often things come up in the course of a week or even a day that become more important and demand becoming a priority. It’s a frequent happening that my clients start with something that is brand new, but now important.

Our technological world, while often able to save us time and energy, more regularly overwhelms us with communications (emails, texts, and calls) and tasks that become urgent because someone else has deemed it that way. Our priorities become muddied because everything seems urgent and due yesterday. Our brains become filled with minutia and our own bad self-talk. Before we know it, we feel behind and sprinting to catch up. I know this because it’s a constant battle with myself.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself what’s the most important thing at that moment and do that one thing then until complete; then rinse and repeat. There’s rarely more than one thing that is most important in that moment, so when your brain is unclear, stop and identify it.

Priorities – both of a professional and personal bent – will become chaotic for us. Accept that and be prepared to deal with it. This is a big part of mental toughness. Mental toughness is the discipline to bring yourself back from chaos to focus by concentrating on the most important thing now.

My challenge for you this week is to think of me the next time this happens to you (and it will); by asking yourself “what’s the most important thing to do right now?’

Then go do it…

Quote of the Week:

”A rich man is nothing more than a poor man with money.”

~ W.C. Fields

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Simplify Your Business

58842029-Dan+Weedin+Unleashed-43 copyFrom my monthly column for the Kitsap Sun

The Unites States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal & Ancient (R&A) have collaborated on a major change in the golf landscape that has a business lesson attached to it.

For the first time in as long as I can remember, the two forces in managing the rules of golf used around the world have decreased the number of rules of the game. In fact, they reduced the number of rules by 33 percent! The game is all about fair play and the rules are critical to the future success and popularity of the game.

Why is this significant?

It’s significant because many of the rules added challenges to the amateur golfer’s enjoyment of the game. The rules are in place to provide guidance, not angst. Many of the rules slowed play dramatically, created confusion, and were often broken anyways because we didn’t fully understand them. These changes in the rules were meant for the amateurs, not the professionals. The objective was to decrease frustration, speed up play, and increase enjoyment while not taking away from the spirit of the game.

Why is this significant to you in business, especially if you don’t play golf?

What the ruling bodies of golf did was to simplify by subtraction. Take a look at your own company “rule books.” If you’re like most business owners I work with and meet, you’ll see rows of binders on shelves. They include employee manuals, safety manuals, hiring manuals, training manuals, crisis manuals, procedures manuals, and insurance policies dating back to 1997. You might have to wipe away some of the dust buildup to check for yourself.

Companies do a great job of making rules and procedures in an attempt to improve knowledge, efficiency, and performance. What’s actually happened is just the opposite. They’ve created confusion, aggravation, and their own version of “slow play,” which translates into lost profits.

Take managing a serious crisis during the workday as an example. An employee or client suffers a medical emergency in your office. You’re on vacation and the actual “first responders” are your employees because medical help is 10 minutes away. You have manuals for these situations because you’ve thought through scenarios just like these seven years ago. The problem is that the manuals are outdated; your employees have no idea where they are kept; even if they did they have no time to search for the right response; and they’ve never practiced a medical crisis response.

Golf is a game; this is life and death or at the least lost time and money. Had your rules been simpler, the proper response would have been better regardless of the eventual outcome. Let’s take a look at my simple three-step proves to simplifying your rules for better results:

Step 1: Throw out all obsolete materials. All they do is create clutter and add to confusion in a crisis. If you need to keep the information, it’s very easy in this digital age to scan and save without taking any space. How do you know what’s obsolete? You’ll know because it’s either never been used, clearly is “off the shelf” information, and/or is historical in nature.

Step 2: Focus on what’s important. Here’s what’s important: human safety and security directions; up-to-date compliance information; a current emergency contact list; guidelines on what to do in the event of a loss of power and/or connectivity; and a clear and communicated checklist of chain of command.

While your company may have other important areas of focus, this is a starting point. There are many sub-parts of each of these (e.g. CPR to evacuation routes for human safety) and they should be identified by leadership and disseminated to management to implement.

Step 3: Make it easy to find. Binders might be fine when there is plenty of time to do research. This is rarely the case in the event of a calamity. Create a system where all these vitally important and time-sensitive resources are available at the touch of a finger. Everyone carries mobile devices and are used to using them to find information. It’s time to utilize 21st century technology to aid your employees in a manner they are used to. While this might at first thought feel daunting, you likely have both internal and external resources to help, and you will find them to be a great return on investment in the event of a crisis.

Let’s be clear, while this may appear simple, the work is in doing it. You may be like the couple that lived in the same house for over 50 years. The house is filled with “stuff” that belongs to many people who no longer live there, or contents what were once wanted and now forgotten. In order to clean out the attic, garage, and your company clutter, it takes a strategic plan that involves all members of the team. Just like any other action, proper planning and preparation on the front end – with clear directives – will optimize time and accelerate results.

You can take a lesson from the USGA and R&A. By simplifying your “rule book,” even daily procedures and operations will become easier. The results of this simplification of the rules of play include improved employee morale, a safer work environment, accelerated crisis recovery time, and improved productivity and profitability. And that’s a birdie in my book!

Dan Weedin is a strategist, speaker, author and executive coach. He helps small business and middle market business leaders and entrepreneurs to grow more profitably and create a better life.  He was inducted into the Million Dollar Consultant™ Hall of Fame in 2012. You can reach Dan at 360-271-1592; e-mail at dan@danweedin.com or visit his web site at http://www.DanWeedin.com.

Extra Points: The Great Escape

JackA special edition missive by Captain Jack…

I got unleashed…

As much as Dan talks about being unleashed, he doesn’t approve when I take his advice. I made my great escape – the first in a long time – while Barb was attending to Bella. It was brilliant.

I boldly burst through the front door and made a sharp dogleg right to head up my normal path. I was unleashed… Barb made a valiant effort in following me. I crawled under a fence where there was this big race track-like pasture with a bunch of water in some kind of man-made lake. I just started running, and running, and occasionally taking flight like only I can. I jumped in the water. I played. Barb watched.

I soon heard Dan call my name. He wasn’t home for my great escape, but had apparently figured out what happened. He kindly beckoned to me to come over as he was holding my favorite treat. Been there and done that…he starts out nice but when he catches me, his mood changes.

I escaped the fence without either catching me. I then bolted into uncharted territory by crossing the passage called Viking Way. I spotted two small dogs with their human and ran towards them in an effort to play. The human grabbed me and told me to go home. Then Barb came running and captured me, leashed me, and spoke very firmly to me while apologizing to the other human. I hadn’t done anything wrong. I was simply being unleashed. For all my fun, I ended up getting a bath. I think that was my discipline. It was worth it.

Interesting that I hear humans often say that infirmities and aches are “part of getting old.” They use it as an excuse for not doing what they used to enjoy doing or eschewing activities because they are “past their prime.” Let me tell you, we dogs NEVER think about age. Unlike humans, we don’t consider how long we’ve been on earth as a factor in any decision we make. I heard Dan exclaim that I am pretty spry for 11 years old. I don’t even know what that means! I am just Captain Jack and will never change my mindset. Why should I?

Maybe the better question is, why should you?

P.S. Bella got extra treats and nice words for being a “good girl.” Clearly favoritism…

Captain Jack out…

Quote of the Week:

”The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”

~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (American author)

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.