Extra Points: Leader-Shift

Dan_Weedin_022Last week, my Rotary Club kicked out our President and replaced him with a new one. It’s our annual “Installation-Outstallation” ceremony. Rotary Clubs around the world are all doing the same thing as our official new year starts July 1st. It’s a time to honor (and at least in our case “roast” a little) the outgoing leader and welcome in the new one.
Transition in leadership is nothing new in Rotary Clubs or democratic governments. They are part of the system and process of running organizations and countries. There is a plan for all contingencies, ranging from death, disability, and resignation.
Curiously, many small and even medium-sized businesses don’t have as strong of a plan to deal with a sudden transition in leadership. The reason is pretty obvious – business leaders don’t have “term limits.” Unlike my Rotary Club, the President or CEO is normally the founder and face of the organization. The loss of this leader – whether it be due to retirement or sudden inability to lead – can create a major crisis in the company. All good Business Continuity Plans must include what to do when a “Leader-Shift” occurs; especially if it’s unplanned.
If you’re the CEO or President of your company, is your team prepared to keep the business operating with no hiccups if you’re no longer there? How do you know? Are your loved ones taken care of financially?
If you’re part of a leadership team or a key employee of a company, do you know what the plan is if your boss no longer can lead? Does that make you nervous for your future?
Your assignment this week is to look at your own plan for leadership transition. How well is articulated and communicated is it? Will your legacy continue and will your loved ones be financially secure? Or will an unexpected calamity sink the ship? Take one step toward improving your Business Succession Plan. If you need help, call me. Your company and your loved ones will have greater peace of mind.
BONUS: If you don’t own a business and think this missive doesn’t apply to you, think again. When was the last time you updated your will? How about the last time you reviewed your life and disability insurance? How confident are that your loved ones will be financially secure if something happens to you? Leadership happens at many different levels, both professionally and personally. Make sure you are secure in both.
Quote of the Day:
“Nothing is work unless you’d rather be doing something else.”
~ George Halas, 20th century Hall of Fame owner and coach of the Chicago Bears
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: Embracing the Moment

Dan_Weedin_022Father’s Day is bittersweet for me…
This was the ninth Father’s Day without my dad. I miss him every day, but this day is especially memorable. That being said, I have no regrets about our relationship or the amount of time we spent together. I consider myself fortunate that especially in the latter years of his life, we embraced our time together. And today, I still embrace this time without him as it reminds me of our life together. So I guess my opening comment is really inaccurate. It’s just sweet.
I watch the final round of the United States Open every Father’s Day. When my kids were at home, we watched it together. Now my wife very kindly tolerates it with me! It’s interesting to see how many patrons in the gallery are recording events right in front of them with their mobile devices. Many are watching the action through their phones, rather than embracing the moment in front of them. I’ve attended one US Open in my life and for all I know, that will be the only one. I remember every moment of that day.
Embracing the moment doesn’t come easily to me. It’s become a daily discipline that I must work on. It’s easy to get caught up in what’s happened in the past, anxiety of what might happen in the future, or the chaos of the moment. It’s taken a lot of personal effort borne out of my work with my own professional coach to catch myself and re-focus when I get out of balance.
You’ve heard this before: embrace every moment. That includes the challenges, struggles, and obstacles. Allowing them to take you off balance is perhaps the biggest risk you take both personally and professionally. That lack of balance kills innovation, creativity, and confidence. Embracing the moment allows you to be free of negative things you can’t control, and realize that every moment is a chance to help you grow and thrive.
Here’s your assignment for the week: Look back on the challenges of the prior week and find one thing that made you better from each of those experiences. Commit to carrying those lessons over into this week. If you need help in doing this, contact me. We all need help in staying focused on embracing the moment.
Bottom line for your business and your life is that embracing the moments – all of them – and committing to learning and growing from them will accelerate your business and personal goals. And, you’ll have more fun doing it.
Quote of the Day:
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person; he believed in me.”
~ Jim Valvano, late college basketball coach and analyst
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: Abandon Ship

Dan_Weedin_022I was on the ferry over the weekend when from my car I heard the announcement by the captain that the crew would be performing an abandon ship drill. They were recruiting passengers to help; I now wish I had volunteered since it might have helped this missive! Next time.
It dawned on me as I heard the drill being played out on the speaker, that the only way to really simulate an abandon ship scenario was to pressure test the crew on a regular run that includes real passengers. Of course, nobody was actually going to leave the boat, but the process of using real passengers on a real run makes the exercise as real as possible to prepare and train.
When was the last time you pressure tested your business continuity plan?
My question first assumes that you have a plan in place and that you’ve at some point run a crisis simulation exercise. In my experience, neither plan or past simulations are often in place for small and medium sized businesses. Why? The major reason is the age old excuse of lack of time.
It was important enough for the ferry system to run an exercise in the middle of a crowded weekend run. While they are required to do this, the point still stands. If a crisis like an emergency evacuation needs to be done well, it must be practiced and tested.
You have the same obligation for your business to protect property and more importantly, people. If you never pressure test your people to deal with a crisis, why would you expect they can do it?
I’ve helped many clients perform these exercises and without exception, each one comes away with areas to improve and an awareness of the critical nature of this practice.
So what’s stopping you from running your own “abandon ship” drill this summer? Here’s what you do. Schedule a time. Find someone to help you create and facilitate it. And then do it. Learn from the experience and reduce the chance of exacerbating a calamity because you weren’t prepared.
Bonus: Don’t run or operate a business? Do you have a home? When was the last time you pressure checked your personal evacuation plan to assure you and your loved ones (and pets – Captain Jack wanted me to remind you) are prepared to save lives?
Are you and your business prepared to abandon ship? How do you know?
Quote of the Day:
“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”
~ H. Jackson Brown Jr. – 20th century American author
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: The Next 100 Days

Dan_Weedin_022Consider this your very special Public Service Announcement…
The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the most dangerous days of the year for motorists in the United States. Are you prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones? Your employees? How do you know?
You probably can guess the causes of this statistic: Summer vacation traveling; kids out of school; weddings and other family events; more cars on the road trying to get places faster; more drinking and driving; more distracted driving; more road rage….
You get the picture. The problem is we all “get the picture” but very few of us take notice. Why? Because driving is second-nature to us. Most of us are fortunate enough to go out regularly and avoid serious calamity. The problem is when the activities mentioned above increase traffic, speed, and recklessness, those you most care about (including you) may not only be in peril, but be that cause of the peril!
If you are a business owner that has any size fleet of vehicles OR has employees using their own personal cars for your business regularly (e.g. sales people, contractors), then you’re ultimately responsible for any negligence that comes from them. While they may have been the one who made the poor decision that caused an accident, your name is on the truck literally and figuratively. You can go a long ways towards improving your position and reducing your risk of being the reason for a tragedy:
First, talk to all your employees about safe driving. Regardless of whether or not they drive for you. they are humans that you care about. Focus on distracted driving (especially anything that takes their hands off the wheel like texting or calling), keeping to the speed limit, and leaving early to avoid stress.
Second, schedule at least one safety training around safe driving. While these might often seem tedious, they actually work in raising awareness and reducing accidents.
Third, have consequences. By creating a minimum standard of driving record for those that do drive for you regularly, you are showing that you value the commitment to keeping everyone safer.
Final thought: Your loved ones are in cars every day, both as drivers and passengers. Don’t take for granted that these next 100 days are the same. The hard quantitative statistics don’t lie. And that commitment must start with you as a role model.
As the legendary sergeant on the 1980s television drama Hill Street Blues once proclaimed as the officers left every day on the job, “be careful out there…”
P.S. If you want even more information on how to help your drivers be more alert and safe not only now but into the future, contact me. Part of any good risk management program is prevention. I’m happy to help.
Quote of the Day:
“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”
~ Abraham Lincoln
© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.