Extra Points: Of Bush & Marley

Dan_Weedin_022I admit it.

Until recently, I took for granted the legacy of George H.W. Bush. In the 1980s, I voted for him as part of the Reagan ticket. I also voted for him for President. I knew him as a long-time politician and patrician. I knew he was a contemporary of my parents and like my dad, served in World War II.

It was when I read Flags of Our Fathers a decade ago that a new view of George Bush emerged. The book detailed his war record, his rescue in the Pacific, and his deep sense of grief for the loss of his fellow pilots 50 years previous. The author also wrote about Bush’s deep-rooted loyalty and love for his family, and the reciprocity by them.

This was never more evident that at his funeral last week. While there was much adulation for his public service, the memories and stories of him as a family man and human were ubiquitous. His care and concern for people crossed party lines and was seen clearly in the faces of his family and friends.

Then my mind did a crazy thing as it often does; I thought about another funeral that gets recreated this time each year. One of my all-time favorite movies is Charles Dickens’ The Christmas Carol. In my mind, I pictured the Patrick Stewart-played Scrooge attending the funeral of his business partner Jacob Marley. Outside of the Reverend and one other, Scrooge was the only attendee. We know the rest of the story.

Here’s my point: we all traverse life with the constant opportunity to touch people and change lives. Marley and Scrooge (until his reclamation) chose to be selfish; to be uncivil; and to bring sadness and despair in their “touch.” Bush was clearly a husband, father, and grandfather first. In spite of what must have been an incredibly busy life, he found the ability to touch his family, his colleagues from both parties, and his friends in incredible ways.

Whether one cared for George H.W. Bush as President, there seems to be nary a person that didn’t respect and like him as a human. Bottom line: this season of the year is always a good time for reflection. Watching the Bush funeral reminds me to continue to set high standards not only on myself professionally, but even more so as a human. I hope this brief memo might cause you to do the same.

After all, as Jacob Marley reminds us, “mankind is our business.”

Quote of the Day:

“There is nothing new in the world except the history you don’t know.”

~ Harry S. Truman

© 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: Muscle Memory

Dan_Weedin_022When I coached high school basketball, one of the concepts I taught was muscle memory. In changing fundamental mechanics – like shooting a basketball – it takes 21 consecutive days to create “muscle memory.” If you stop the consecutive and consistent training when trying to change mechanics, you will lose all you gained and will have to re-start the process. Muscle memory is a crucial concept in changing mechanics in sports.

The concept is the same in your business and in your personal life.

What changes do you want to make in your business? Ask for more referrals? Improve communication skills for leaders? Grow your skills or “smarts” in your industry? Regardless of whether you want personal improvement or that of your employees, implementing long-term improvement while optimizing your investment of time and money requires daily discipline. Just like muscle memory of 21 days is necessary to change basketball shooting skills, daily discipline around change is also a requirement for changed business practices.

While we are talking about change implementation, the concept applies to our personal lives. Eating healthier, increasing hours of sleep, exercising more, and advancing skills (e.g. learning a new language) might be on your list. No matter what you want to do better, if you want to create a better life it takes more than simply identification. It requires muscle memory.

Time to flex those muscles…

Quote of the Day:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

© 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.

Blocking & Tackling

Dan_Weedin_022It was a satisfying Saturday in watching my alma mater, the University of Washington Huskies defeat our cross-state rivals the Washington State Cougars and retain the Apple Cup for the 6th consecutive year. With apologies to my WSU pals (well, not really), I feel obligated to create a point from the victory…so here it is.

After the game WSU coach Mike Leach summed up why he felt Washington prevailed. He succinctly stated that the Huskies, “blocked better than us, and tackled better than us.” He was right, and he also offers a reminder to our business and lives.

Blocking and tackling are the fundamentals of offensive and defensive football, respectively. The lack of execution in one of these might cause a team to lose; in both it’s nearly always fatal. The same is true in business. Regardless of your position or industry, you have fundamentals that mirror blocking and tackling in football. These skills extend from decision-making at the executive level; to influencing skills at the managerial level; to process skills at the implementation level. Complacency often sets in with the best of us; we block and tackle every day and often forget how important staying sharp and focused on these critical skills are. What are the “blocking and tackling” fundamentals in your business and career? How well are you and your employees performing daily? If you’re not “winning” as much as you’d like, check your fundamentals.

Final thought. Blocking and tackling carries into our personal lives as well. If you want to improve your relationships then hone your communicators by listening and civility. If you want to improve your health, then blocking and tackling morphs into eating habits and exercise. If you want to reduce drama and conflict, focus on positive thinking, empathy, and talking.

Blocking and tackling wins football games. They also help you win in business and life.

On three. Ready…break!

Quote of the Day:

“The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.”

~ Lewis Grizzard (20th century American writer)

© 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.

Thanksgiving Special

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Being Thankful.

It’s pretty easy to immediately think of the things I’m thankful for every Thanksgiving. My beautiful wife of 32 years; my children that have grown into wonderful adults (and I include my son-in-law when I reference children); my perfect granddaughter; my family and friends; my business…. you get the picture. While these people I’m grateful for are foremost in my mind, I’m often guided to think of other areas of thanksgiving.

I’m grateful for the countless things in my life that I daily take for granted:

I was born in a first-world country that offers freedoms, resources, and opportunity to chart my own course in life.

I was born to parents who provided me with unconditional love and the income that could send me to good schools to get an education unlike what millions of children at that time (and still today) can’t even fathom.

I’ve never had to find clean water; been anxious over my next meal; or worry about discrimination or injustice. I’ve had the advantage of the best medical care possible and education to know how to live a long and happy life.

While I have great faith, I also know serendipity is involved. I could have been born anywhere in the world where all those amenities I described wouldn’t exist. While I’m thankful for me, it’s a sobering reminder of the plight of many.

As I write this, it dawns on me that this month, I’m celebrating 25 years in Rotary. Rotary has been a constant reminder to me of how my life is the exception; how I’m in the 1% of the world’s population based on when, where, and to whom I was born. While I made my own decisions which helped me to where I am, those were made simpler by my education and those that mentored me. I’m thankful to be a Rotarian so that in some small way, I am able to give back and support people who aren’t as fortunate as me.

Final thought. This memo today is meant to inspire. You are getting this because you’ve been placed in a similar position to me. Be thankful not only this week, but every day and do something small daily to help improve the condition of someone else. Very often, that might simply be kindness. My guess is that every one of you do this, and it’s a friendly reminder that we should all be thankful of where we are and how we got here. And a reminder that we have a chance to take that thankfulness and help someone else.

As I conclude, my sincere thanks to all of you for being faithful readers and followers of my work. I am grateful for you.

Quote of the Day:

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”

~ Helen Keller

© 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: Veterans Day Special

Dad_DonWeedinFirst published on Veterans Day 2016…

It was February 11, 1942. Just lightly over two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Don Weedin – who celebrated his 17th birthday just the day before – dropped out of school at Bremerton High School.

That morning, he boarded a ferry with his parents and enlisted in the United States Navy. He needed his parents permission because he was under 18 years old. He wanted to go on his birthday as he was eager to enlist; she made him stay and celebrate his birthday with his family. His older brother Max Jr. was already in the war. Grandma feared that neither would come back to her.

Dad served in World War II and for a total of 30 years. He loved the Navy and would have stayed forever if he was allowed to. Growing up as a youngster in the 1970s, the attitude towards veterans and those serving was very different. It was post-Vietnam and at least in my memory, being in the service didn’t have the same level of gratitude. I never could understand why Dad didn’t have a diploma, but rather something called a GED. It wasn’t until I became an adult that the immense nature of his sacrifice began to sink in. Fortunately for me, Dad lived a long life and I was able to express to him my sincere gratitude for his service. He was part of “The Greatest Generation” that Tom Brokaw wrote about. Where once I was ambivalent as a child, today I’m proud.

We all have stories like this to share. My family has deep ties to the armed forces – my father-in-law and sister-in-law were Navy; my brother was Army; my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were Coast Guard; and I have a nephew currently serving in the Air Force. Dad was able to trace our family lineage back to three direct descendant grandfathers that served in the Revolutionary War.

Veterans Day is unique because it’s a day to honor all veterans. Dad was always strong in his belief that Memorial Day was to honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. Veterans Day is clearly a day to celebrate everyone that ever served.

So for those family members that served or serve – thank you.

To my friends from high school and college that served or serve – thank you.

To those that I will never meet but know that because of you, I get to live in a free country and be able to raise a family and run my own business – thank you.

God Bless America and all veterans….

P.S. My most special thanks to Don Weedin, my dad, who finally got to graduate with his granddaughter Mindy and get the diploma he so richly deserved in 2007 (see below)

high school grad

Quote of the Day:

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever the cost.”

~ Arthur Ashe

© 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: Simple & Speed is King

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week I ordered a salad and smoothie from the local drive-thru cafe and salad shop. I paid online for custom-order lunches. They sent me an immediate email acknowledging my order and letting me know that another email would soon arrive as to when my order would be ready. That came about one minute later and gave me a “ready time” that was seven minutes away. That was enough time to jump in my car, drive about half a mile, and pick up my meals. I was back home in three minutes.

It’s time to vote this week. In my state, I already voted. We are an all-mail in state voting system; in other words – no standing in lines, no driving to polling places, no traffic, no issues with picking up kids, no forgetting, no excuses. More importantly, it’s easy and fast.

On the other hand, three organizations I care about and am actively involved in all make me write a check for annual or monthly dues. In every case (unless they are keeping it a best kept secret – but then again I asked), each organization has no method for paying with a credit card online.

I see this same malady among many small businesses who are trying hard to compete with larger brethren. They don’t accept credit cards or have minimums; they make people stand in long lines; they give broad time frames for service; and they offer little to no real-time communications.

The problem is they are placing the burden on the customer or client. In a world where simplicity and convenience is king; and where speed to market or to pay is everything (see Amazon payment to home in two days or less); the adamant attitude of making the client guess, wait, or work harder is the quickest way to organizational demise. Small business actually has the advantage of nimbleness and speed, yet time after time I see many remain in the mode of dictating to customers and clients. If a small business selling salads and smoothies can do it, so can you.

If you aren’t concerned about being relevant, then continue to be hard to do business with. If you want to take advantage of your nimbleness and personal touch, use inexpensive and easy to access tools and resources to make your clients happy to do business with you.

Quote of the Day:

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

~ Mignon McLaughlin

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Scared of Change?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40My earliest memory of Halloween is dressing up as Captain America as a young boy and trick or treating with my parents. For a long period of time, that was how Halloween was celebrated.

As I grew older as a teenager, the celebration style changed. Trick or treating ended and hanging out with friends became the norm. As young adults, Halloween became about parties and costumes came back, although often with more creativity. The trend in change continued through having children that went through the same process. For me, Halloween is still fun for adult parties and watching my granddaughter start her own process.

So where am I going with this?

Businesses and careers have cycles of change as they mature and grow. In order to stay relevant and cutting edge, it’s important to be innovative and open to change. Halloween can’t stay the same through our own maturation process or else we look foolish. Likewise, if our businesses and careers never evolve, the danger of obsolescence and looking foolish is just as real.

Final thought: As I watched my children and now my granddaughter moving through their own, I am committed to letting them enjoy their time doing it their way. In business, companies should be mentoring and coaching, while allowing for autonomy, failures, and individuality.

Change is necessary for growth, maturation, and rebirth of companies and careers. That way you can assure both tricks and treats in your business and career.

Quote of the Week:

Research is creating new knowledge.

~ Neil Armstrong

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: On Demand Economy

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Barb and I enjoy binge watching television shows. Companies like Netflix and Hulu (as well as networks that create subscriber access to all their shows and then some) have created an “on demand” lifestyle of entertainment. The only live television I watch is sports, especially because it’s nearly impossible to keep scores and results a secret with social media and pop-up notifications. We have full control of what we watch, when we watch, and for how long we watch.

The same is true with activities like getting transportation (Uber and Lyft); finding restaurant reviews (Yelp and Trip Adviser); and finding someone to deliver food from your favorite restaurant (Uber Eats and Amazon). Technology has provided the opportunity to live “on demand.”

Because of this phenomenon, an On Demand Economy is growing and beginning to create a business model for aspiring entrepreneurs.

It’s not unusual for employees to have a “side hustle,” where they create or buy into a product or service where they gain revenue outside of their work. Multi-Level marketing companies have fostered this for years, and now opportunities created by Lyft, Uber Eats, and other on demand businesses make it easy for people to work when they want, for as long as they want. These entrepreneurs have created an “on demand” business to cater those that want services “on demand!”

Take a look at your business. What “on demand” options do you offer? If banks can offer on demand check deposits, then you can find a way to create offer on demand services to your clients. The reality is that today it seems like a cool thing to have. In five years, you’ll be obsolete if you don’t offer it.

Final thought: I believe all people living in 1st World economies like ours have an opportunity to create their own income outside of a job. It’s never been easier than before to innovate and offer your unique talents in an on demand economy (as long as you’re not contractually restricted from it). The On Demand Economy is on the rise and will be a wave that carries new entrepreneurs and ingenious companies. Will you be one of them?

Quote of the Week:

“Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

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: Warning Signals

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This past weekend, we rented a van to help our daughter get furniture for her new place. I used the application system to check out the van and get the key before the place opened up. To my surprise, upon starting up the van, a warning light came on indicating the the right rear tire was low and needed air.

Great.

I knew my local Les Schwab tire dealership was open and took it over to have the professionals look at it. The service they provided was immediate and quick (and that’s why I remain a loyal client). Turned out that the monitor wasn’t working and the tires were all good to go. The annoying thing is that the warning light stayed on the entire day. While I had plenty of piece of mind about it thanks to the help of my friendly tire guy, I had to mentally work hard to ignore the ongoing false warning.

As we work and live day to day, warning signs pop up all the time. You might notice that an employee is acting unusual right before they give their notice; you might get a scratchy throat before the nasty cold hits; or you might get a nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach before embarking on a bold move or difficult conversation.

Here’s the deal – warning signs are there to protect and warn us. Often, the best thing to do is to seek out some council from a professional (like my tire guy) in order to gain wisdom or just peace of mind. Warning signs can hang around well after the initial indication and often these are self-inflicted. The aggravation I felt about looking at the dash indicator was on me and threatened to negatively impact my mood for the remainder of the trip.

Warning signs are good to heed and educate yourself about, yet they should never be an obstacle. Identify the warning signs when they come up and then make a decision (often with that wise council from a trusted partner) on how to proceed; then commit and confidently move forward without worrying about past lights flashing in your face.

Quote of the Week:

The greatest teacher, failure is.

~ Yoda to Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi (guess what we watched this weekend?)

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.