In Plain Sight Behind Closed Doors

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Kansas City Chief in an exciting National Football League playoff game, sending them to the AFC Championship match up against the New England Patriots. After the game, Head Coach Mike Tomlin gave a rousing speech to his team; full of praise for their efforts and encouraging them to now move on and pull off the upset of the favored Patriots team the next week.

Coach Tomlin’s inspired words included a few expletives and exhortations that are normal in post-game locker rooms at any level of play. They are normally expressed behind closed doors and private. That’s what Coach Tomlin thought they were. Turns out that star player Antonio Brown was off to the side of the locker room recording everything on the moment on Facebook LIVE for the world to see.

Aside from the fact that it’s a violation of both team and NFL rules, there are huge issues here that pertain to your business.

  1. There was a well-communicated rule about the privacy of the locker room. What’s said within the walls (before the press is allowed in) was for those players and coaches. Brown blatantly and selfishly violated that rule using a live stream social media platform. What rules do you have about privacy in your company? What rules apply to the sharing of: employee compensation, bonuses, disciplinary actions, intellectual property, proprietary information, client and prospect lists, technology, and other “classified” materials? How do you know your “locker room” is safe?
  2. If you’ve seen the stream (now playing at your local Internet), you see Brown is around the corner from the coach and other players. He’s not listening or being part of the team. He’s more concerned about preening in front of the camera for 18 minutes (45 seconds of Tomlin’s speech included). While your employee meetings may not use the same format, how many of your employees are listening when you speak? Ever see any vacant eyes, distracted stares, peeking at text messages and email under the desk? 
  3. Antonio Brown is one of the star players. From all I’ve heard, he’s a hard worker and good teammate. He got caught up in the moment, thought of himself first, and then willingly broke rules. How many of your best and brightest employees are capable of bad behavior that could damage your company in some way? Don’t say “none.” I’ve had a situation where a client’s bookkeepers stole tens of thousands of dollars from under his nose over the course of several years before getting caught. Smart and successful business owner (just as Tomlin is a smart and successful coach) who placed trust in someone.

Here’s today’s takeaways:

  1. Don’t get caught being looking behind every rock for an employee behaving badly. The majority are doing the right things for you. However, being consistent in your message about what is expected and required is critical; even if you think you’ve got it under control.
  2. Your private company conversations, resources, information, etc. are all more at risk than ever. Cyber issues – whether it be crime or just social media – can put your company and your reputation at risk. You need to have a plan.
  3. Develop strong leaders to police yourselves. Give them autonomy to be your eyes and ears.

For most small and mid-size companies, these actions rarely get taken due to time and energy constraints. This is an investment of your time, energy, and money. In order to avoid both your “dirty and clean laundry” from being exposed to the world (and your clients), then you need to create a resiliency plan. Doing this will keep you from yelling expletives in the privacy of your office!

Need help creating a resiliency plan to prevent and mitigate crisis, and protect your reputation and profits? Contact me at (360) 271-1592 or and let’s talk.


© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Unleashed 101 – Defining Your Yard

Captain JackI write and speak frequently about maximizing your talent by having the courage to bust through the “open gate.” I’ve recently been adding a number of people to my blog, my Twitter (@danweedin), Linked In, and new Pinterest accounts. Let’s do a little redux on some definitions to make sure you know what I’m talking about…

Dogs love to get outside of their yards. Whenever there is an open gate, they have no fear in running through it to search for new adventures. We as humans are much more “careful.”

The yard you hang out in is really a metaphor for your life. Where you are comfortable; where you feel most safe; where you can always go back to as a default. It’s also where you fear straying from because of the unknown. Fear is the primary factor that “leashes” you in the fence. Many people talk a good game to others. they say things like…

“When I have enough money and security, I will…”

“When the timing in my life is just right, I will…”

“When I get enough experience, I will…”

“When my kids are through college, I will…”

Let’s be honest, there is NEVER a perfect time to take that open gate. In actuality, that gate may close while you’re waiting for the perfect time and may never open again.

I remember in college wanting to take a course on the Civil War from a professor that was not only nationally recognized on this topic, but he was really good. I was currently in one of his classes and saw that the next semester he was going to offer the Civil War class again. I balked because I had another requirement that at some point I had to get out of the way, so I played it safe and registered and took the required class. After the semester, my old professor retired and the Civil War class was never run again. The requirement was (and probably still is) offered every semester. I lost my opportunity.

The statements I reference above have been spoken by you and me at times. In some cases, there may be some validity. In the vast majority of them, they are excuses formed by some fear. My goal is to help you identify that fear and decide whether the open gates offered to you every day are going wasted for lack of confidence or fear. Dogs always know how to find their way home back to the yard. That’s why they have confidence to leave it.

What about you?

P.S. My LIVE, ON AIR weekly Google Hangout resumes next Monday at 12 PM Pacific. Free! All you have to do is show up. You will be glad you did. Click on the link to learn more.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed Case Study #3 – Can You Make the Chair Turn?


I enjoy watching NBC’s The Voice on television. I like it better than American Idol for several reasons (including that they boast my Colombian paisana, Shakira as a judge, but I digress)….

The four judges (also including Adam Levine, Usher, and Blake Shelton) listen to just the voice of the singer in the blind trials. That singer can only impress with their voice. Their looks, their dress, their dance skills, won’t help them. Just their voice. The judges that want to coach them then turn their chairs around within the 90 seconds allotted. If there is more than one, they “fight” to influence the singer to choose them as a coach.

Two important things that you need to know based on this show becasue it can make you better in whatever profession you are in…

1. These singers get 90 seconds to make a BIG impression. That’s it, that’s all. They need to be supremely influential and an object of interest with their most powerful gift (or “value”). Think about your business. You also need to be influential and become an object of interest to your audience quickly. While you may have more than 90 seconds, you don’t have long to engage and capture their attention. Whether you’re speaking publicly to a large group or having a first meeting with a prospective client, your “voice” needs to be more than just heard in those first few minutes. You need to turn a chair.

2. Coaches often duke it out in trying to influence a young artist to choose them as the coach. Even though much of it is based in good humor, there is always a strong plea based on the talents and how they align with a coach. If I was an aspiring country artist, why wouldn’t I choose Blake Shelton? If I was a young R&B artist, Usher would make the most sense. Shakira is skilled in not only music, but choreography and building a global base. Adam Levine would attract the eclectic and rock side. From whom do you seek advice from? Is it from people that are where you currently are (peers), or is it from people that have achieved what you want to achieve and can quickly guide you there? Mastermind groups are fine for what they are – accountability and support. Everyone needs a “coach” that will take them to their desired state rapidly. That’s what these young artists on The Voice want, and that’s what these judges deliver.

Look, if you want to accelerate your ability to be influential and grow your business, you’d better get really good at the first 90 seconds. The best way to do that is to get coaching from someone that can help you maximize your talent.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed Case Study #2 – Open Gates

Just barely over 4 years ago, I was at Alan Weiss’s Mentor Summit in San Francisco at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel overlooking one of the most beautiful cities in theSF View from our room world. Barb had come with me and right after the morning session on that Thursday, I shared with her some information Alan had given us. He was starting a “Master Mentor” program where he would personally train qualified individuals in his community to mentor and coach other consultants, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. Along with the training, the program included lifetime mentoring access to him. This by itself was worth it’s weight in gold because Alan is NOT slowing down. The investment was significant (5 figures), yet the return on that investment appeared to be great. It was an open gate for me. As I sat at the edge, I did what all smart husbands should do…I consulted Barb. (Captain Jack stops to consult no one. That’s why he often gets into trouble, which rarely stops him. He is not risk averse.)

Barb asked me one question, “You mean you haven’t given him your credit card yet?” Uh, no. Remember, smart husband. She pushed the gate open and told me to “get out.” She knew that in every interaction I’d ever had with Alan, the ROI was big. The bigger the investment, the exponentially greater the reward. In the 2 years that followed, I quadrupled that investment. I stopped counting since then, but suffice it to say it was a wise choice to bolt through that gate.

Too many business professionals question the perspicacity in truly investing in themselves. They consider the downside (financial investment) without taking into account the upside (growth, development, income, discretionary time, happiness, new horizons). While I agree that decisions like mine need to be thoughtful (and sometimes discussed with others), it doesn’t take smart people long to make decisions. If you truly believe you will be dramatically improved by bolting through the gate, then do it. There is never a perfect time, and waiting may adversely affect your results.

Food For Thought: You probably use a financial adviser to help you with your investments. Perhaps you have a 401K or some other vehicle meant to increase your portfolio. If you’re like most people, you automatically invest what will amount to thousands of dollars annually into a fund that you truly have no idea what’s in it. You might keep track of it when you get your statements, but your trust your adviser to advise you. Why is that many people are less willing to bet on themselves than on the dollars they invest almost blindly in for their future? The reality is, they are the better bet to make.

You get open gates thrown at you all the time. Sometimes you will even take them. I hear people who proclaim they are gun-shy becasue one of those gates didn’t work out as well as planned. That happens. That should never stop them from trying other gates or else they’ve allowed that one poor gate to stifle them forever. If you keep the concepts of betting on yourself with high upsides and low downsides in mind, then you will grow your professional portfolio at a staggering pace.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Open Gate Opportunity30 Day Sprint to Success. It’s so brand new it still has that new car smell….

Unleashed Case Study #1: Experiences

Tomorrow is the massive celebration and parade for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. I’m 49 years old and the last parade happened for the Kelli and Me_SafecoSupersonics in 1979, when I was 14. I also lived an hour and a half away, didn’t drive, and going was just not possible. Today, it’s a different story. My buddy and I are hopping the ferry to 4th Avenue, find a great spot to watch, and then perhaps watch the ceremony from inside the stadium at a local watering hole. I can’t wait.

The Seattle area public schools should give all the kids a day off. I’m a part of the public school community and I feel like I can support that. Why? Because the memories this one day will create will absolutely trump one day of school. My daughter Kelli says that a photo we have together attending to the ground breaking ceremony for Safeco Field is one of her all-time favorite memories (see photo). It was March 8, 1997 on a cold Saturday afternoon. You often only get one chance for an enduring experience. Too many of you miss out on it because you’re not willing to cross that open gate. (Note: This is beyond a football team. Your experience might be seeing Paul McCartney in concert or Bill Cosby perform live, both of which I’ve done. Play along with me…)

Don’t pass up chances to enhance your life’s experiences. Take the chance sometimes to take a vacation day; upgrade to first-class; or take the penthouse suite on a trip with your spouse.  The downside is low, and the upside is huge.

P.S. Before people get all fired up about this one case study and cry foul about work, responsibilities, blah, blah, blah – Sometimes you can’t. I get it. My point is that there are many times a month that you do get chances to “experience” life and some of the fun things about it, and you hesitate. Jumping off my soap box…

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved