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Living Thanksgiving Every Day

November 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I’m watching my alma mater, the University of Washington Huskies playing the University of Utah Utes in a wild and exciting game Saturday night. The Huskies down late in the game make an improbable comeback and are in a position to kick a winning field goal with only two seconds left. The kicker has had a tough year and had already missed an extra point and field goal in this game. With victory at stake, he calmly boots the game winner and is mobbed by his teammates.

It dawns on me as we head into Thanksgiving week, that this is a lesson on thanks.

Although true, it’s easy to point to family, friends, and health as things to be thankful for. As I get older, I become increasingly thankful for the journey. The journey includes struggle, resilience, good days, bad days, and mediocre days. The journey includes teammates and opponents and ultimately offers opportunities for redemption and glory. Sometimes we lose the battle as Utah did and sometimes we are victorious. But in all cases we are blessed with another day and opportunity until we won’t be and the journey ends.

Here’s what I’m thankful for: the journey, the struggle, the opportunities, the people, the redemption, the uncertainty and the fun. Honor the struggle and the journey and be thankful you’ve got the opportunity to live and craft your on journey and share it with those you want to.

Thank you for being a part of my journey and for continuing to allow me to be a part of yours.

Quote of the Week:

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, becasue I was a different person back then.”

~ from Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get your company culture stronger and more robust. Contact me to discuss how you can better and more quickly reach the results you want. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592.

Extra Points: Smells Like Entrepreneurial Spirit

November 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This is Global Entrepreneurship Week and we are going to focus our attention on the what I think requires a certain amount of crazy to do…start and run your own business. Additionally, I will share my ideas on the spirit required and you don’t have to start your own business to take advantage of it.

This country was built on the shoulders entrepreneurs. The railways and roads were built; commerce was conducted; and people were employed and able to live out the American Dream becasue of the courage and perseverance of men and women that chose to metaphorically hang up their own shingle, unleash their potential, and create their own destinies.

There’s a unique spirit that entrepreneurs have. It’s a unique blend of confidence, passion, skill, stubbornness, resilience, cleverness, and crazy. Being an entrepreneur is not for anyone that can’t (or won’t) deal with failure, conflict, drama, and the well-meaning unsolicited advise of family and friends that think they are making a mistake.

So what drives that spirit? After having worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs over the past three decades, I’ve observed it’s one main thing that propels people to traverse this often bumpy, but always fulfilling way of life: they simply won’t accept someone else being in control of their lives and futures. They’ve found a skill they they love, turned it into a business that employs people and serves clients, and ultimately creates the life they want to lead.

Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not blind to the reality that many business owners slip into situations where they become despondent, financially strapped, and sometimes have to give up the dream. While this is true, it is also true that the most successful entrepreneurs I’ve ever met have had the unabashed belief in themselves that they could overcome anything and opportunity was knocking daily.

Final thought: I promised to talk about entrepreneurial spirit in those that work for others. The most valuable employees are those that have taken an entrepreneurial spirit towards their work and why the do it. They treat the business as if it were their own, and that spirit catapults them higher and higher on the stairway of success (okay it’s playing on Pandora as I’m writing this and I was inspired…). All of us can share that olfactory sensation of entrepreneurial spirit as Nirvana once sung about. The task at hand is all yours, regardless of your station.

Do your embody that entrepreneurial spirit?

Note: Follow me on social media to get a daily dose of entrepreneurial spirit this week. I will also be posting on my blog. Finally, this week will also be the start of special discounted pricing on services that will last through the end of the year in some cases. If you have that spirit, invest in yourself and your business. It’s the best money and time you’ll spend.

Quote of the Week:

“Life is like the monkey bars: you have to let go to move forward. Once you make the decision to leap into entrepreneurship, be sure to loosen your grasp on old concepts so you can swing your way to new ones.”

~ Leah Busque, American businesswoman

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get your company culture stronger and more robust. Contact me to discuss how you can better and more quickly reach the results you want. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592.

Extra Points: Culture Club

November 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I spoke last week to a group of business owners and professionals on the topic of creating a strong company culture. We began by defining the term “culture.” It’s not an easy term to define; you can’t really quantify it and everyone has a different take on what it looks and feels like. The one constant is that everyone wants a good one!

A strong company culture is not defined by constant happiness, joy, and smiling faces. In fact, there will be many times where employees will – and should – disagree, get upset, challenge others, fight for agendas, and go home unhappy at an outcome. In my definition, culture is all about respect and resilience.

Let’s face it, every day in business and life poses challenges to overcome. Being part of a “team” means being able to rebound from shared defeat, keep your eyes on the goals, and be able to collaboratively work together respectfully for those goals even in the face of adversity (and occasional shouting matches). A strong leader is one that can model and create that behavior. A robust company culture needs adversity and struggle to grow. The measurement for you to keep an eye on is how quickly that rebound occurs.

Final thought: Company culture is a business continuity factor. A poor culture is far worse than a fire or cyber attack because it’s tough to reverse bad momentum. The best CEOs and business owners know how to stay on top of company culture to assure enhanced performance, productivity, and profit. How is your culture club?

Quote of the Week:

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

~ H. Jackson Browne, Jr. American Author

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get your company culture stronger and more robust. Contact me to discuss how you can better and more quickly reach the results you want. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592.

Extra Points: What Do You Smell?

October 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I walk the dogs on the same route every day. While it may seem boring, it’s safe, lighted, and frankly about the only place that really works for us. I tend to either listen to music, a book, or sometimes even use the opportunity to think about absolutely nothing. It’s very therapeutic for me, and gives the dogs (and me) good exercise.
That being said, you’d think the dogs might get bored. On Saturday, I took the dogs extra early as we’d missed a few days and I knew we had a busy weekend with family and this might be the only opportunity. It was raining but they cared less than I did, so I bundled up without my phone and decided to simply clear my mind and seek out some “quiet.”

It never ceases to amaze me how eager the dogs are to uncover new opportunities in what would seem a mundane environment. With the rain and the few days off, apparently a cornucopia of new olfactory opportunities abounded. Both Captain Jack and Bella made sure that nary a new sensation wasn’t inspected or at least urinated on.

We humans don’t have the incredible sense of smell that dogs do. Rather, we use our visual cues. That’s why we get easily bored. Unfortunately, this easily happens with our daily lives. Boredom leads to many professional perils for a business: Miscues, inattentiveness, lack or production, apathy, complacency, and turnover. Effective leaders are able to sniff this out like Captain Jack on the trail of a squirrel. While we might think it’s the responsibility of an employee to keep motivated, I think that it’s up to the leaders to follow the example of my dogs to sniff out opportunities to improve the people in their influence.
Yes, if you’re an employee for someone, you’ve got accountability, especially to yourself and your family. My message today is to CEOs, business owners, and leaders to provide an environment that stimulates growth, development, and performance. While the work may all look the same, every day’s opportunity is unique and at hand for those that have their noses pointed in the right direction.
Quote of the Week:

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”

~ John W. Gardner (American Educator)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help creating a business continuity plan for your business? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. The time to act is before you need it. Email me at dan@danweedin.com.

Extra Points: Comfortably Numb

October 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This weekend, Barb and I were ordering lunch at a famous marketplace in the International District of Seattle. I’d just placed my order for a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich with egg and bacon. While I was waiting for my lunch to be prepared, we were in line to order her a Thai lunch that she loves. Then it happened.

The fire alarm went off. It was evident by the ringing and flashing box on the wall labeled “fire alarm.” This place is huge and we, along with hundreds of other customers, simply listened to the blaring alarm as the the light strobe kept going. After what seemed to be about 15 seconds, we were ushered out by employees beseeching us to get out of the building. We all stood mere feet away from a building that potentially could be on fire! Even my lunch order got put on hold as the cooks sheepishly shuffled out into the street. All ended well with the fire department allowing  us back in after a short delay.

I remember vividly in grade school being taught what to do when a fire alarm sounds. You get out. Now. My wife, fellow customers of the market, and myself were basically all numb to the alarm. We’d become too comfortable thinking that it couldn’t be really dangerous. It would soon stop and we could go about our normal business. While fortunately in this case it wasn’t serious, what about the next time?

I suggest we’ve all become comfortably numb (apologies to Roger Waters and the Pink Floyd gang). A fire alarm not immediately heeded is just the tip of the iceberg. How many of us will numbly start our work week today bemoaning the start of a new week; mindlessly repeating tasks from the week before (same old, same old); and “ticking away the moments that make up a dull day, fritter and wast the hour sin an off-hand way…?” (Okay more Pink Floyd…I will stop…maybe)

Many of us are guilty of wasting days by being anxious, stressed, complacent, and maybe worst of all, bored. Regardless of whether we own, manage, or work in a business, each day is rife with opportunity. I got the chance to both hold and simply stare at my beautiful three-week old granddaughter. That time, that moment won’t come again. I soaked in every second of it. While more may be like it; that moment is singular. I’m ready for the next one…

Your moments are singular. Don’t waste them with worry, regret, or boredom. Find a way to embrace the day, honor the struggle, and find opportunity that won’t come this way again. The rinse and repeat with eager abandon.

Quote of the Week:

“Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun…”

~ Pink Floyd – Lyrics from the song, Time

Don’t miss the starting gun.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

 

Extra Points: Respect Is Your Responsibility

October 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Harvey Weinstein. Fired by his own company’s board of directors for allegations of sexual assault on many women – his employees – with whom he had power over their careers in his hands.

Cam Newton. Lambasted over social media for his callous comments to a female beat writer for his employer, suggesting it was “funny” that she was asking football questions of football players. His embarrassed employer, the Carolina Panthers spent the next couple of days trying to put out that fire.

These are two high profile situations this past week around the topic of discrimination. While the former is certainly more heinous and likely criminal, they both speak to responsibility employers have when dealing with employees and the potential consequences. These two cases made the headlines; the vast majority of them end up hidden inside the walls of small and medium-sized business around the country. These employees damaged by discrimination, harassment and bad behavior don’t get the same press, yet deal with the consequences of it.

Here’s the deal: Discrimination and liability for actions happens to all genders, to all races, to all religions, and to all ages. What your employees say and how they behave around each other is your concern as a leader. I’ve seen situations where lawsuits came up out of the blue and employers literally had no idea because they didn’t see the signs, or even because they were the problem.

Disaster recovery is often thought of as the steps taken by an organization after a devastating fire or natural disaster. Just as deadly to your company’s brand, reputation, and bottom line is a bad culture that doesn’t recognize the rights and respect of its employees. How your company treats, respects, hires, promotes, and manages conflict with your employees is paramount to your ultimate success. For starters, it’s the right thing to do. After that, it’s going to be those companies that create growth and prosperity for themselves and their employees.


Quote of the Week:

”Go after what you really love and find a way to make that work for you, and then you’ll be a happy person.”

~ Tom Petty

I’m so glad Tom Petty took that advice and made music for the last four decades. We never met, yet his music holds a large segment of the soundtrack of my life. Thanks for running down your dream, Mr. Petty…

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help creating an emergency crisis plan for your business or family? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. The time to act is before you need it. Email me

Extra Points: What Legacy Are You Leaving?

October 2, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week, my wife and I were blessed with the addition of our granddaughter, Eleanor Grace. Needless to say, it was one of the best moments in our lives. We couldn’t stop just gazing at her. It’s surreal when your daughter becomes a mother and you gain an addition to your family.

Barb and I have two wonderful daughters that have grow into terrific young adults. As I contemplate the enormity of that simple statement, it becomes clear that one of the redeeming parts of growing older is the genetic and personal legacy you leave. We look at our family and realize our DNA and the people we are live on through our children and grandchildren.

Businesses also leave a legacy. Strong enterprises produce a healthy and content work environment for employees and their families; happy clients that are better off for having worked with them; and a community that benefits from their success. Like parents growing children into strong people and productive citizens, CEOs and company leaders have the task of growing strong company cultures and a legacy of productive enterprise. And also like parents, protecting that legacy becomes a primary objective that involves strategy, implementation, and accountability.

What kind of legacy are you leaving for your company, it’s employees, and your clients?

Quote of the Week:

”It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

~ Frederick Douglass

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help creating an emergency crisis plan for your business or family? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. The time to act is before you need it. Email me