Extra Points for the week – Own Your Brain!

This week’s focus point –

Own Your Brain.

Recently, my family has had a challenge with one of our professional service providers. The conflict has caused us to end the relationship. This is never a fun thing, however sometimes necessary. Often, problems come after the fact…in your own brain!

Any conflict can grow it’s own life within your mind. You can stew, sweat, relive, stress, and cogitate over the entire issue. That person who has caused you grief can continue to live in your brain with your permission. And, the rent is steep! By allowing that issue to live on, you don’t get to focus on things you want and need to focus on.

The solution? Simple. Get over it! Do what you have to do to get it out of your system quickly. Yell, scream, gird your loins, vent to a friend, whatever. Once you’ve done that get on with your life. Your brain, your mental health, and your quality of life will thank you.

This week’s quote – “When you allow bitterness to stay in your heart, you allow that person to rent your brain”
– Author unknown

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points for the Week – Capitalizing on Opportunity

This week’s focus point

Capitalize on Opportunity.

This past week, the assisted living facility where my Dad lived when he passed away, held a memorial service for all those residents who passed in the prior 6 months. As people shared stories, one gentleman who worked at the facility lamented that he wished he could have known some of these folks “in their prime.” To have built relationships and known people when they were full of live, energy, and action.

The comment made me think. We have that opportunity now with the people we live, work, and socialize with every day. It’s one thing to look back with “what ifs” when there is nothing you could have done about it. However, it’s tragic to look back when you didn’t capitalize on the opportunity to make relationships, take risks, try new things, meet new people, or experience life.

Carpe Diem!

This week’s quote – “The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.
– Author unknown

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Being “Top of Mind”

This week’s focus point
business
Top of Mind.

I met a guy named Bill several years ago as a member of a home builders association. Nice guy, fellow Rotarian from another club, and someone who sold something I didn’t need – mini storage pods. I didn’t even ever have anyone to refer him to. I’ve seen Bill on a regular basis over the years and he’s always “reminded” me about what he does. Never thought I’d need his services. Until last week.

My mother is moving in with us after my dad’s death last month. We’ve just “inherited” a whole lot of new furniture and sundry things that are important for Mom. We now have an overflow of large items. Bill was top of mind. The pod was delivered this week and I just finished loading most of it.

Are you top of mind in your business? People may not need you now, or even in 3 years. But when they DO need you, are you the first person they think of? That’s your goal. You can’t anticipate needs, but you can position yourself to be thought of when that need does arrive.

This week’s quote – “Smooth seas never made a skillful mariner.
– The wake-up message on my alarm on my phone

Extra Points – Preparedness

This week’s focus point –

Preparedness.

I just learned of the death of a fellow Rotarian last Friday. A tragic event, especially because he wasn’t very old. He died of a heart attack while at work and efforts to resuscitate him failed. He will be missed.

We spend so much time at work that chances are pretty good that many people will die or be in distress during the course of being on the job. Are you prepared to help in the event that you’re in a position to help? Being prepared for a crisis, including the opportunity to save someone’s life, is part of being an employer, a fellow employee, and a human being. You should be trained in CPR/First Aid/Defibrillator skills so that you can be prepared to be a hero for someone.

It may not always be successful, however it just might give another person a chance to live. What a tremendous gift. I know because several years ago, I had to give the Heimlich maneuver to my Mom when she was choking during dinner.  Years of training helped me to act in a way to help her. I encourage you to do the same.

Who knows, the life you save may be one of your family or friend.

This week’s quote – “There’s lots of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health they haven’t the time to enjoy it.”
– Josh Billings – 19th century American humorist

Extra Points – Consistency

This week’s focus point
keyboard
Consistency.

I play my daughter Mindy a word game called “Words with Friends” on our iPhone. It’s basically Scrabble ® and we get to compete even though we’re 2400 miles apart. Yesterday, I got the biggest point total in one move that I can ever remember – 96 points! The word was “Zero,” with the “Z” being a triple letter all wrapped up in a triple word score. In the end, I lost the game, even though my point total was very high. You see, one humongous score can get lost with a bunch of low or mediocre scores the rest of the way.

It’s the same story as the tortoise and the hare. In business, you need to be consistent. The huge sale may give you a temporary rush of adrenaline and energy, but if you do nothing else of great substance the rest of the year, you may end of losing the game. Big scores are terrific as long as they are wrapped around consistent “play” the rest of the way. Don’t get sucked into false euphoria…play the game the same way consistently, and like the fabled tortoise, you will finish strong.

This week’s quote – “It is not the face of the scorpion that you should fear; he stings with his tail
– St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Extra Points – Leadership

This week’s focus point
piano
Leadership.

Barb and I attended the Seattle Symphony with friends this past weekend. It was the first one I’ve been to, and I walked away with a much greater appreciation of the role of the conductor.

I certainly knew that the conductor was the maestro, the leader. However, watching in person I really got an “up close and personal” view of the importance of the conductor. Gerard Schwartz was vibrant, charismatic, seemed to be one with the music, and exacted a real presence for his team. I always thought the conductor was most important in practice, however I stand corrected. He is also critical to an amazing performance as he leads with his personality and passion.

Business leaders lead with personality and passion, too. Or at least they’d better! Whichever way they go, it’s obvious to everyone else both internally and externally. Like a great symphony conductor, a leader is the maestro for his or her organization. Their team will follow based on their vibrancy, charisma, and presence.

This week’s quote – “A leader is a dealer in hope.”
– Napoleon Bonaparte

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points on Sacrifice

This week’s focus point
music
Sacrifice.

Last Friday was my Dad’s funeral. In the audience was someone I hadn’t expected to see. She is a parishioner at our church and was very close with my parents. However, her husband had told me she was scheduled for a special cancer treatment that day at the University of Washington and regrettably couldn’t make it. Certainly understandable.

However, there was Brenda – early – at Dad’s funeral. She left early from her treatment, still with the tubing for the treatment in place, in order to be there for this occasion. She sacrificed her needs to be there for others.

How do we sacrifice in our daily lives, both professionally and personally? Seeing Brenda there made me ask myself this question. Sacrifices of a huge nature often end up on front pages of newspapers and newscasts. The most common sacrifices, the ones we often don’t even see, are played out every day by you, by co-workers, by employees, and by businesses. They go unnoticed and unrewarded….thus the definition of sacrifice. I challenge you this week to keep your eyes pealed for those sacrifices that you see from others, and the ones that you do yourself.

This week’s quote – “He who gives what he would readily throw away, gives without generosity; for the essence of generosity is in self-sacrifice.”
– Henry Taylor (English Dramatist 1800-1886)

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Communication

This week’s focus point

Communication.
coaching
I just saw an amazing story on ESPN’s college basketball program on the Gallaudet Lady Bison. Gaullaudet is a Division 3 basketball program that is like every other women’s college team, with one exception. They are all deaf. The school is solely for the deaf and extremely hard of hearing. Their coach can hear, but he’s tasked with the difficult job of communicating in their language; in a game that is built around communication. Puts a whole new meaning to your players not listening to you!

Somehow, this team is successful on the court because they’ve found a way to communicate with each other and with their leader through the ups and downs and emotions of a basketball game and season. As a high school basketball coach myself, I find this remarkable and a lesson for all of us who can hear. Perhaps we can often be more “deaf” to communicating in our workplace, with our clients and prospects, with our colleagues, and with our family. Perhaps we are talking too “loudly” to actually be heard. Communicating with each other requires all parties to be engaged and committed. There’s no better example than the Lady Bison.

These women and coaching staff have found a way to make what seems nearly impossible possible. What’s our excuse?

This week’s quote –“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”
– My wonderful wife Barb sent this to me. She doesn’t know who said it so I’ll give credit to her:)

Extra Points – Encouragement and Accountability

This week’s focus point

Encouragement and Accountability.
running
I recently bought a new pair of Nike running shoes to work in tandem with my new iPhone app, Nike + i Pod. It’s a wonderful invention where my shoes (or at least the little sensor in the shoes) talks to my i Phone while I run, tracking miles, pace, and calories. I then download the information through i Tunes into the Nike web site and between the web site and my phone, keep a record of my training runs. For a guy who needs every motivation to run, its great accountability!

The last run I had on Friday, I was really on a great pace. I ran the farthest yet since I purchased the shoes (and frankly, longer than I can remember). At the end ot the workout, Lance Armstrong’s voice came through my ear buds – “Hi, this is Lance Armstrong. Congratulations! That was your longest run yet!” Okay, a little hokey, but I liked it. For some reason, that small encouragement, gave me a boost of energy.

Accountability and encouragement help in all aspects of life – training, business, and family. In business, we are kidding ourselves if we think we can be brilliant by ourselves. We all need support; we all need someone to talk to; and we all need someone to hold us accountable, push us, and provide that small encouragement regularly to stay on track. We need that person who has “been there and done that” to guide us through our journey. That’s why the most successful people in business all use coaches and mentors at some level. I’ve had several in my professional and personal life, and always will.

What about you?

This week’s quote –“The 1 % Solution. If you improve 1% a day, in 70 days you’ll be twice as good.”
Alan Weiss, my professional mentor and the Million Dollar Consultant

Extra Points on Honesty

This week’s focus point

Honesty. Integrity. Trust.

Yesterday, my wife Barb and I stopped after church at our local Starbucks to grab a mocha and relax. After coming out to the car, I noticed the rear passenger tire was really low. I mean really low. Fortunately, we were next door to a Wal-Mart that has a tire store. We went in and the tire guy found that there was a slow leak caused by a puncture. He was honest and said he didn’t know if it was repairable, but would know more after looking at it closer. We left instructions that if it could be repaired, great ($10), but if not go ahead and put on a new tire that we picked out ($100). When we checked back an hour later, we found out the tire indeed was repairable and the total cost for us was $10.

That’s the way it’s supposed to work, but doesn’t always. They tire place could have easily told me it needed to be replaced and charged me ten times the amount, and I’d have been none the wiser. In fact, they led me to believe that this would be the case, so I was resigned to it already! Being honest as they were is good business.

We have opportunities every day to exert honesty and integrity to increase trust. Sometimes they are small things, and sometimes they are big. You know when you’ve done the right thing, and your clients, prospects, and associates will, too. Spend some time reading the Wall Street Journal and NY Times and you will see business isn’t always conducted with honesty, integrity, and trust. Keep doing what you do and you will always rise above your competition.

This week’s quote –“Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? “
The Rotary 4-Way Test as created by founder Paul Harris and friends