Extra Points: The Great Escape

JackA special edition missive by Captain Jack…

I got unleashed…

As much as Dan talks about being unleashed, he doesn’t approve when I take his advice. I made my great escape – the first in a long time – while Barb was attending to Bella. It was brilliant.

I boldly burst through the front door and made a sharp dogleg right to head up my normal path. I was unleashed… Barb made a valiant effort in following me. I crawled under a fence where there was this big race track-like pasture with a bunch of water in some kind of man-made lake. I just started running, and running, and occasionally taking flight like only I can. I jumped in the water. I played. Barb watched.

I soon heard Dan call my name. He wasn’t home for my great escape, but had apparently figured out what happened. He kindly beckoned to me to come over as he was holding my favorite treat. Been there and done that…he starts out nice but when he catches me, his mood changes.

I escaped the fence without either catching me. I then bolted into uncharted territory by crossing the passage called Viking Way. I spotted two small dogs with their human and ran towards them in an effort to play. The human grabbed me and told me to go home. Then Barb came running and captured me, leashed me, and spoke very firmly to me while apologizing to the other human. I hadn’t done anything wrong. I was simply being unleashed. For all my fun, I ended up getting a bath. I think that was my discipline. It was worth it.

Interesting that I hear humans often say that infirmities and aches are “part of getting old.” They use it as an excuse for not doing what they used to enjoy doing or eschewing activities because they are “past their prime.” Let me tell you, we dogs NEVER think about age. Unlike humans, we don’t consider how long we’ve been on earth as a factor in any decision we make. I heard Dan exclaim that I am pretty spry for 11 years old. I don’t even know what that means! I am just Captain Jack and will never change my mindset. Why should I?

Maybe the better question is, why should you?

P.S. Bella got extra treats and nice words for being a “good girl.” Clearly favoritism…

Captain Jack out…

Quote of the Week:

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

~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (American author)

© 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.

Feel the Heat

Bella_HeaterBella is a diva.

You’re all probably quite familiar with Captain Jack. well, we have another – not quite so well known but as eccentric – Jack Russell terrier that fancies herself the queen of the castle. It’s still a little chilled outside which makes the house colder than I care for. Bella, too. As I sat down during lunch to watch a little of the NCAA basketball tournament, I turned on the heat to remove the chill. Turns out the heat was sucked up by one body…. Bella.

It’s normal practice for Bella to hog a heater vent that’s turned on. I’m not so sure she really cares that she is keeping any other body in the house from getting warmed up. I think it’s just her taking full advantage of the vent.

Bella has figured out that in order to maximize her heat intake, she needs to use the entire vent. Being 10 feet away doesn’t do it. Neither does being off to either side of the vent. In order to maximize her heat input, she’s got to own the space. (To add to it, she’s been known to issue a stern bark at anyone that dares turn off the heat.)

That’s how it is with your career and life.

You want to squeeze every bit out of your career – be it entrepreneur, executive, or employee? Then you can’t be on the outskirts trying to catch whatever “heat” is left over. There will be too much room to make up and you will be left with very little and little control over event hat. You can try to get closer, but even the edges don’t give you the full effect. In order to take up the entire vent, you need to take risks, be bold, be confident in your ability, have the courage of your talent, fight off fear, and dream big. There’s no room for the timid next to the heater. You need to scare yourself a little every day.

[Accelerate the heat in your professional life, career, and company]

The same can be said for your life. I’ve met too many people that are reticent to be bold becasue they are frightened to death of getting burned. Fear of failure; fear of rejection, and fear of being “found out” hold many of you back in your professional and personal life. I’m convinced that many people go to their graves carrying a lifetime full of left over and now useless “poker chips.” They couldn’t drag themselves to take on the full brunt of the heater. The same suggestions I listed above are applicable personally, too. The difference is that you may well have people that are very important to you counting on you being everything you can be. You’d do well not to let them – or yourself- down.

Be  more like Bella. Don’t take a chance of letting one degree of heat get by you. You never want to end a game with extra “chips” in your hand.

[Check out Unleashed Universe to transform your business and life in 90 days. Feel the heat…]

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

High Maintenance Diva

I married up.

A couple of divas!
A couple of divas!

My wife Barb is the polar opposite of the term high maintenance, and certainly not a diva. My patience for anything or anyone that I might consider high maintenance is thin. And I should know what a high maintenance diva is. Regrettably, it is me.

Look, we all have our idiosyncrasies. I have to honestly self-assess and say that Barb took on the harder part of this relationship very early. She knew what she was getting into with me. I remember going to football and baseball game in the old Kingdome in Seattle before we were married. It would often be wet and dreary outside, so we would be properly “layered” upon entering the stadium. As a domed stadium, it was always a warm and cozy 72 degrees. I recall vividly unraveling all my layers and then making Barb could hold all of them, as I needed my arms for cheering on the home team.

But that was 30 years ago, right? Well, I realized I haven’t evolved quite far enough when in December we went as a family to see The Nutcracker. I took off my overcoat, folded it neatly, and then sat somewhat like a lost dog that didn’t know quite how to handle his coat. Barb took it.

I don’t need to go over 30 years of my “diva” behavior. Those of you that know me well already know. Suffice it to say, it’s a constant evolution going from an only child to being mentored by a wife who grew up in a family of 6 kids. Let’s just say I at least now know what it looks like. Slow learner or not, I’m getting better.

Who’s a High Maintenance Diva (HMD for short) in your life?

For the moment, let’s take the spotlight off of you. You can do your own self-assessment like I did. This article is more about others in your world. HMDs come in alls forms. Consider these – employers, employees, co-workers, clients, customers, vendors, family members, friends, constituencies, and the list goes on. HMDs can pop up in any aspect of your life, and often it’s through no fault of your own. How long you keep them around is on you.

P.S. The customer is NOT always right. Many times they are flat out wrong and rude. You don’t have to put up with that.

The decision to ditch HMDs from your life is really up to how you (and perhaps your employees) are affected by them. Not all clients are worth the trouble of rudeness, bad language, poor communications, and onerous expectations. Sometimes clients need to be fired. If there is a person or a group that are causing you undue and excessive angst, and you’re in a position to leave that group or role, then do it. Life is too short and you don’t need the aggravation. Do you have an employee that causes more joy when they leave the room than when they enter it? Have you retained relationships with people that cause you dread just because you don’t want to deal with it?

Here’s the deal. You will run into people that may rub you the wrong way or cause you additional work and “hand-holding.” That’s part of life and often these folks can be coached (like Barb so dutifully and patiently trained me), or at least softened to the point that they don’t cause you stress. The people that cause you a disproportionate amount of anguish and anger need to be exorcized from your world. That may be them leaving or you leaving. Regardless, carrying excess “baggage” through life – professional and personal – is never any good for your health or future. You can sever these relationships professionally, and some of them may be difficult.

In the end however, life is too short and you want to invest your valuable time in people that make you better, bring you joy, and make the destination more enjoyable.

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Sometimes You Just Need a Paperclip

So I’m in Bogotá, Colombia to speak at the 2014 Latin American Distribution seminar. As is my custom when traveling, I bring one black suit with multiple shirts. That is always good enough for a 2-day conference. As I’m preparing to go to breakfast, a terrible thing happens. I realize my zipper tag is missing. Gone. These slacks are fresh from the dry cleaners so I’m figuring it’s lying on their floor somewhere. Does me no good now.

I’m an expert in crisis planning and I think I’m in good shape. I find the sewing kit nice hotels always have and grab the safety pin. Too small. It wouldn’t stay affixed moving it up and down. Now I panic.

Good thing I have my own expert. I text my lovely and talented wife, Barb. (Actually to be candid, we already had been talking…the safety pin was her idea. You think I knew this myself?) She says go to front desk and get a paper clip. I went and got three of them (insurance in case I mutilated one or two in the process). It worked on the first try! I was very proud of myself and this newfound skill. The part that keeps me humble is that I would have never gotten their without Barb’s help. As she texted me back, we make a great team.

Where or who is your crisis expert? Where do you turn when your business has an unexpected “zipper malfunction?” Let’s face it, crisis happens all the time and it rarely sends a warning. You need both internal and external experts to keep you calm, give you guidance, and help you respond well. And, you need them in place BEFORE the crisis. Otherwise, the chaos increases. My personal crisis expert is a continent away as we speak, yet I was able to access her. Can you say the same?

Copyright 2014 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

Captain Jack’s Column

 

A repentant Captain Jack
Hello. My name is Captain Jack and I’m the terribly charming, witty, and intelligent pal of my human, Dan. I’ve been observing human behavior and have come to the conclusion that you all can learn a lot from dogs. Especially me. You see, I’m a Jack Russell and we are unquestionably the smartest dogs on the planet. Welcome to my column…
I killed a snake.

For me and my species. This is a good thing. For the lady walking me, it appears to be frowned upon.

Dan and Barb were in New York and didn’t take me. I was left with a dog sitter. That was their first mistake. She took me out for a walk and while in my yard (I repeat MY yard), I saw a snake, This dude was black with a green stripe and had my name written all over him. I lunged and grabbed him! The lady freaked out and tried to make me drop him. No way! I had a death grip on him and shook him around like he was on some crazy Coney Island roller coaster. In the end, I dropped him and she pulled me away screaming. She even told on me to Dan. I never saw that snake again. She did leave it for Dan to clean up and he confirmed its death. Notch one up for Captain Jack!

The moral of my story is this – Do what you’re good at and give it all you have! I’m really good at catching snakes. That’s what my ancestors were bred to do. It might not make everyone happy and I may even get a few nasty letters. But, I’m really good at saving the planet (or at least my yard) from snakes and I’m going to keep doing it with gusto! If you get too concerned with what others think, then you’re doomed to failure. Find what you love, give it all you’ve got, be prepared to fail a few times, and keep trying. Every once in awhile, you may just catch a snake! 


Just saying…

Favorite Christmas Movies and a Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas

I’d like to take this moment to extend a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my family, friends, and community.

This is a time that I hope wish filled with joy, love, family, friends, and food. It’s always been my favorite time of year. It’s a little bittersweet this year for our family. My Dad is gone and our daughter Mindy had to stay on the East Coast due to work commitments (happy she is working, though). We certainly understand how blessed we are and are grateful for that.

Okay…my gift to you today (easy to wrap and send via cyberspace) is my Top 10 Christmas Movies of all time…

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (C’mon – there’s no discussion, right?)

2. Christmas Carol (George C. Scott version)

3. Miracle on 34th Street (Newer version – sorry old schoolers)

4. White Christmas

5. Elf

6. The Santa Clause

7. Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart version)

8. The Santa Clause 2

9. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Love Burl Ives)

10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (cartoon)

Yes, I know there are some honorable mentions like National Lampoon and Christmas with the Kranks. But…I only had room for 10!

Best wishes to you and yours for a very Merry Christmas from the Weedin family. Ho Ho Ho…

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

 

Resilient

If there is one thing a Jack Russell terrier is, it’s resilient.

There is a noise emanating from my office wall. I can’t hear it, but obviously Captain Jack does. At first I thought it might be a mouse in the wall. I looked outside and perused the area, without trace of a rodent. Now, I’m thinking it’s a mole. We have a small deck that leads up to the door. Untill (or unless) I go under there, I may never know. But Jack knows.

He’s been driving me to utter distraction the past few days. He howls, he barks, and he scratches at the wall. I finally caught him putting his own hole in the wall. I barricaded it yesterday, which seemed to befuddle him. He figured it out today. I put the gate up so he can’t reach it and he only barks. Captain Jack refuses to be deterred. His is the poster child of “resilient.”

What about you?

How do you handle rejection? I don’t know a lot of people who really like it, but you must change your mindset in business. If you are good, you will get about a 70% rejection rate. If you are good. Every rejection should get you fired up because that means you’re one step closer to an acceptance. Rejection is part of the deal. It’s not personal (most of the time) and it certainly doesn’t reflect on your self-worth. Unfortunately for many people, it radically affects their self-confidence. This leads to dejection, depression, and quitting too soon.

Take a cue from Captain Jack. You may get rejected, rebuffed, and have barriers put in your way, but never stop being resilient. Carry on with a positive attitude and a hearty “woof.”

Now, I just have to figure out how to get that mole (or whatever it is) out of my wall before Captain Jack “resilient-ly” does it for me!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Steubenville Journal #1

Our stop on the way to Pittsburgh was through Minneapolis. My wife and I found a Quizno’s and decided to split a hoagie sandwich. As the young woman behind the counter added all the condiments and finished, I asked her to cut the sandwich in half so Barb and I could share.

She looked at me and bluntly said, “No.” Upon seeing the sheer shock on my face, she explained that the cutting knife she had couldn’t possibly cut through the sandwich. I looked at it and it was an enormous cutting knife with a very sharp-looking serrated side. She pointed over to the plastic utensils and said, “But, you could cut it yourself.” With a plastic knife! Really?

I repeated this process asking how I could possibly cut a sandwich with a plastic knife when a real cutting knife couldn’t. I wasn’t sure I wanted to EAT a sandwich that this knife couldn’t cut. She relented and said she’d give it a try. What do you know, it worked!

You can’t make this up.

I just hope we all don’t make our clients work that hard for what would be considered regular service! Think about that next time you’re asked for something by a client. Will you be ready to cut the sandwich?

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

The Captains Chair

My family spent most of Sunday re-arranging our house. My wife Barb, for reasons I still don’t understand and probably shouldn’t, changed our living room and dining rooms around. This arrangement has created a problem for Captain Jack, our Jack Russell terrorist. You see, Jack loved staring out the window into the front yard. His duty is to protect our house from the crazy rabbits and he does a fine job. Now that the sofa is no longer there, this has become an issue.

Today, I find that Barb has placed a chair right at the middle window. This has now become the “Captain’s Chair.” Life is again good for Captain Jack and rabbits be warned. Ah, to be a dog. Free rent, free food, free health care, and now his own chair at the window.

I’m not sure how yet, but this will at some point turn into a story I will use in a speech somewhere. I don’t know what the message will be, or who will be the audience. I do know I like the story and can make it humorous.

What about you? What personal stories pop up in your everyday life? The audiences you speak to – employees, prospects, Toastmasters, service clubs, associations – all prefer hearing a personal story that becomes a metaphor for a message. It sure beats PowerPoint, handouts, and bad jokes. If you want to transform your speech or presentation, create a story file where you can pull out your best personal stories to include in your speech. They will add humor and become memorable to your audience.

You will undoubtedly have your audience as enthralled with you as Captain Jack is with rabbits. And THAT is a good thing!

Cheers,

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(c) 2009 Dan Weedin – All Rights Reserved