Extra Points: What Goes Bump in the Night

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Halloween has always been one of my favorite days. From my first recollection of dressing up as Captain America when I was about five or six years old, to donning my Captain Jack Sparrow garb to hand out candy to neighborhood trick or treaters, Halloween never ceases to add enjoyment and fun to a crisp October evening.

Being scared of things that go bump in the night has an exhilarating effect for many. That’s why horror movies dating back to Boris Karloff in the 1930’s have been very popular; why contemporary television series’ like Netflix’s Stranger Things collect avid followers; and why many adults still like turning their homes into haunted houses for Halloween parties and festivities. The main attraction is buoyed by the fact that nothing wicked this way comes. Movies and television shows aren’t real, nor are the worries of impending doom to anyone in a fright house. If they were real, we’d all be deathly afraid. That’s why it’s fun.

What is frightening are those monsters causing bumps in the night for your business or career. While you shouldn’t hide from them, you need to know they exist. In fact, I suggest you face them with as much daring as you do the Halloween villains. Here’s how:

In your career, stand up to the monsters named fear, worry, and tentativeness. They creep around in smart and talented people’s heads telling them that they aren’t good enough; they’ve run out of time; they will be find out; they’ve run out of money; and they will be humiliated. These fiends are grown within our own heads and like the furry little creatures that turn into Gremlins in the movie, are cultivated by the water we nourish them with. Kick those monsters out of your head by standing up to them when show up and boldly exclaiming the trick is on them.

In your business, identify not only to monsters that are apparent (fire, theft, natural disasters), but also identify those that never send a warning and show up on your front step knocking on the door. These include loss of reputation; a cyber attack; a toxic employee culture filed with drama and selfishness; lack of leadership; no transition planning; and poor pre-planning of critical organizational knowledge and risk. You also can stand up to these monsters with some pre-planning and guidance from experts and employees. Don’t let those things that go bump in the night knock you off course for future success and increased business wealth.

My best wishes for a wonderful HalloWeedin (at least that’s what we call it at my house). Be bold, vigilant, and prepared to securely traverse the monsters in our way.

Quote of the Week:

“Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.”

~ John Wayne

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

P.S. I have a free webinar to help you pre-planning of critical organizational knowledge and risk. Click here to register for tomorrow’s free event to help you avoid monsters and successfully prepare your business.

Extra Points: Respect & Rewards

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This past week has simply been astounding and confounding from a historical perspective. The events in Charlottesville, VA and the events and fallout are being etched in history books for future generations to read. No matter your political persuasion, it’s clear that there is great unrest, fear, and uncertainty with many demographics of people in our country.

The business climate never strays far from what happens in society. You don’t have to have a keen memory to recall a few months ago when the Uber CEO lost his job after creating an abhorrent culture and woeful morale with employees. Even small and medium sized business can become victim to misunderstandings, lack of empathy, and lack of caring. This all leads to poor morale and the consequences are significant: poor performance, high turnover, floundering sales, and loss of reputation.

If you own a business (or have a leadership position), then you’re responsible for making that place of business a welcoming environment with a culture of advancing employee skills, professional growth, and fun. Yes, that’s right fun. When people enjoy being somewhere and have fun, the results are off the charts.

If you are an employee, don’t think you’re off the hook. One of the most insidious maladies is a victim mentality. This is manifest when one thinks problems are someone else’s fault or responsibility; they take no ownership and instead pass the blame; and they bring in outside personal problems and make it everyone else’s problem.

Nobody needs any more victims. We all have greater control than we think. Respect and encourage people in your employ. Care about them as people, not just as human assets. Employees respect the sacrifice and courage it takes to start and run a business. Be a positive influence, rather than a divisive one. Ultimately, we all must simply care about each other as humans and respect that we share this earth together. That will lead to better politics, a better society, and better business for everyone.

Quote of the Week:

”Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness fall upon you.”

~ John Ruskin, English writer

(with the eclipse happening today, I just couldn’t help myself with this quote…)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help growing and protecting your business? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

Shrimp Tank Podcast: Aaron Schmookler

Great show last week with Aaron Schmookler from The Yes Works. Watch the video and then listen to the entire podcast on our website. You’ll learn a lot about leadership and management from Aaron and his partner in crime, Zander!

Podcast: Click Here



© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Extra Points: Hydrating Your Business & Career

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I hate drinking water. Okay, maybe that’s a little hyperbolic, but the truth is I get bored with it. I become very aware, especially during the summer, when I’m falling behind on my water-intake. I try keeping a log of how much water I’m drinking and it lasts for a few days and then I get tired of that. Sounds like a lot of whining, right? I just wish I could substitute coffee all day long for the hydrating effects! (And yes, I’ve done sparkling water, flavored water, cucumber and basil-infused water,etc. It’s still just water…)

I’m pretty good at watering the plants every night, especially with as hot as it’s been lately. I can tell every night that they are eagerly awaiting their hydration. Without it, they won’t last long. While we as humans in first world countries won’t take it to a point that we die, lack of hydration does severely impact our decision-making, energy, and level of efficiency and performance. This isn’t going to be a health message, but if you as business professionals take that away, then we’ve already been successful.

Bottom line, we need proper levels of hydration to properly function and be healthy. We must be alert to this need and disciplined in it’s implementation. Likewise, we must be alert and disciplined in hydrating our businesses and careers. Here’s how…

Every business requires a regular “hydration” of new ideas; innovation and creativity; and intentional change that throws out obsolete practices and replaces them with the aforementioned new and innovative ideas. CEOs become just as complacent as me not hydrating with water when they become bored and apathetic without knowing it’s happening. They get caught in the trap of being satisfied that things are going “okay” because nothing bad happens. The dehydration process is well underway when that happens! Creating a culture of innovation and new ideas must be intentional and a daily part of the workday process. If it’s not, a company will quickly find itself dried out of good ideas and good people.

On an individual note, check your own hydration level. If you find yourself bored with your work, lacking energy and enthusiasm, and simply slogging through the motions, you are badly dehydrated! It’s time to infuse some hydration in your career. That will be the topic of next week’s Extra Points.

In the meantime business owners, refresh yourself and your business by digging deep from the well of intellectual capital that is already in your organization. You’ll be glad you did! Now go get a glass of water…

Quote of the Week:

”Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”

~ Oscar Wilde

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Would you like help “hydrating” your leadership development strategy for your company? Need help getting your organization to a higher state of resiliency and profitable growth? Then call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

Extra Points: Independence Day Special

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I remember being in grade school learning about the founding of our country. It was especially significant becasue I was in between 5th and 6th grade when we celebrated out bicentennial. I don’t know about my classmates, but for me it seemed that the revolution against King George and Great Britain was an easy decision that was completely agreed upon by everyone in the colonies, and filled with rallying cries for freedom. In reality as I learned later, the proceedings – especially the 2nd Continental Congress – were highly contentious and volatile. The average citizen considered themselves a Brit and had no beef with the way things were going. The movement started small, and due to the likes of John Adams, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson – gained enough traction to become a reality, thus beginning a long, arduous war that eventually secured our freedom and began a country.

On this occasion, I like to share a video from the terrific mini-series, John Adams. I encourage you to watch this brief clip as we celebrate the people that thoughtfully and courageously started our country. LINK

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans (and a belated Happy Canada Day #150 to my friends to the north!)

Quote of the Week:

”We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

~ Thomas Jefferson

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Fear No One

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Researchers and psychologists suggest that humans are born with two innate fears, and they may not be what you think they are. The first is the fear of falling. The second is the fear of loud noises. Both are instinctive fears, meant to alert us to danger. All other fears are developed from our own experiences, relationships, and the deepest, darkest crevices of our minds that will often place monsters under our beds as kids.

Experts will also posit that the fear we humans have the most difficult time overcoming and dealing with is the fear of other people. That’s right, spiders and snakes are off the hook. The fear of other people is the common denominator to many fears we already know about. Fear of public speaking is the fear of what other people will think of us; fear of asking for help is the fear of judgement or rejection by other people; fear of asking for the sale or for a referral is fear of rejection of other people; and fear of starting your own business, publishing a book, and starting over to do what you want (among many other things) is a fear of failure (really what other people think). In the end, the real monsters under the bed are our family, friends, colleagues, employees, co-workers and even people we don’t even know.

Fears related to dangers like falling, getting burned, or being injured or dying are instinctive and keep us resilient and safe. Fear of being judged by or being rejected by another person is a very real human trait, yet is actually dysfunctional. These self-created fears of “other people” will ultimately keep one from unleashing their potential and living the life they most want. Consider this….

The vast majority of the “other people” you fear being judged by aren’t actually going to judge you negatively at all. They may actually admire your efforts and courage. The ones that do judge you negatively are only a source of distraction and need to be swiftly cut loose (or at least significantly reduced) from your life so you can be free to unleash your business, your career, and your life. You don’t have time for monsters under your bed; so fear no one and go forward boldly with your life.

Quote of the Week:

”If you’ve done well, it’s your duty to send the elevator back down.”

~ Kevin Spacey

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Would you like help improving your leadership development strategy for your company? Need help getting your organization to a higher state of resiliency and profitable growth? Then call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

Shrimp Tank Podcast: Guest Dave Frederick / The Coffee Oasis

Check out the wrap-up video from this week’s Shrimp Tank with our guest, Dave Frederick from The Coffee Oasis.

Dave talks coffee, entrepreneurship, and the important topic of helping homeless youth in our community. You won’t want to miss it.

Listen to the entire podcast HERE:

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Puzzles

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40My wife Barb and I like doing jigsaw puzzles together. One of our friends (who also likes puzzles) calls it a “disease,” and I think she’s right!

The current puzzle we’re working on is a gift from friends from The Netherlands. It’s a cartoon style picture with lots of people and activity going on around a canal in Amsterdam. The hard part is that nearly all the people (and there are a huge number of people) are wearing orange. There are three Santa Claus figures, several home country flags, and just a sea of orange with faces attached. As we started diving into it, the task seemed insurmountable.

As we spent more time with the puzzle, nuances became apparent. There were many small stories in the different scenes; we found a crocodile, a martian, and a ghost. Even though everyone seemed to be in orange, the individual people and situations made the puzzle more unique and helped us put it together. We are still working on it, but much better than when we started. We uncovered the secret of the puzzle.

Your business is like a jigsaw puzzle. What may at times seem like a jumble of people all doing the same thing and often in what appears to be chaos, has all the intricacies and nuances of our puzzle. The pieces all fit together; you just have to find the where to put them. The big picture requires effort in understanding and appreciating all the individual stories, motivations, and differences that make the process fun and exciting.

Your career is like a jigsaw puzzle. While it sometimes seems that the pieces will never really fit together (or that a couple of them fell on the floor and were eaten by the dog), by intentionally and positively looking at the big picture, honoring the struggle, and being patient, your puzzle will also come together and create the result you desire. Don’t consider the challenge as insurmountable; rather an opportunity.

I’ve heard that jigsaw puzzles are good for your brain. I’m pretty sure the jigsaw puzzles that are your business and career are good for your personal and professional growth, resilience, and spirit as long as you never give up and enjoy the experience.

Quote of the Week:

”My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could ever give another person. He believed in me.”

~ Jim Valvano

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Would you like help improving your leadership development strategy for your company? Need help getting your organization to a higher state of resiliency and profitable growth? Then call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

Extra Points: Driving Leadership

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40News came out over the weekend that Uber board of directors would be discussing a leave of absence for its embattled CEO, Travis Kalanick. This comes on the heels of months of terrible press related to claims of sexual harassment allegations, berating drivers on video, and a Pandora’s Box of other workplace and public scandal and crisis. According to the Wall Street Journal, the board will also vote on setting up an investigation onto workplace issues.

Just because a person has the CEO acronym following their name on their business card, doesn’t mean they have a clue how to lead, manage, and inspire people. Kalanick had publicly admitted he needed to grow his leadership skills, but hasn’t shown much growth so his board is now taking more swift action to try and salvage the brand of the company.

Small and medium-sized business (SMB) leaders should take note. Just because one can start a business doesn’t mean they can effectively lead, manage, and inspire people. In order to tap into and unleash the power and potential of a business, that SMB owner or executive must intentionally enhance that part of their professional repertoire. It should be a daily discipline and requires accountability. Unlike highly-visible public companies like Uber, there often isn’t a board of directors there to do it. The metrics are most often a combination of high turnover, workplace drama, apathetic employees, and lack of production.

If you’re in any type of leadership position, I encourage you to make the development of your skills in this area a daily discipline. Read articles and books, watch videos by experts, and most importantly find an advisor (or advisors) to hold you accountable to your leadership growth goals. You’ve got your hands on the wheel; make sure you’re driving down the right road.

Quote of the Week:

”All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Would you like help improving your leadership development strategy for your company? Need help getting your organization to a higher state of resiliency and profitable growth? Then call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

Extra Points: Picking Up Tomatoes

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Picking Up Tomatoes

Last week, my wife and I were walking into the grocery store when a guy about our age walking out of the store had his small plastic box of tomatoes plummet from his cart and spill out on the ground. My immediate reaction, was “bummer,” while proceeding to walk in. Barb is a way kinder person than me (and those of you who know both of us don’t need to be told this). She immediately asked, “Do you need help,” and then proceeded to stop and start picking up tomatoes before he could even answer. Of course, I then sheepishly joined the tomato picking by association to the kind person, which ultimately is to my own personal growth.

What does picking up tomatoes outside of a grocery store have to do with any of us?

Here’s the deal…the mere act of genuine kindness resonates in every business and organization regardless of size. Barb volunteered to help someone she didn’t know who had a misfortune happen. How many of us eschew showing genuine kindness to people we employ, work with, live with, and/or care about because we are either not paying attention, don’t think it’s our problem, or are in such a hurry to take care of ourselves that we become uninterested in the plight of those around us?

Organization resilience always starts with people. That sentence is worth reading again. Overcoming adversity and crisis; finding solutions to difficult challenges; and just sometimes getting through a bad day shouldn’t be a lonely path. When we as fellow humans lighten the load of those we work with and employ, then resilience is enhanced through better decision-making, swifter resolutions, improved collaboration, and enhanced morale. Resilience isn’t simply about being tough; it’s mostly about helping each other out when we dump tomatoes on the ground.

Quote of the Week:

”An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

~ Winston Churchill

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Need help getting your organization to a higher state of resiliency and profitable growth? Then call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.