What’s the Alternative?

IMG_5108_2I’m headed out today for the annual Mentor Summit hosted by Alan Weiss for all the consultants around the globe in his mentor program. It’s always a fun event…last year in Washington D.C. and this year at Las Vegas.

(I’m traveling to Vegas on the first day of Lent…I guess discipline is the first test for this year!)

I consistently learn a lot from Alan, and one of his most recent newsletters contained a brief article that resonated with me. I’ve printed it out and glance or read it every morning for perspective. I thought on this day that I travel to see him and many of my colleagues, I’d share it with you. I hope it has the same effect.

My friends, I have a question: What’s the alternative?

We are living on a chunk of space rock traveling at 80,000 miles per hour around an exploding star. We influence and control none of that, and scientific and religious argument notwithstanding, we don’t actually understand very much of it.

Hence, it’s rewarding to be optimistic each day, canine-like in our eagerness to exploit the new morning, because it’s the only sane way to live. If you oppose suicide, then why throw your life away piecemeal by worrying about every conceivable issue and assuming and fearing the worst? Every day those of us who drive engage in a huge display of positive faith by driving on roads at 60 miles per hour or more with those around us – distracted, on phones, angry, having consumed alcohol or drugs, daydreaming, depressed, stressed – doing the same within mere feet of our cars.

Ergo, we all exhibit at least a cautious optimism. We believe we can avoid accidents and are willing to take the small risk of someone acting recklessly around us. Our portmanteau is actually filled with reasonable assumptions and safe predictions. One of my favorite apothegms is: “This, too, shall pass.”

I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt until and unless they prove unworthy of it. I’d like the same favor extended to me. I believe in temporary setbacks and not fatal mistakes. I’m an opportunist by nature, and if something unanticipated is in my path, I don’t avoid it, I think about what I can do with it. (A dog will try to eat it and, failing that, play with it and, failing that, urinate on it. My hierarchy is somewhat different.)

Therefore, what choice do you really have? Are you going to face the morning as another long, slow, crawl through enemy territory? Or are you going to sprint into what light we have?

If the latter, that figure out there ahead of you would be me.

~ Alan Weiss (from his newsletter, Balancing Act ®)


© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved

Home Alone Captain Jack Style

Hello…I am Captain Jack. I’m Dan’s incredibly witty, charming, and handsome Jack Russell terrier. Since I know how to access Dan’s blog, I have something to say. Listen up…

Today is my final day of being home alone. I know that little short guy with the blonde hair made buko bucks with a couple of movies by the same name, but his was all Hollywood. Mine is real.

Now to be clear, I wasn’t completely “alone.” Bella was here. So was this new dude watching us. His name is David. Based on my observations, he has been more than adequate. But he doesn’t go to “work” in the office like Dan does. I miss “work.”

I consider myself alone when Dan isn’t around. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean being lonely. It’s opportunity. Just like the little blonde boy in the movies, I’ve had to ward off bad guys. David has to go to his own work outside the house and to school. During that time, we were attacked by a mob of ruthless squirrels, a pair of snakes resembling Bonnie and Clyde, and a raccoon that would make Tony Soprano blush. They all waited until David left and thought that with us home alone, they could raid our home. Bella the Diva needs protecting and being the sole man left in the house, I was left to battle. Battle I did. Feeling somewhat like Davy Crockett at The Alamo, I fended off the pesky varmints with all my guile, gumption, and creativity. The house remains standing and I’m clearly large and in charge. David didn’t notice a thing. Neither will Dan (although I will clearly tell him).

This might be one of the lead stories I will write for our new book. Dan sent off a signed agreement all the way across the country for our new Unleashed book to be published by the same company that did his first one, Insuring Success. I guarantee the stories of my bravery will trump anything he did on his trip to see my girls. I will make sure he (and you) know them all!

One more day of literally holding down the fort…as I am “home alone.” Rest assured, this dog is on duty!

Copyright 2014 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved


My Interview on Colombian Television

Okay…let’s be clear. My Spanish needs some work and I might have been a little over my head in trying to use it as much as I did. But, it’s about being Unleashed, right?

I had the opportunity to be interviewed about my new book, Unleashed on a morning program called La Manaña in Bogotá, Colombia last week. My friend Maritza Castro and her co-host Luciana Martin were very kind in inviting me and being very patient. I brought my wonderful cousin, Maria Alejandra with me for translation support. My goal was to do as much in Spanish as possible, yet I realized early on that they talk really fast and I think in Spanish way too slow. In the end, a caller wanted one of my books and the producer said their were many requests. At first I thought the caller might be my aunt, but upon listening to the voice later, I think it was legit!

Here’s the lesson we can all take away. Although far from flawless, I tried my best to speak in Spanish. I didn’t let fear of looking foolish stop me. I figured, if I am terrible, then I was terrible in another country. The upside far outweighed the downside. Turned out pretty well overall. They were happy and I have a story. And Captain Jack is now known in another continent. He’s happy.

Don’t succumb to fear. Try something new, do your best, and be satisfied. Poke fun at yourself and laugh. In the end, in order to be unleashed, you need to take some risks.

Here is the complete video of my interview (15 minutes). As you can see, I’m surrounded by pretty women so I had that going for me, too!


© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Home, Sweet Home

Back from a great trip to Bogotá, Colombia where I gave a speech at a conference and visited family. After missing a connection in Houston coming home last night (and painfully watched my plane back out of the garage without me on it) due to extra long lines in customs (a blog is coming – believe me), I arrived completely back home at 1:30 AM. All in all a terrific trip. I thought I’d share a few photos with you…

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© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Back in the NY Groove #3

I’m not from around here…

Sometimes you just need a little help. I’ve been getting better at traversing the New York subway and rail system. I know where I’m supposed to be and when, but not always sure how to get there.

On my brief trip from my hotel to the subway to Penn Station to catch the NJ Transit, I needed help 4 times. Just to keep me pointed in the right direction and on the right train. Contrary to popular belief, New Yorkers are nice and helpful. As I type this blog on my phone on the right train, I’m thankful for their guidance.

Sort of like business. We may know where we’re supposed to be at some point in the future, but may need help getting there (especially when your uncertain what direction the train you’re on is really going).

The smartest and most successful business professionals and leaders get help through mentoring and coaching to keep them on track and moving forward. What about you?

Copyright 2013 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

Back in the NY Groove #2

Oops. I have to do a mea culpa.

The NY Athletic Club is NOT where the Heisman Trophy was born. I got it mixed up with the Downtown Athletic Club, which apparently has been torn down. I got all excited when I saw the promotional event in the lobby. Good thing I’m not a researcher by trade!

Terrific time last night hanging around Grand Central Station. We ate dinner on the mezzanine overlooking the hustling and bustling of thousands of travelers heading home. Back there today for my meeting. Hoping I remember to drop by the market to pick up a spice we love to cook with!

More later…

Copyright 2013 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

Back in the New York Groove 1

I’m staying at the historic New York Athletic Club on my trip into the Big Apple. Part if its history involves college football.

The New York Athletic Club is where the annual event honoring the best college football player that year is held. The Heisman Trophy is awarded and all of college football royalty is in attendance. I saw a sign promoting an event later this month at the club with past Heisman recipients to raise money for the Ronald McDonald charities. That would be fun to go to!

The club is directly across the street from Central Park. It’s a little drizzly today to take a jaunt and tomorrow is supposed to be better, so I will wait until then. Just came back from a delicious lunch with a friend near Times Square and now time to relax a little.

One of the joys of business traveling is experiencing the soul of a city. That means taking in the sights, eating the food, and mixing with people. This morning, I shared stories over coffee with other travelers on their way to South Africa from Calgary to judge an international dance contest and then go on safari. Ironically, we were in a Starbucks in the rain! Ironic for me because that is normal in Seattle!

Bottom line – enjoy where you are and be bold in discovering and trying. You never know if and when you will cross that path again.

I think I will see if I can find the ghost of Jay Berwanger skulking about the premises…

Copyright 2013 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved


San Francisco Journal #1

Day 1 in San Francisco turned out to be eventful. I am in the City by the Bay for the Alan Weiss Mentor Summit. It’s a conference where all the world class consultants in Alan’s community congregate about every 9 months to learn more about our business, to grow professionally, to network, and to enjoy the city.

I started the evening meeting a couple of my own mentor clients and going out to dinner at a great place. It’s an Italian restaurant a few blocks away from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel where I am staying (in the financial district). We had a terrific dinner and a nice time together. Afterwards, several of us decided to have a nightcap in the hotel lounge.

Sitting to the table next to me was a guy who looked just like Michael Jordan. THE Michael Jordan of Chicago Bulls fame and glory. The more I wanted to dismiss it, the more I was certain. He was even wearing a Jordan logo shirt. I asked my colleagues to take a look and see what they thought. About that time, a young woman approached him and started talking to him about his career. They were literally about 15 feet away. It was definitely MJ. She asked for his picture (which he at least tried to confirm wouldn’t end up on the Internet), and chatted with him. Shortly, she returned to her seat at the bar, giddy with delight.

I thought, if she can politely approach him, I can to. As I stood up to do so, she re-emerged bearing a pen and napkin for an autograph. Geez! He was still kind to her, but looking like he wanted to return to his private dinner. As she left, I quickly stuck out my hand and said, “I don’t want your autograph or a picture. I simply want to shake your hand and thank you for years of enjoyment in watching you play.” He was also very gracious to me and smiled. We actually talked Seattle Sonics basketball for about 10 seconds. He said he loves the city and they and the fans deserve a team back.

Michael Jordan epitomized graciousness this evening. I don’t know if it always happens, but on this night in San Francisco, it did. What a way to start the week!

Copyright 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Boston Journal #3

Terrific way to end the trip. I watched my Seahawks play Green Bay on Monday Night Football at a sports bar next to the Harvard Club. We met up with my daughters’ classmate, and a former basketball player of mine. She went to college in Boston and found a job here. It was great to catch up with her to watch our hometown team. We went back to the hotel at the start of the 4th quarter and watched one of the most improbable, crazy endings I’ve seen in over 40 years of watching football. The Seahawks won on a play that was improperly called…on national television on the biggest stage! Believe me, this stuff usually happens to the Seahawks, not in favor of them!

The girls left early this morning to get back in time for classes. I got up a few hours later and headed out for a walking tour of Boston. From 8:30 to 11:15, I walked Boston. I am an avid walker, but even I was pooped! I got back, packed up, and went to a great lunch and out to the airport.

The only downer is that I am leaving my sunglasses here. Somehow I managed to lose them. Not that I’m usually hung up on sunglasses, but my daughter bought me Oakley sunglasses for Christmas and they were perfect. Who knows, maybe they will show up. I know the girls took my hairbrush with them today…turned into a hat day! Other than that, an incredibly enjoyable trip.

I’m anxious to get home and see Barb. I miss not being able to always take her with me. She took one for the team by staying home with Mom. She’s awesome.

Thanks for following. Starting tomorrow, we will return to our regularly scheduled blogs!

Copyright 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved