Do You Need Accounting?

I recently hooked up with someone to be an accountability partner and have been very pleased with the results. Doug Petch (www.dougpetch.com) and I met through the World Champion Speakers Edge program and found we had similar goals. Doug is an expert on leadership and provides a very cool service with his 60-Second Seminars. He lives in Lexington, KY and I’m out here in the Pacific Northwest. We talk each week just to make sure we are doing what we say we want to do.

In fact, this week Doug asked if I had completed a task that I said I would. Ugh! I didn’t quite get it done so now I really have impetus to complete it this week.

That’s the great thing about having another person keep you accountable for your goals. With technology, it even opens it up more to build relationships with people all over the world.

Find a kindred spirit in your type of business and see if you can develop an accountability partnership. If you’re like me, you will find a great benefit from it.

Dan

P.S. My first Panic to Power Boot Camp was a great success. I have another one scheduled for march 18 in Seattle. I should have it ready for registration on my web site next week. If you just can’t wait, contact me now and I will sign you up. I have a very special extra early bird special going. Call me and find out!

Finding Balance on Gilligan’s Island

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt totally unable to function? Last night, I was staring at my computer monitor trying to get a little work done after a busy weekend. My oldest daughter Mindy had been home from college for several days and my wife Barb was taking her to the airport. I was at home because our old dog Blondie is starting a steep decline and we didn’t want to leave her alone. Lack of sleep, a helter skelter few days, and a debilitating overtime loss by the Seahawks had me completely distracted. You probably know that weird feeling of just staring blankly at e-mails!

That’s about the time I realized that balance was needed right then and there for my life. I subscribe to Alan Weiss’ newsletter, The Balancing Act (which I highly recommend – www.summitconsulting.com). Alan is constantly talking about life balance. In my case, sometimes you just have to take a break.

My method for taking a break was to turn off the computer (so as to not be tempted to come back), pour a smooth glass of wine, and watch my Gilligan’s Island DVD. Now you may be thinking “Gilligan’s Island! Is this guy a kook?” Maybe so. But, at that point and time, I needed a good dose of slapstick humor and relaxation to re-charge my batteries. After a relaxing evening and a good night’s sleep…I was able to tackle the next day with more vigor and focus. If I had continued on my path of work the night before, I’m certain I wouldn’t have had the same focus.

What about you? Are there times that you need to reward your mind and body with a much needed break to find balance? Now, you may not find Gilligan’s Island to be the right remedy for you. But a nice walk, a game of chess, or a quiet dinner with your spouse or significant other may be just what the doctor ordered.

Workaholics abound in our society. The desire to get ahead at all costs often lead to high blood pressure, stress disorders, and failed relationships. One thing I have learned in my life, and continue to be reminded of, is that balance is good for the mind, heart, and soul. Remember that next time you are staring blankly at your computer monitor.

Dan

Family Time

My daughter Mindy is home for a few days as her college is taking a four-day weekend. She goes to school 2500 miles away so we decided to bring her home for her birthday. She’s been away for nine weeks and will be back again in six more, so the timing is perfect.

I don’t remember being as excited to pick someone up at an airport as I was on Wednesday night. My wife, Barb and I were literally giddy. If you’ve never experienced having your children go away to college, it’s hard to explain. For as many challenges that the teenage years bring to parents, you never grow tired of spending time with your kids, especially when they’ve been gone for awhile. We’ve had a great couple days and I’m already dreading taking her back tomorrow.

This is a great lesson for me, and maybe for you, too. Time as a family can have many challengers. Boyfriends (and girlfriends for those of you with sons), school, and friends can sneak in and rob some of that precious time. As your kids grow older and move away, take time to relax and really enjoy the moment. I realize that pretty soon, Barb and I will be official “empty nesters”. In my early 40’s that seems strange.

One last note for you young adults without kids. Remember to call every once in awhile. Cell phones have made that much easier than when I was younger. We are fortunate that Mindy calls us a lot just to talk and give us updates. I can’t imagine if she didn’t. Always keep those lines of communication flowing…you never know how much time you actually get. Relax and have fun with your family. It’s the only one you have!

Dan

What’s Your Responsibility as a Presenter

I recently attended a brutal three-day continuing education seminar. It was brutal for me and many others because it included a great deal of calculating math, statistics, and probability. I don’t know about you, but triangulation, standard deviation, and the coefficient of determination have NOT been a part of my vocabulary in a LONG time! Actually, probably never.

Two of the presenters were excellent. They used humor (really), stories, and class interaction to explain very complicated material that the bulk of the class would be testing on. The first presenter, unfortunately, really struggled to connect with the audience. She was very knowledgeable but not very well trained in presenting. I overheard many notes of dissatisfaction during her sessions and I know she didn’t receive high marks on her evaluation.

More importantly however is who her responsibility was to. As a presenter, our duty is to our audience. In this case, there were many exam takers who didn’t get the value they should have and that could hurt them when taking the test. This blog is not the place to go detail by detail, but suffice it to say, there were many missteps. If you are a presenter of anything, you have an obligation to your audience to send a clear message. Make sure you are constantly improving this very important skill so your audience will benefit and find value.

Dan

P.S. Need to sharpen your skills? I have several resources available in my online store, including from some World Champion presenters. Improve your value to your audience today. Click here to check out my store.

The Good Samaritan

Yesterday my family and I took a trip to Wal-Mart after church to pick up some quick items. As I got in my Suburban, I noticed a piece of paper underneath my windshield wiper. When I got out to examine I found a free-hand note stating “Your passenger-side tire is very low”. Upon further inspection, I was horrified to find that not only was it very low, it was VERY, VERY low. Fortunately, Wal-Mart has a tire service place open on Sundays because I’m not sure how I far we would have been able to go. Turns out the culprit was a screw I ran over. To make matters worse, the front tires were no longer legal for road use, so I had to replace both of them!

Two things to learn from this; first I’m very thankful to my Good Samaritan who left the note. How often do we walk by a situation like that and don’t take the time to leave a note. I could have been down the road a mile or two with my wife and daughter and been involved in an accident.

Second, be prepared. I had let my tires become hazards and if it wasn’t for a wayward screw I ran over, may have found out the hard way.

The last word – what a great form of communication. We sometimes spend so much time focusing on our verbal skills, that we forget how important any type of communication, especially written is.

Dan

Boo Birds

I’ve been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember. The first football game I remember watching was in 1975 when Larry Csonka and the Miami Dolphins beat the Minnesota Vikings. Booing has always been a form of communication in sports. Some fans, like in Philadelphia, are known for it. When you boo Santa Claus, you earn that claim to fame!

I will admit, I have done my share of booing in my life. As I have grown older though, I have made a conscious decision not to. I’m not sure if that has come around due to coaching high school basketball for six years, but something has changed me. The recent booing of Shaun Alexander of the Seattle Seahawks has prompted me to write this article.

Shaun Alexander has nearly 10,000 rushing yards in his career, which places him in elite company. He is a former league Most Valuable Player. Even if he slows down to average numbers for the rest of his career, he is more than likely a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And, he has played his entire career with one team, which in this day and age is unique.

Due to recent injuries and an overhaul of his offensive line, Alexander has had less than sterling numbers. The Seahawks “faithful” has been riding him hard and have actually booed him the past two weeks. I don’t get it. Alexander has been a hero for this community and led our once doormat team to the Super Bowl. Not only that, he has been a sterling contributor to our community with his charitable work. How soon we forget. In this society which thrives on “What Have You Done For Me Lately”, it’s not surprising. I’m sure the fans who do the booing would never accept it in their line of work.

Final thought – the Seahawks fans are famous for raising the “12th Man” flag prior to each game. Seattle Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki just did the honors last Sunday. That means we are part of the team. What part of “team” does booing honor? Aren’t we suppose to pull for OUR team and be encouraging? Unfortunately, we here in Seattle are closer to the Philadelphia model of “team” than we might like to believe.

Dan

Technology at its finest!

Speaking of my presentation at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and my daughter…

It turned out to be fortunate that she was home. My PowerPoint presentation included a 4-minute video clip of a program I’d given a few months ago. The clip was going to be an example of a point I wanted to make. Unfortunately, I forgot that in order to transfer the sound from the video, it needed to be packaged on to a CD. Big time bummer!

Technology to the rescue…I called Kelli on her cell phone and she went down to my computer, found the file, and e-mailed it to me. I was able to log on to the hotel’s free Wi-Fi and VIOLA! How did we ever get by without cell phones, WiFi, or thumb drives?

Dan