Extra Points: The No Brainer

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week, I was at LinkedIn Learning to film my second course. They generously take care of all my travel, including rental car. While standing in line at Avis, we were informed they were out of cars and that we had to wait until some came in. After about 15 minutes, my turn came because the gentleman in front of me required a full-size vehicle and I told them I’d take whatever came in. The lady at the desk – obviously dealing with what would was becoming a long day for her – said she had two cars available for me and then stoically asked if I preferred a Kia or a Mustang.

With all due respect to Kia, this was a no brainer. I’m in Southern California and I wanted all the fun that a sports car with power brings. The Mustang became mine for a few days and I loved it.

“No brainers” would seem to be more rare in business, right? Let’s face it, all decisions have upsides and downsides. That being said, I suggest we make some “no brainers” more complicated due to over-thinking. Over-thinking is born out of lack of trust and confidence. It might be lack of trust in employees; in vendors; in clients; and most commonly in one’s own self. It’s the equivalent of me wondering if I should eschew the fun and frivolity of an alluring sports car for the fuel economy of a sensible sedan.

We can all be guilty of over-thinking decisions both professional and personal. The consequences of over-thinking include losing valuable time; increasing stress and anxiety; and making the wrong decision based out of plain fear.

Smart business leaders assess situations and cost-benefit quickly, make confident decisions based on experience and perception; and then commit fully.

Here’s the deal…while you won’t always be right, you’ll be fast and bold. And sometimes, a risky decision will actually end up being a huge win. Just because it seems like an easy answer doesn’t mean you have to make it more complicated. In the realm of decision-making, pick the sports car more often than not. It’s the quickest way to being unleashed.

Quote of the Week:

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

~ Tecumseh

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.

Extra Points: Brainwashed

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40You’re being brainwashed.

A recent article and shared video by my Shrimp Tank podcast co-host, Brad Berger really caught my attention and compelled me to write on this topic. Many thanks to Brad.

We as humans are greatly influenced by advertising, cultural concepts, and the media (including to a large degree, social media). Even though we may declare to the contrary, we tend to believe most of what we hear and read. Without any demand for proof, we succumb to the peril of being brainwashed into thinking that can harm our health, make us scared, spend our money recklessly, and cause anxiety and stress.

Consider these examples: Food advertising that glowingly espouses low or fat free options when fat isn’t the enemy of poor health. The sugar that is used to saturate the products is. Media that tell us that we are more unsafe than ever when the statistics are clear that we are safer than at any other time in human history. Our society telling us that we should be winding down into retirement at age 65 when research shows that we can be at our peak until well into our 80s. Don’t even get me started on the pharmaceutical attack that encourages us to take all sorts of legal drugs while at the end rapidly telling us the horrible potential side-effects! Here’s the deal my friends. If you want to live an unleashed life, then eschew the “brainwashers.”

The reality of what is possible in your life is up to you. This includes your professional career and business. I encourage you to watch this video. I hope you find it as inspirational as I did. While I feel like I knew this information before and worked hard to avoid the brainwashing, this is a great reminder about how ubiquitous it is in our life.

Here’s my attempt to “brainwash” you: To live the life you want you must eat well; exercise your mind and body; get plenty of sleep; visit your doctor on a proactive not reactive basis; read more; explore more; smile more; don’t trust everything you read in social media or see on commercials; cultivate human relationships; and enjoy the ride.

Now Captain Jack and Bella might say you should also get a dog, but I will leave that as optional.

Quote of the Week:

“A champion is someone that gets up when he can’t.”

~ Jack Dempsey (Legendary Boxing Champion)

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.

Extra Points: Readiness & Preparedness

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I’d be remiss on the last Monday of National Preparedness Month if I didn’t spend a little time providing my own public service announcement on readiness and preparedness. While not the most glamorous topic in the world, it becomes very important when it becomes important.

We spend every day managing risk yet, never really think about it. Many people drive to work and take routes based on time and safety concerns. Your GPS is a risk management tool diverting you from traffic problems that could cause the “peril” of you being late to an important meeting. We wear seat belts for two risk management factors – physical safety if involved in an accident and monetary loss for paying a ticket for non-compliance. We even make preparedness decisions in the type of vehicles we purchase for comfort (avoiding the peril of discomfort), style (reputation and brand), and fuel consumption (money).

Unfortunately, complacency sets in and leads to perilous behaviors. We’ve become so good at the skill of driving a car that we get caught in the trap of distraction. Some people believe they can drive while texting; while eating; while holding a phone to their ear; while putting on makeup; while speeding; and while a dog sits on their lap. Distracted driving has become more hazardous than driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Yet it’s become hard for our generation of people of all ages to eliminate this hazard.

We often run our companies the same way. After years of producing the same product or services, we can become complacent as an organization. The perils here all fall under a form of risk management because they endanger growth, operations, and profitability. Complacency within an organization regularly result in increased employee injuries, higher employee turnover, a reduction in sales, poor decision-making, and loss of reputation and brand value. Ultimately, the risk to avoid here is owning or being a part of a company that is in decline and losing value.

Since my Monday missives are meant to be more inspirational, allow me to end on such a note. The good news is we each have control of our own destiny. We can choose to take steps to better readiness and preparedness in our families and businesses. There is plenty of great information at our fingertips on how to best protect our homes, families, finances, and businesses from all sorts of calamities.

Here’s some light homework for your week. As you prepare to embark on the final quarter of 2018, invest some time in looking at your personal and professional readiness and preparedness. What positive steps can you take to assure your family’s well being in the vent of a crisis? How can you be best prepared to be a role model and leader? And how can you safeguard your employees and their families through proper risk management? Write to me and tell me what you did.

For those of you in business, I encourage you to check out my LinkedIn Learning series listed below on this newsletter. It’s free for LinkedIn Premium members. It will give you a full course on protecting your business. As individuals, go check out Ready.gov for information on preparing your family for life’s little accidents. You’ll be glad you did.

Be safe and ready out there…

Quote of the Week:

“You can find peace amidst the storms that threaten you.”

~ Joseph B. Wirthlin (20th century American businessman)

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.

Extra Points: Seven Deadly Words

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40We have always done it that way. 

Those seven words are deadly to an organization. Yet that thinking and behavior is common in companies of all sizes. Why?

Humans fear change. You may hear people – including yourself – say that they don’t like change; or that it’s hard to change. Both are cover-ups for the reality that change is scary and people are unwilling to change because they fear rejection, failure, or loss of reputation.

The truth about the age we live in is that change is more rapid and volatile than ever before in human history, and (this is important) we will continue to say that every year because of the development end evolving of technology in our lives. Those industries that aren’t willing to innovate and create; to change thinking, activities, and behaviors, are bound to be flattened by the changing tide.

I toured my client’s brand-new building that features a coworking facility. During the tour, she mentioned that facilities like hers were once only found in metropolitan areas, but now were becoming more in vogue all over. She said that this unique way of creating workspace was becoming the future of “work.” This isn’t a tend, but a movement to make work more enjoyable, easier, and more profitable for individuals and organizations. I concur with her assessment. Those companies that don’t embrace concepts like these to attract or keep great employees will ultimately lose them to ones that are willing to change how they view “work.”

What about you and your business? What changes have you not considered? What is the future of your industry or career? What concept is just waiting for you to try and succeed?

Change is necessary for growth and development in business. Heck, I’ll argue that it’s necessary for survival. If you want to avoid going the way of the video store, make sure you’re prepared to be nimble, innovative and change-centric and exchange those seven deadly words with five better ones…

That is a good idea.

Quote of the Week:

”The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows.”

~ Aristotle Onassis

© 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.

Extra Points: Leadership is Empathy

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Serena Williams is arguably the best female tennis player of all time; heck she may challenge Roger Federer as the greatest tennis player of either gender. She lost the US Open Championship on Saturday in what became a highly chaotic and confrontational scene involving Williams and the head judge.

What isn’t up for debate is that Naomi Osaka, her 20-year old Japanese competitor, completely outplayed her and won the match in two sets. It was a historic victory, the first ever Grand Slam Championship by a Japanese player.

The decidedly pro-Serena fans in New York voiced their displeasure during and after the match. The travesty is that they actually booed when Osaka was introduced as the champion, bringing this young champion to tears. What should have been a crowning event for the 20-year old was turning into humiliation. That’s when Serena showed why she’s also a champion as a human.

She graciously put her arm around Osaka’s shoulders when it was clear that she was being overwhelmed by the scene. She then took the microphone and implored the fans to stop the booing and give this young lady her time on the platform as a champion.

It’s a reminder to all of us that dealing with adversity with empathy and humanity is a trait of strong leadership. It’s a rare individual than can take a moment to consider someone other than self. Sometimes its forgiveness; other times it’s understanding; still other times it’s compassion and kindness.

Leadership begins with empathy and a genuine sense of how others are being affected; and continues with acts of compassion and kindness to help someone at the moment they need it most. On Saturday, that was a win for Serena Williams.

Quote of the Week:

”Obstacles are things a person sees when they take their eyes off their goal.”

~ E. Joseph Cossman

© 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.

Extra Points: Labor Day Special

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Thank you people I will never see again. Thank you for your “labor of generosity.”

Last Friday, we were helping our daughter move apartments. We had borrowed a truck for the move and I had been driving it all day through a couple of trips. On the final leg, as I was about to parallel park in a perfect spot right across the apartment complex on a vintage narrow street in Seattle, the truck died.

I turned the key. Click, click, click. Nada.

You know how you get that queasy feeling that no matter how many times you turn the key the vehicle won’t start? I had it.

The car behind me started honking. Barb and my daughter were walking down the sidewalk right at that time. I jumped out and asked the driver behind me to go around (which on that street would have been tight). The driver jumped out and said, “Oh…it won’t start?” Do you need help?”

Quickly, he and three others jumped out of their car to lend a hand. Barb took control of the wheel as we tried to manually parallel park the fully loaded truck. Two bicyclists came by and asked if they could help. Soon we had a full team expertly parking the truck in a safe place, with easy access to unload. We thanked them profusely as they smiled and departed. I actually think they had fun!

The alternator that was the cause of the issue could have gone out at any point of any part of the trip, so we were fortunate. We were also fortunate for that “labor of generosity” from strangers.

While we spend this Monday enjoying what is hopefully a restful and relaxing day away from labor, I encourage all of you to think about what “labor” we can provide to others. Where can we lend a hand to those who can never repay us; may never see us; and maybe not even know that we’d helped?

Labor Day is a day to refresh from our professional labors. As we head into the stretch run of this calendar year, I hope we will never take time off from the “labor of generosity” to our fellow humans.

Happy Labor Day.

Quote of the Week:

”Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.”

~ Iris Murdoch (20th century Irish 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.

Extra Points: What’s That You Say?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40As the Youth Exchange Officer for my Rotary Club, I get the honor of helping to pick up our inbound exchange student every summer. This student will stay a year with families from our club and have an exciting time. This year, we have a young man from Thailand.

I was speaking to my colleague in the club who is hosting our student to see how his first week went. He said things were great, and that the young man’s English was very good. As with all languages, we have idioms and slang that don’t translate very well. He laughed when he said, “I had to teach him what ‘I’m just messing with you’ means!” I’m sure this learning curve will continue as the young man starts school next week. 

There’s a language to business, both holistically and by industry. While one may have studied the language of business, they may may get stumped with the acronyms, slang, colloquialisms, and insider humor that is prevalent in all businesses and vocations. It’s as if someone were messing with them.

This is actually quite simple to fix; keep it simple.

Never assume someone else knows shortcuts and acronyms; avoid making things more complicated than they need to be; be pithy and clear; use strong vocabulary to clarify and define. In other words, make it easy to do business with others.

We are now a global economy and must be able to quickly communicate ideas and concepts with each other, whether it be with clients and customers next door or halfway around the world. The better you are able to accomplish this, the more rapidly you’ll be able to leverage success and build relationships.

And I’m not messing with you…

Quote of the Week:

”We cannot forever hide the truth about ourselves from ourselves.”

~ John McCain

© 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.

Extra Points: Not A Robot

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Lexi Thompson is one of the premiere women golfers in the world. At only 23 years old, she’s already amassed remarkable accomplishments on and off the course. Earlier this year, she shocked the golf world by taking a month-long hiatus in the middle of the year, skipping one of the major championships. This past week upon her return to the tour, she explained her reasons at a press conference.

The simple answer is she was mentally and physically exhausted. While that may seem odd to hear from a 23 year old, consider that in the past 18 months, she suffered a major meltdown in a tournament that she should have won easily, dealt with her mother’s fight with breast cancer, grieved over the death of her grandmother, and suffered a hand injury. She did all this on a worldwide stage and it ultimately took its toll. She realized golf had been her whole life and now she needed time seek out more. Two sentences from her press conference caught my attention. She said, “I’m not a robot out here. I need to have a life.”

Athletes and entertainers are often viewed by the public as immune to human frailties. Athletes are expected to rebound from injury without missing a beat; entertainers are supposed to not be swayed by criticism. In other words, they can often be mistaken for “robots.” As Ms. Thompson points out, they are not.

And neither are you.

I’m assuming that people who read this are successfully and gainfully working on running businesses, creating careers, and leading a great life with family. It’s easy to get caught in a mindset where we consider ourselves immune to criticism, drama, mistakes, illnesses, injury, and often just plain bad luck. I regularly talk to clients about life balance techniques, as I also work to practice what I preach.

While Lexi Thompson was never in danger of missing a meal due to her sabbatical, it was a significant – and an unheard of – thing to do. She took time away that she could afford to get her mind, body, and spirit right again. The consequences of not doing it could have been disastrous; while the results will likely lead to a more relaxed and confident golfer and person.

We could all use a little dose of relaxed and confident, couldn’t we? Maybe even this week…

Quote of the Week:

”It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

~ Nelson Mandela

© 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. 

LinkedIn Learning Course Now Available

IMG_2124I’m thrilled to announce that my LinkedIn Learning course is now available!

The title is: Protecting Profitability by Reducing Financial Risk

The course is just under two hours in duration, broken up through 28 3-4 minute videos to make it easier to watch and learn. Just like reading a book!

This course is ideal for business owners, entrepreneurs, CEOs, Presidents, Directors of Risk, and anyone who is tasked with protecting the profitability and assuring business continuity. In other words, if you’re in charge of keeping the doors open no matter what, this course is perfect got you.

The course is FREE for LinkedIn “premium” members. In fact, all of the LinkedIn Learning courses are. If you’re not a premium member, you’re missing out on great courses to help you run and grow your business. Why don’t you join and start with mine!

Here is the link to the preview. I hope you’ll watch the entire course and let me know what you think. Watch the first chapter and email me to tell me and I will send you a copy of my business continuity template as a gift.

Thanks and please spread the word on this course!

 

 

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved