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Posts Tagged ‘Business’

Extra Points: Who’s Your Caddie?

July 24, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I just finished watching an incredible and dramatic ending to The Open Championship (aka The British Open). Jordan Spieth displayed an unbelievable amount of poise, focus, and patience in winning the championship when the momentum and tide had turned sharply against him late in the round. I understand there may be many readers that are not golf fans, and this isn’t going to be regurgitation of the tournament. What you do need to know is that in 40 years of watching professional golf, I’ve never seen anything like it.

During his victory speech, Spieth thanked his caddie, Michael Greller. This isn’t unusual, yet Spieth said something which captured my attention. He said that Greller helped him keep his head in the game when things were going poorly. He acknowledged that he was getting down on himself “as any person would,” and that Greller kept him on a positive mindset and focused on the next swing. He said the trophy was as much Greller’s as it was his.

Caddies are critical to pro golfers for much more than simply handing them the next club and carrying the bag. They end up being a combination of psychologist, accountability partner, sounding board, and coach. Who’s your caddie?

Every business professional will face trials and tribulations in their career. Just like a round of golf on the biggest stage, those that are resilient and focused on positive outcomes win the day, even if they don’t win the championship. As Spieth accurately noted, “any person” can and will get down on themselves. We all need a caddie to help us.

While some of you may say that your spouse or significant other act as your caddie, I’d offer you this perspective: There are no professional golfers using their spouses or significant other to tote the bag for them. You find spouses and significant others giving support from behind the ropes, but in those crucial moments, there is a need for an objective voice and often a tough love that can’t be duplicated by those closest to us.

If you truly want to be successful in your career, you need to find a caddie that will talk you back into focus when you need it, hold you accountable to your goals, and provide both tough love and an encouraging pat on the back when needed. You’ll find that they will ultimately save you many “strokes” in your championship round!

Quote of the Week:

”Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.”

~ Arnold Palmer

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need a caddie? 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: Hydrating Your Life

July 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week I talked about the fact that I hate drinking water. We looked at the concept of hydrating a body being critical to better decision-making, energy, and creativity in business. I opined that we need proper levels of hydration to properly function and be healthy; that we must be alert to this need and disciplined in it’s implementation both personally and professionally. I also gave a few suggestions on how to “hydrate” your business. You were promised that this week, you’d get a few suggestions on how to “hydrate” your life.

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 personal lives. If you find yourself bored with your career, lacking energy and enthusiasm in your daily life, and simply slogging through the motions to get from day to day, then you are badly dehydrated! It’s time to infuse some hydration in your career.

Allow me to offer you three ideas to immediately get you out of a sluggish dehydrated state and into an energized and unleashed state:

First, commit to getting 30 minutes of exercise daily. That’s right, every day. I’m only asking you to carve out half an hour. That’s long enough to take a brisk walk, get in a swim, or lift weights (among a large number of options). I know that when I’ve taken a few days off for whatever reason, my mood changes for the worse. Get moving.

Second, do something that scares you every day. In this example, I’m not suggesting you do something reckless or foolish. I am suggesting however that you do something that makes your heart race a little and causes you discomfort. It might be giving a speech in public; volunteering for a challenging project, taking a risk that might draw criticism; or pulling the ripcord on skydiving. Life is about creating – not waiting  for – excitement and adventure. Those that wait for it get dehydrated; those that seek out are energized.

Third, change your mindset. When Captain Jack enters the same yard every day for his morning constitution, he’s not thinking, “Oh man, the same stupid yard! What a drag…” Rather, I can literally feel from the pull on the leash his enthusiastic exclamation, “The YARD! The YARD! Oh the new smells…I can’t wait to start the day!” Dogs don’t focus on the visual sense that we humans get bored with. They use their highly developed olfactory senses to sniff out opportunity. While you can’t follow your nose quite as well as dogs can, you can change your mindset to seek out opportunity in every day and every interaction.

Life’s too short, friends. Stay thirsty for life and keep drinking that water to unleash your potential and dreams.

P.S. I gave you three ideas. I have seven more that will immediately help you but don’t have the room here. Email me and I will share them with you.

Quote of the Week:

”Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”

~ Salvador Dali

© 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.

It’s Not About You Stupid!

July 14, 2017 Leave a comment

031A6785My July column for the Kitsap Business Journal (Kitsap Sun)

While cleaning out the spare room to make space for my wife’s new home office, I found a box full of old books and work from college. Why it’s still with me 34 years later is beyond me, but I’m glad it is.

I pulled out a notebook I was asked to journal in for a writing class in fall quarter of my freshman year at Skagit Valley College. I took a break and started reading through it. Of course my girlfriend I wrote of often was now my wife, who attended Skagit Valley with me. This made the discovery more personal. That evening, my daughter and son-in-law came over to celebrate Father’s Day weekend, so I showed her the journal. The rest of the evening was spent with laughter over my writing style, the contents, and a peek into my worldview as an 18-year-old!

Upon reflection, I realized that my writing indicated something that I’m sure is common with most American 18-year-old boys…a pretty healthy self-absorption. The focus of my writing was on me. While this might not sound overly insightful, I realized that my commentary on my professors, my school work, my friends, and even my soon to be wife was all about me. If I could go back on time and be given the chance to give myself advice, I’d probably begin with a slap on the back of the head with the exhortation, “It’s not about you, stupid!”

I think my maturation started with becoming a father and grew from there. The three-plus decades since September 1983 have provided experiences, challenges, and moments that shape perspective and wisdom. This tough love I’d give myself was likely attempted by my own father, but undoubtedly not listened to well! It’s amazing what life lessons teach us and how we eventually learn that we didn’t know it all.

CEOs, business owners, and business leaders, take notice… “It’s not about you, stupid!” You also don’t know it all.

Before you storm the castle with pitchforks and torches, hear me out. My experience is that business owners have a great passion for their work and great pride in their business. Over the course of years, it’s easy to become both provincial and myopic in the management and operations of the business. To be blunt, it’s easy to become self-absorbed.

Business owners that become overly concerned about their legacy, their community standing, and their personal profit start down the slippery slope often trod by teenage boys. It becomes easier to blame others for problems (e.g. the government, the employees, the customers). It becomes easier to think about profits before people. It becomes easier to isolate oneself, rather than “walking the shop floor” and engaging with people.

Fortune 500 companies CEOs are notorious for being unavailable and unaware of the company culture. Uber’s CEO just recently took a leave of absence (or rather was forced to by the board of directors) for his dreadful behavior. While Uber will likely rebound with some better decisions, small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) cannot afford that luxury of time. If you are in charge of your organization – or have direct reports and influence – then you need to slap yourself upside your head on occasion to remind yourself that the business is not about you, even if it is your name on the shingle. The business is always about the people.

Let’s define “people.” For this column, I define people as your employees and your customers and clients.

Your employees: Without them, your business wouldn’t operate. Never consider that just because you’re providing a paycheck that any additional effort to support and encourage them isn’t needed. The biggest mistake SMB owners make is putting an emphasis on profit over people. The reality is that if you put the effort on people, your profit will exponentially improve as a result. It’s not the other way around. The genuine care about the well being of your human “assets” goes a long way to building a strong culture where they care as much as you do about the business’s success.

Your customers and clients: Your business serves some higher good. You’re offering value and the improvement of the condition of someone else. If you weren’t, you’d not still be in business! I sometimes hear or read about business owners complain about customer demands and administrative burden. It’s often easy to get seduced by the sexiness of bringing in new clients and forget hat you have “at home.” Those customers and clients are potential evangelists that will shout your name to the rooftop and refer you business. They will only do this if they feel like you still care. Do you?

There’s a difference between self-absorption and self-confidence. Self-absorption left unchecked becomes isolation with consequences like poor employee morale and loss of clients. Self-confidence breeds positivity in brand and service leading to collaboration and engagement. If you occasionally find yourself slipping into an 18 year brain, slap yourself upside the head and remind yourself, “It’s not about you, stupid!” You and your company will be better of for it!

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved

Shrimp Tank Podcast: Aaron Schmookler

July 11, 2017 Leave a comment

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

shrimptanklogo

 

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

Extra Points: Hydrating Your Business & Career

July 10, 2017 Leave a comment

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: Fear No One

June 26, 2017 Leave a comment

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.

Extra Points: Puzzles

June 19, 2017 1 comment

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.