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Extra Points: Flexibility Rules

July 25, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Flexibility Rules

My daughter got married over the weekend. I’m writing this the Monday before the wedding because I know that the week leading up to it is flush with moving parts, potential jobs for me, and the need to be flexible. To that end, I’ve planned out my business week to be complete by end of the day Tuesday. I’m sure I will have found a few nuggets to write about soon!

I’ve worked with many a business owner, leader and professional that fills every nook and cranny of their days. They bemoan not having enough time because they are so busy. Some see an open space in their calendar and just have an insatiable need to drop a new meeting, call, or project in it. I know you might not believe me, but many of you reading this right now resemble this example to some level. And, it’s dangerous.

Balance is necessary to be successful and happy. You must find discretionary time to relax, enjoy hobbies, exercise, and often just do nothing. In order to achieve this, you must build in flexibility into your calendar. You accomplish this by intentionally leaving plenty of open space and resisting the urge to fill it with work or chaos. Step 1 is strategizing for the future by doing or scheduling things in advance (hence my newsletter being written 4 days earlier than normal). Step 2 is prioritizing activities into urgent, important, and normal. Some of you are overflowing with urgent, when the normal bucket should be the most used. Step 3 is to include flexibility and nimbleness into your day. That’s right…plan for the unplanned and the relaxation. When you’re flexible, you can more adroitly deal with the unexpected and enhance your own life balance.

Quote of the Week:

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. ”

~ Jim Rohn

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Distracted Driving

July 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Distracted Driving

Last week, I was driving through town when the Honda CRV in front of my suddenly (and violently) veered to the right, striking the sidewalk that jutted out and nearly taking out the tree inside of it. The vehicle corrected quickly and went on its way. While I never saw the driver, the incident looked exactly like someone being distracted that lost focus and ultimately control of the vehicle long enough to get the heart pounding and then got back on track. In our world, we have many distractions while driving including text, talking, food and beverage, wailing children, and dogs sticking out of the driver window.

This person was fortunate. It appeared that no damage was done, other than a good scare. The reality is that they could have hit another car or pedestrian, and caused damage, injury, or death. Distracted driving is hazardous to everyone’s health.

Distracted driving of your business or career has severe consequences, too.

While you may never stop to be concerned about your destination when getting in a car to drive away, are you clear of what your destination in your life is? Or, are you driving down your career and business path distracted by the sights, sounds, and “noise” of the world. If you are, you may have passed some pretty important mileposts and never know it!

If you own a business, you’d better have a plan on where you’re going, how long it will take to get there, metrics of success, and an exit strategy. If you get caught up in your day to day “fire fighting,” then it may be too late when your destination is the next exit.The same is true for all of you “employees” that plan to retire someday. Are you paying attention at the wheel?

Bottom line, if you are like so many entrepreneurs and business professionals in the world that are distracted by the days events, you may be surprised when the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train. Rather, why don’t you clean off your windshield, get focused on where you’re going, and enjoy the ride.

Quote of the Week:

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

~ General Eric Shineski, USA (Army Retired)

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

What Message Is Your Company Sending?

July 15, 2016 Leave a comment

20 Under 40 20_3Last month, I went on my annual weekend golf outing with my high school buddies. We go somewhere new every year and play four rounds of golf, eat too much food, and generally pretend we are still in high school. At our final course this year, I went to pay for my green fees with my American Express card and the employee behind the counter said, “Sorry, you’ll have to pay with Visa or MasterCard.”

I found it odd that a golf course the caliber of this one didn’t take every single credit card on the face of the earth! I shrugged and changed cards and went to the first tee. After our round, we had our final lunch together, and as is the case with all our meals, we draw two credit cards from a hat and those two “losers” get to pay the check for the group. Unfortunately for me, this time I was one of the “losers.” When I received my check, I noticed that imprinted on the leather-bound cover was the American Express logo as the desired method of payment. This made me chuckle. Either the employee at the golf shop didn’t get the memo or they had two sets of rules for the same place.

Regardless of the reason, one thing was certain. The golf course and restaurant were sending a mixed message. One side of the company accepted a form of payment, and the other side didn’t. Is your company inadvertently sending mixed messages both internally and externally?

It’s not uncommon for companies to send out mixed messages to employees. Notwithstanding a company’s size or industry, humans are susceptible to such errors. For example:

• Inconsistent treatment of employees when it comes to promotions, pay increases, and time off

• Inconsistency regarding discipline and reasons for termination

• Inconsistent hiring practices and training

• Lack of follow-through on new procedures and practices

• Failing to properly communicate changes

• Failure to set adequate contingencies, leading to confusion and frustration in time of crisis

• Saying one thing and doing another

Don’t tell me this only happens at other companies; that you’re immune to it. I have yet to observe a company that doesn’t have at least a few inconsistencies that lead to internal strife. To fix these issues, allow me to offer some internal best practices and suggestions:

1. Don’t worry about being perfect. I talk to business owners that aspire to have a perfect culture, perfect employees, and perfect harmony. There is perfection in imperfection as long as it’s part of the humanness of a company. Take perfect out of the equation and strive for exceptional. There’s a big difference.

2. Be consistent. Just like one organization should accept the same credit cards, you should be consistent with how you treat employees when it comes to benefits, pay increase opportunities, and advancement guidelines.

3. Become fluent in speaking their language. Make sure you’re clear in how you communicate your message, your priorities, changes in procedures, or anything else that requires education. It’s your message, yet you need to deliver it in way that is understood and implemented.

4. Get help. Subscribe and join associations and groups that provide information and education on human resources. Hire experts to help you navigate challenges and find solutions. Be vulnerable enough to admit that investing in help will ultimately make you a better company.

It’s also a reality that messages can get mixed up externally, just like my story depicts.

• Is your sales team making promises it can’t keep?

• Is your brand clear to your target market, or are you trying to be everything to everyone?

• Is your website current? The worst thing you can do in 21st-century marketing is becoming obsolete in a post-Yellow Pages world.

• Does your customer service team treat customers as you wish they would? How do you know?

• Are you accessible to people you most value as customers and clients?

To fix these issues, allow me to offer some external best practices and suggestions:

1. Invest time, money and resources into assuring your sales message and vision resonates with the entire operation. Sales must know what is practical for steady growth without becoming a burden to operations.

2. Create a plan to monitor your cyber presence. That includes your website and social media platforms. Respond to concerns and stay current.

3. Hire and train customer service people that like talking to people. I’m not kidding. Have you ever had a conversation with a customer service person that was surly, uninterested, or even just rude? You know what I mean then!

4. Engage your employees. Ask them for help and suggestions for improvement when it comes to your external message.

If you want to truly be significant and successful in business, you must communicate your message both internally and externally. Your employees must understand and exemplify your mission and vision. Your clients and customers need to know what you do and how you’ll help them.

It’s pretty basic, but important. Sort of like knowing which credit cards to accept, right? Make sure you keep your message clear and concise, so that your company can be Unleashed.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Want to get powerful and exclusive tips, tools, and techniques to grow you business, build your career, and enrich your life? Check out my lifetime membership as part of the Unleashed Universe.

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A Personal Invitation to Unleashed Universe

July 13, 2016 Leave a comment

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The 21st century is a decision-making universe. 


Speed, skill, perspective and perspicacity are needed more than ever by business owners, managers, and all professionals to drive results and assure resilience.

Unleashed Universe is a dynamic and unique digital learning environment to help small and medium-sized business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, sales professionals, managers, and any business leader substantially enhance their ability to maximize their talents and skills, while helping and influencing others in their company do the same.

“Unleashed Universe pushed me to stop and reflect on my own habits and aspirations as an individual, as a team player and as a leader. The focus on simple, yet revolutionary steps towards building winning teams–and having fun doing it–is spot on. It’s that piece, among others, that I’ll keep at the heart of my continued leadership development.”
~ Alanna Imbach, CEO and Founder – Vibe Coworks

Lifetime Value

This is the only lifetime access program I offer. For a fantastically small investment, you will gain continuous and consistently powerful resources, tools, and best practices to build your career, grow your business, and create a better life for you, your family and employees.
You will get:
* The 12-episode video series, Unleashed Leadership, plus all future series
* Monthly resources and tolls exclusive for members only
* A monthly 30-minute conference call exclusively for members
* 24/7 online access to private repository of resources

Learn More

What’s in it for you….
* Enhance creativity, innovation, and decision-making
* Improve top-line revenue growth
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* Focus time on priorities and eliminate wasted time and effort
* Improve your ability to communicate and influence
* Maximize your talent and that talent those around you
* Enhance individual and organizational resilience
* Increase skills in creating intellectual property
* Enhance marketing and branding strategies and tactics Improve work-life balance and…
* Have more fun in your life

Lifetime membership for only a one-time investment of $950 before September 1st. After September 1, the membership fee increases to $1,500.

Purchase Membership

“Dan Weedin presents concepts and solutions that are practical and workable whether our staff has years of experience in business or fairly new to our company. The immediate benefit of the series was knowing that we have professional assistance and ready answers to questions that at first can seem daunting, but with help are surmountable and stepping stones.” 

~ Susan Ogilvie, Paul Ogilvie Construction

“The program and related “homework” really made me slow down and engage in the learning. It forced me to self-assess and re-evaluate how I react to both professional and personal situations. Because of that analysis, I now look at life, work, and family situations differently. My focus as a leader is to help others improve in their work and career.”
~ Leon Capps, Tim Ryan Construction

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: In Sync

July 11, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week, I had a golf swing analysis done, along with 90 minutes of coaching. My game has been inconsistent for the last several years, and after trying to fix myself, I elected to get professional help. I’d also never performed a swing analysis before, and I was eager to see how it worked.

The result was that the foundation of my swing was very good, but had one major flaw. My weight shift was bad, meaning that my arms were coming through faster than the rest of my body causing inconsistency hits and results. I originally thought I was swinging too hard; in reality I was “out of sync.” The golf pro gave me tools and drills to help me get back that feel back. When I inspected my high school yearbook, I found a picture of my swing from my junior year. It was perfect. I’d managed to inadvertently and unknowingly deteriorate over the years and desperately needed expert help to get back “in sync.”

Have you allowed your business, your career, or your life get “out of sync?”

Too often, in any (or all) of these areas, it’s easy to allow past success and satisfaction to grow monotonous and pedestrian. You don’t even realize your “swing” becoming diminished because it “feels” the same. It’s one thing to have that happen to a golf swing (that’s easy to fix). It’s quite another to let it impinge on your business, career, and life.

Go get your own “swing analysis” on your personal and professional life. Get help in the areas that you want to improve or achieve change. Be disciplined to implement that change. And start shooting better scores in the much more important “game” you find yourself playing daily.

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”

~ Auguste Rodin

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

Extra Points: Numbers

June 27, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40A few weeks ago, I started a countdown to my daughter’s wedding by posting on my Facebook page a photo of the jersey number of a famous (normally local) athlete followed by “…days until #MindyandPaul2016 wedding.”
The idea came to me from posts by the NFL Network counting down to kickoff for next season. I thought it would be fun. After some random posts, Mindy told me she really liked them and wanted me to start a daily countdown. We decided to start at#40.

I made this known publicly on my page and before I knew it, I was getting “requests and suggestions” from my friends. I started hearing privately from people about how much they enjoyed the countdown. Both Mindy and her fiancée Paul liked them. And,they were garnering lots of “likes.” There was momentum and anticipation building. (By the way, today is #26)

Something very small and subtle, mixed in with some commonality and humor became very popular and memorable. Who would have thought athlete’s numbers for a wedding countdown could do that?

How is your business creating small, subtle, and memorable moments for your customers and clients? Is your career gaining momentum, or is it blasé? Are you seeking to find creative and fun ways to market your value or are you satisfied with just doing the same thing over and over because it’s easier.

My daughter and future son-in-law will always remember the countdown. So will family and many of my friends. It’s created a memory. How can you take this simple example and create your own “countdown effect” in your business and career?

Note: Check out my interview for Fast Company on being memorable.. READ

Quote of the Week:

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”

~ Robert Byrne

Perilous For Your Business Health

June 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I read this morning that professional golf superstar Rory McIlroy is skipping the upcoming Olympic games in Rio due to concerns about the Zika virus. I recently saw him interviewed and he stated how he was very eager and excited about representing his native Ireland as an Olympian. Golf hasn’t been an event in the Olympics since Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States, and there’s no guarantee it will make the next one. Obviously, the growing concern over the virus has swayed this 27 year old who is getting married within the year to look beyond golf and glory. His legacy as a father and health of his family took precedence. He’s not the only one…

Athletes want to compete in the Olympic Games. For many, it’s the crowning achievement of their craft and because it only comes around every four years, the window of opportunity is small. What the Olympic Committee has basically created is a terrible situation where you have demand, you have ample supply, but that supply is tainted and toxic.

Consider those in the business of selling products and services to individuals and business…most likely you are one of them. Do you have a demand and supply, but make the process of buying toxic?

Certainly you aren’t dealing with a health hazard like mosquitoes and polluted water. However, your client experience may be such that they will avoid you like the Zika virus! Here are three quick ways to avoid being spurned:

  1. Make access to you easy. Look at your web site, social media platforms, email signatures, and digital or hard copy brochures. I’m amazed at how difficult it is to find contact information for some businesses. It should be easier than ever! And once they can find you, make the call a pleasant experience, not akin to having a tooth pulled.
  2. Be solutions driven. Problems happen from time to time. It’s one of the costs of doing business. Instead of fearing or dreading dealing withe them, employ people that seek the opportunity to solve problems quickly, fearlessly, and with authority. That last one is vitally important. The overwhelming majority of your clients and prospects understand that challenges and adversity occur; they simply want someone that can rapidly and professionally solve them.
  3. Be consistent. My experience is that consistency, even in less than perfect situations, keeps clients and customers coming back. Inconsistent policies, procedures, responses to questions, access, and products/services alienate those that want and need your help and product.

Here’s the deal…I know you’re not harmful to the health of your client, but you very well may be harmful to your business by not being cognizant of the factors that contribute to client and prospect dissatisfaction. Work to be exceptional on my three solutions I listed, and you won’t have to worry about anyone bowing out of your “event.”

 

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

 

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