Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Business’

Extra Points: A Series of Sprints

September 26, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40My favorite television series began it’s new season last week with several key changes. NCIS is now in its 14th season and introducing two new agents, one of which is replacing an original star, Micheal Weatherly (who now has his own new series).

My wife Barb and I enjoyed the “new blood,” however she found in reading social media, that there are many who don’t. She noted throngs of people upset that significant characters have come and gone and lamenting on why changes to a successful show would occur. To add to the topic, I have a friend that chided beer maker Dos Equis on Facebook for parting ways with the popular commercial character, “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” The actor, Jonathan Goldsmith is 77 years old and undoubtedly will get his chance to explore more Interesting things in retirement.

Here’s the deal folks. Just like in our normal lives, people (and characters) come and go. Life is not a television series or commercial where characters live on well past their prime. In fact, the most successful shows and campaigns make changes to stay up with the times. While both Weatherly and Goldsmith may have requested a change, both NCIS and Dos Equis got younger. They now are in a position to attract and engage millennial viewers, thus making it more likely to grow and sustain their “businesses.”

Life and business is a series of sprints. Each sprint has a life cycle to it, filled with different characters, situations, and opportunity. When one sprint ends, another begins. So it is with your business and life. If you’re unwilling to let go of characters and situations that no longer serve your best interests and provide new opportunity, then you’ll go the way of the dinosaur, video stores, and transistor radios. However if you consistently seek to embrace bold change aimed at expanding opportunity (and actually act on them), you will find that you’re unleashing your potential and prosperity to be successful, sustainable, and significant.

And winning all your races….

Quote of the Week:

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

~ Frederick Douglass

NEW

Join my co-host Brad Berger and me in our brand new podcast where we interview CEOs pf small and medium-sized businesses on what made them successful. The podcasts will air every two weeks and you can listen in our website. First streaming podcast is on September 27th at 4 pm PST!

Shrimp Tank Seattle Website

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Make a Decision Already

September 19, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40As we begin the closing quarter of another year, it seems to me that this century is more and more being defined by the ability to make decisions.

Technology is becoming more adept at running tasks. I would venture to guess that in my lifetime, most (if not all) business functions that can be done by a robot or machine, will be. You can see it prevalent already in manufacturing, traditional office functions (e.g. answering phone, taking messages, and dictation) and health care. Jobs that require mere physical ability will be dying away; you’ll need to use your smarts.

“Smarts” is critical in making decisions. Note that I didn’t say all decisions must be right, because that’s impossible. However, the process of rapidly assessing a complex situation, breaking down the upside and downside, trusting your brain and instinct, and then implementing will be more important than ever as we race through this century. We learn through decisions that both succeed and fail.

We need to be teaching our children to think; to be problem-solvers;  and to be resilient (overcoming failure and adversity and turning it into opportunity). We are going to need them when we get old! That means we’d better be good at it ourselves.

As a post-script, assess your business (whether you own it or not). Is your organization full of decision-makers and problem solvers, or do you have a bunch of human robots mindlessly performing tasks for a paycheck?

The age of decision-making is upon us…you might want to rush through that open gate and be unleashed into it with a full artillery.

Quote of the Week:

Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

~ Saint Francis of Assisi

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Are You Available?

September 12, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40As the National Football League season kicked off this past weekend, it’s a reminder that unlike many high school and college teams, the NFL is a “cut sport.” In other words, not everyone makes the team. All 32 teams must cut down to 53 players (with a few extra for a practice squad). One of the critical factors in one player making the team over another that might be as equally qualified is availability.

My favorite team the Seattle Seahawks, cut a player that had been a member of their squad for the past three years. He lost his job to a rookie. When asked to elaborate why the veteran was released, Coach Pete Carroll indicated that he was just never able to get over an injury and get on the practice field…which had also plagued him the three previous years. Carroll said, “he just wasn’t available.”

Are your employees (or those that directly report to you) “available” at work? I’m not referring to injury or illness. Rather I am wondering if they are mentally available to giving full effort while they are working. It’s probably to most insidious of categories related to absenteeism, because the person is there…sort of.

Are you an entrepreneur or employee that isn’t “available?” Sometimes, we need to look in the mirror and make sure our own focus and attention is where it needs to be. Granted, there are days we all are not as available as we should be. The problem is if it becomes chronic.

Leadership, culture, and observation go a long way towards assuring that your employees and subordinates are available. Self discipline will take care of you.

Quote of the Week:

Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.

~ H.G. Wells

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Why You Hate Your Boss

September 8, 2016 Leave a comment

20 Under 40 20_3This is the second of a three-part series for my Kitsap Sun business column…

This is the second of a three-part series on running a family business profitably and equitably. Over the past 27 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of family businesses. Even though the industries differ, the challenges surrounding them are very common. In the next two columns, I will draw attention to the three most critical topics that all family businesses need to address for both profitability and family bliss.

So you work for “the man,” do you? Or maybe, “the woman?”

So much of our popular culture revolves around the conceptualization of the persecuted and overburdened employee who works for a horrible boss and uncaring business. A modern day Willy Loman character that is doomed to a dreadful employment while the boss lives a carefree existence carousing on their yacht and mansion.

When it comes to small family businesses, the true picture is often very different.

I find that a very high number of business owners fled one horrible boss for an even worse boss…themselves! So many of you — yes, you — have started or inherited family businesses and find yourselves being treated more contemptibly than you’d accept from any other employer.

Let’s do a quick check:

Do you start work at 6 a.m. and then stop at about 8 p.m. (or later)?

Do you take fewer vacation days than your employees?

Do you accept and return work calls and email until you go to bed?

Do you go to work sick, even when you’d not allow employees to do the same?

Do you fear leaving your business unattended by you for more than a week? So much so that you constantly are checking in when you’re away?

Do you hate your boss?

Let’s be clear. I’ve seen all of these iterations in small family-run businesses over the past 27 years. I’ve heard all the usual excuses:

“I have to make sure the work is done to the company standard…”

“No, I really thrive when working in chaos for 12 hours a day…”

“I have to set a good example of work ethic or else nobody would work hard…”

“I’m not a micro-manager; it’s just that I need to know everything that goes on in my business…”

“My employees feel empowered when I’m always around. They hate it when I’m gone…”

“Oh, I’m only being controlling until (fill in the blank)…”

I could go on for the entire column. In fact, you may have others to share, especially if you are employed at a family business!

Here’s the stark reality of the situation — if you own and operate a small family business and can’t walk away for two months without touching it, then you don’t have a business, you have a job! In my experience, entrepreneurs start their businesses not to have a job, but to create jobs; create value; do what they love; and eventually sell that business to fund the rest of their lives. If you work yourself to the bone and create a condition where you’re always stressed out, burned out, and dreading your work, you may not have a much of a life left to enjoy.

The answer is to stop hating your boss. Here’s my five-step process to doing that quickly:

1. Empower your employees: That means train and then trust them. They want autonomy and the permission to fail and learn. That means delegate things that you shouldn’t be doing anymore. It means that you must create a culture and operation where you’re working yourself out of a “job!”

2. Take time off: Force yourself to take vacation time. You can still make yourself accessible in the event of an emergency, but in most cases it won’t happen. Your life balance requires relaxation and recharge. Take it.

3. Give yourself a break: Too many CEOs by their own actions seem to require perfection in themselves. If you do that, stop. You don’t require perfection from employees (and if you do, stop that, too). Allow yourself to be human, to make mistakes, and to be resilient. By doing this, you’ll alleviate stress and anxiety in yourself and your employees.

4. Ferociously guard your time: I cover this in my book, Unleashed Leadership. Learn how to prioritize by triaging what is urgent, important, and normal. The bulk of the time will actually be spent on the last one. Your time is extremely valuable. Save it for what only you can do and what you want to do.

5. Commit to having fun: That’s right. You can have fun. What does this look like? For the savvy CEO of a small family business it looks like actually enjoying what you do and manifesting it through your self-talk, your behavior, and your leadership. You must have a passion for your product or service; must enjoy people; must be a lifelong learner; must be a risk-taker; and must be an encourager. You must be able to reward and forgive yourself; seek out new challenges; create and innovate; and be a positive influence in your company.

People don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses. You’re stuck with yourself. You’d better come to a lifelong “employment agreement” where you wouldn’t even dream of working for anyone else.

Next month, Part 3: Dysfunction junction — What’s your function?

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: One Life, Right?

August 29, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Don’t blow it…

Have you seen the new Kona Brewing Company television ads featuring two Hawaiian brothers waxing poetic about beer, but mostly life? These guys are the modern day Bob and Doug McKenzie from the Great White North. Instead of wearing parkas and exclaiming “Eh,” these guys are chilling on the beach and signing off with, “Mahalo.”

The commercials are brilliant. Not just because it’s good beer, but it’s incredibly accurate wisdom. The concept is about slowing down; discarding the “fear of missing out,” or FOMO; and enjoying where you are now. Of course, Kona wants to sell beer; I get it. I’m challenging you to take a look at your life and heed there wisdom, “It’s one life, right? Don’t blow it.”

We’ve all at times been guilty of “blowing it.” It’s easy to do. We ruminate about things that have happened in the past; we worry or dread the future; fear paralyzes us and we don’t take risks; and we can become overwhelmed by the current events of the world.

“Blowing” your one life is deeper than making stupid and reckless decisions. It can be as simple as wasting away time worrying about what you will (or did) happen and/or scurrying around in the constant headless chicken metaphor that you miss golden life opportunities.

Let’s take a cue from my two new favorite TV brothers. Relax. Enjoy today. Keep perspective. Rinse and Repeat. One life, right? Don’t blow it.

Mahalo!

Quote of the Week:

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

~ Dr. Seuss

Haven’t seen the commercials? Watch FOMO here – LINK

P.S. Are you a small or medium-sized business owner that would like to inculcate this concept into your life and company, email me and let’s talk. You started a business to have fun, not to become it’s captive. Let me help you change that for you and your employees.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Dogs and Cats

August 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Captain Jack and Bella despise cats. Despise them.

When a cat is spotted on one of their walks, the histrionics begin. Resounding barking, bellowing angst, and powerful lunging that takes all my effort to keep them restrained. The cat, however sits silently, with a mocking glare that exacerbates their fury.

The ‘rivalry” between dogs and cats is centuries old. Our own pop culture characterizes this antagonism through mediums like cartoons, commercials, and school mascots. Ironically, this battle isn’t solely confined to our furry friends. I’ve spoken with many a business owner that has complained that his or her employees (and often leadership) “fight like cats and dogs.”

In any company, this clash leads to less than “unleashed” consequences. Some of the conflict may sound like my dogs obnoxious howling and posturing. Other times, the animosity is as stealth as a cat’s sly, shrewd stare. Regardless of number of employees, this leads to wasted time, poor performance, lost revenue, higher turnover, and high drama that sucks energy and time from your team and organization.

If you’re in a position of influence, it’s your responsibility to be a catalyst for change. I’ve heard and seen dogs and cats co-exist under the same roof. At some point, they were influenced to strike a culture of playing well together for the greater good (they both have agendas, too).

You’ll never be in a situation where you don’t have different styles, personalities, and opinions in your company. Conflict can be healthy if used for good, not evil. By creating a culture of “playing for each other,” as outlined in my book Unleashed Leadership, you’ll be able to harness the talent and skills of both your dogs and cats to accelerate profitable growth and better work conditions.

Bonus: Families are also prone to dog-cat rivalries. If you are part of a family-owned small business, those passions can become inflamed. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor if you can learn how to influence others to create that better condition for all.

Quote of the Week:

Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.
~ Agatha Christie

P.S. Having trouble with your own dogs and cats? You have the ability to fix this yourself, however if you need guidance and help to it, email me at dan@danweedin.com and let’s talk. I may not be very good at influencing my dogs, but I am better with people! Lets talk.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

What’s My Lie?

August 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40It looks like the story of the four U.S. swimmers being robbed is a fabrication. If that is clarified, it takes on the impact on the grand scale of former NBC news anchor Brian Williams and his expansion of the truth dealing with his involvement with enemy fire in the Middle East. Believe me, the new “enemy fire” will be aimed right at these four swimmers and will haunt them for years, if not their entire lives.

This morning’s NY Times story – read here – is shedding light on what really happened a few nights ago in Río de Janiero.Ryan Lochte is the most well known of the quartet of athletes and he served as the poster boy for the media. His tale is all about having a gun pointed to their heads and fearing that they wouldn’t make it out alive. Well, he made it back to the United States before his buddies, who were unceremoniously dragged off the plan by Brazilian authorities for more questioning.

You can read the entire story for yourself. Suffice it to say, there appears to be some monkey business going on. This “tall tale” looks like it’s been invented to cover up for some misdeeds committed after the swimming competition was over, and the Americans shone as one of the brightest stars.

How does this affect you?

As a business leader (owner, manager, executive), you deal with people all the time that have reason to be untruthful. Your biggest concern should be with your employees. While I believe you should begin any relationship like this as trusting, you need to be vigilant on what the truth is becasue it affects your company. While you may never get into fabrications as large as this one, small white lies can cost you money. They can range from untrue resumes, explaining why someone is consistently late to work, to thievery (I have one client that had $25,000 stolen over time from their bookkeeper).

You also have an obligation not to be untruthful with employees. There’s ample opportunity to withhold information or stretch the truth for your own purposes.

Look, the bottom line comes down to trust and transparency. This incident is going to have serious ramifications on the swimming program and the United States. Lying is most often used to cover up something that is awkward, unpleasant, or embarrassing. If we are honest, at some point in our lives we have all been guilty to some extent. However, creating a culture of playing for each other (as outlined in my book Unleashed Leadership), will prevent the really embarrassing and potentially damaging consequences for you and your business.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved