This Just In…

Two new “reviews” from coaching clients that I am working with and have renewed for more “torture” from me. See why they gain value for themselves and their careers. How can I help you?

“I benefit from working with Dan because of his extreme intensity and focus on the direction we are headed. He keeps me focused, accountable, and on task. Dan also looks ahead with optimism. His vision is large, which makes my vision expand. Limits are not in his vocabulary. He emphasizes the fact that the discipline has to come from me and it requires daily commitment to achieve defined goals. Not all coaches are created equal…Dan Weedin is exceptional.”~ Heidi Jack, Seattle, WA

“Dan is an amazing coach. He not only guides to me a level of clarity that has been instrumental in achieving my goals, but also provided a role model for what I hope to achieve in my own business. He is charming and funny but also fearless and sharp. I recommend Dan with the utmost confidence.”~ Stacie Curtis, President CW Solutions (Millstone Township, NJ)

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Back in the NY Groove #3

I’m not from around here…

Sometimes you just need a little help. I’ve been getting better at traversing the New York subway and rail system. I know where I’m supposed to be and when, but not always sure how to get there.

On my brief trip from my hotel to the subway to Penn Station to catch the NJ Transit, I needed help 4 times. Just to keep me pointed in the right direction and on the right train. Contrary to popular belief, New Yorkers are nice and helpful. As I type this blog on my phone on the right train, I’m thankful for their guidance.

Sort of like business. We may know where we’re supposed to be at some point in the future, but may need help getting there (especially when your uncertain what direction the train you’re on is really going).

The smartest and most successful business professionals and leaders get help through mentoring and coaching to keep them on track and moving forward. What about you?

Copyright 2013 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

50 Reasons to Call Your Mentor

Collaborated on by Robbie Kellman Baxter and Dan Weedin, both accredited “Master Mentors” for Alan Weiss, author of Million Dollar Consulting, the Consultants Bible and about 40 other books on consulting….

Are you being mentored or coached and don’t know why or when to call your mentor? It’s funny that I sometimes hear this from the consultants that I coach and mentor. Robbie has, too. They get so caught up in their everyday “grind,” that they lose focus on when to get help. To that end, Robbie and I have come up with 50 reasons to call your mentor. That should keep you, and us, busy!

From Robbie Kellman Baxter – website

1.    To prioritize your next steps
2.    To role play an important conversation
3.    To figure out what went wrong, after the event
4.    To review your new website
5.    To review your book proposal
6.    To review your plan to market your book
7.    To figure out how to package value at different price points
8.    To increase your value and decrease your labor intensity
9.    To think bigger
10. To figure out how to fire your worst clients
11. To review your Objectives, Measures, and Values before you send out the proposal
12. To make sure that you use subcontractors effectively
13. To figure out when and if you should collaborate with another consultant
14. To price a project
15. To strengthen your value proposition
16. To plot how to reinvent yourself
17. For practical tips on technology
18. When you’re ready to start building your brand as a thought leader
19. When you need a little push
20. When your project hits a major bump
21. When your client hasn’t paid you
22. When you need language to ask a client for a referral
23. To help you get organized
24. To prep for a speaking engagement
25. To share your successes!

From Dan Weedin – website

26. To help you manage your time

27. To answer question on how to maintain good life balance

28. When you need a confidence boost

29. To get a second opinion

30. When you’re feeling anxious or scared

31. When something worked and you want to learn how to replicate it

32. To review your demo video

33. To help you get better referrals

34. When you need something clarified or defined

35. To learn how to get past a gatekeeper

36. To learn how to overcome objections

37. When you need to vent

38. When you need a sounding board

39. To review your articles, white papers, and executive briefs

40. To help you create intellectual property

41. To review your marketing material

42. When you need the right answer to your biggest concern fast

43. To gain confidence before you walk in the door to a new prospect

44. When you need to hear the truth

45. When you need to learn how to run a webinar or teleconference

46. When you don’t know the answer

47. Before you send the email response to make sure it’s good

48. To help you learn how to effectively network

49. To help you create press releases

50. To guide you towards valuable resources

 

© 2012 Robbie Baxtter and Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

What Does Tiger Woods & Top Producers Have in Common?

Hole #11 - Harbour Pointe Golf Course

Tiger Woods is arguably the most skilled golfer of all time. At the writing of this article, he won for only the second time since his infamous personal meltdown brought him back to earth. Regardless of his personal behaviors and choices, there is no doubt that for a period of a dozen years, he was not only the best golfer on the planet; he was the best at his craft in the entertainment industry (athletes, actors, singers, etc). And, Tiger Woods had a coach.

The fact is that Woods and other top line professional athletes like Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and Serena Williams having coaches, goes unnoticed and with no fanfare. It’s a given. Singers have voice coaches. Actors have acting coaches. Dancers employ coaches. Coaches and mentors are considered essential to develop skills and accelerate growth and development.

Let’s take a closer look at Tiger Woods and what coaching has done to enhance and accelerate his career…

Shortly after Woods won his first Masters title by a landslide, he went about developing a new swing. He hired a new coach and set the wheels in motion to “reinvent” his swing and his game. Fans and analysts thought he was crazy? Why fix something that is so not broken? The end result is that Woods became even more dominant and more consistent. The coaching had vaulted him past being really good and into legendary status.

After Tiger’s personal life fell apart in front of the world and injuries forced him to miss needed practice time and rounds, he set out again to “reinvent” himself again. Armed with new coaching, he set the stage to work on his game. After his recent win and momentum, he may be nearing the lofty heights he had set for himself. The only way he could get there was with a coach honing his enormous skill; holding him accountable; and offering new strategy and technique for his age and physical limitations.

In business, the top executives and “rainmakers” all use coaches. Why? For the same reasons that athletes, actors, and dancers do. To challenge, motivate, cajole, and improve their craft. The irony is that the top 1% of income producers use executive coaches and mentors like Marshall Goldsmith, Patricia Fripp, and Alan Weiss; while the vast majority of professionals who struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis don’t invest in themselves through coaching.

You can’t be brilliant by yourself. Athletes and other celebrity from the entertainment world have always known this. Kobe Bryant employs five new coaches every summer to help him improve his game, even after multiple world championship rings and Most Valuable Player trophies. Woods has hired new coaches to hone his game in an effort to return to the greatness he once had. Both Bryant and Woods know that no matter the length of time you have in the “game,” you are never too old or experienced to learn. In fact, it’s those that are most ready to learn new things and be “coachable” that continue to get the most out of their talent. The most effective rainmakers in the insurance industry are beating the tar out of their competition because they use coaches and mentors.

Here are 5 reasons you need to consider using a coach…

1. Skill development. In sales, your skill set needs to include powerful use of language, visioning, overcoming objections, and fighting through gatekeepers, to name a few. The solutions are not always evident and a strong coach will guide you through strategies to create and enhance these skills. Practicing conversations and interactions is a lost art among most insurance pros. In my experience, the majority just “wing it.” Coaching will speed up the success rate of these communications and deliver quicker results.

2. Feedback. When I coached high school basketball, my teams and I would watch game film. The video never lied. My feedback to them was invaluable because I would point out areas of weakness and areas of strength to work on. How do you know you did something well (or not) without an objective voice?

3. Feed Forward. Executive coaching guru Marshall Goldsmith coined a concept called “Feed Forward.” Feed forward is about creating solutions in the future and forgetting the past failures. Once we’ve acknowledged our mistakes, then coaches provide constructive “to do” strategies to hasten development. Feed forward comes from observation and compelling questioning that peels away at the onion to reveal real barriers to progress. This can only be accomplished with a trusted coach.

4. Sounding board. Sometimes you just need to let off steam. You need an ear to vent to; someone to simply listen. In most cases, bosses, sales managers, and spouses are not good options for this. A coach is a safe place to vent anger and frustration; as well as a place to celebrate successes.

5. Accountability. From den mothers to drill sergeants; teachers to athletic coaches; parents to pastors; we’ve all had someone keep us accountable. In your business life today, it’s harder than ever to find that accountability partner. A coach takes on that role and without baggage or excuses, holds you to the things you know you need to do to be successful. As with a sounding board, those other important people in your life are often ill equipped to objectively be that person; or will let you off the hook too easily.

Bottom Line

You can’t be brilliant by yourself. Everyone needs a coach. In the entertainment world, coaches are often less skilled than their mentorees; yet have a unique ability to ignite their talent and get them to perform at their maximum capability. Coaches in business elevate their mentorees to the same level of success and help them thrive personally and professionally. Not employing that kind of help is not only foolish, but also selfish. Think of all those who could be helped, yet never will.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and be coached takes immense self-confidence. The financial and time investments are usually dwarfed by the return of increased revenues, more discretionary time, and improved life balance.

Tiger Woods utilized coaches that ranged from his own father during his childhood; to his coaches at Stanford; to multiple big name golf coaches like Butch Harmon and Hank Haney. If a guy like Tiger Woods, who may be one of the greatest competitors of all time, can be coached, why wouldn’t you?

The reality is that insurance professionals, who overlook being coached because they think they can do it on their own, usually never reach the apex of their talents and thus fail to earn the income and life they could have realized. Those insurance pros that accept the challenge of being coached will reach greater heights in their career and enjoy the fruits of that success both professionally and personally.

The first tee is right this way. Are you ready to play?

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

A Culture of One

The Chairman

I facilitate a group of CEOs, Executives, and Business owners to help them enhance their leadership skills and a variety of other great values. We held a workshop yesterday where Earl Bell led us in an exercise on culture, strategy, and tactics. Caused me to think a little bit…

What if you are your own “culture?” As a solo practitioner, I only have me to worry about when it comes to creating and maintaining a culture in my organization. (Full disclosure – Captain Jack IS the chairman of the board and getting him to culture is undeniably an impossible feat. I try to keep him away from social events)

Unfortunately, many of us in the consulting world don’t develop a very good internal culture. To our clients, prospects, and colleagues, we are gold. We do what we say, do it well, communicate as promised, and provide exemplary service and skill leading to tremendous value to our clients. That is an external culture we create in building relationships. However, what do we do internally?

  • Do we like our boss?
  • Does our boss reward us and praise us for jobs well done?
  • Does our boss let us take vacations?
  • Does our boss pay us enough?
  • Does our boss verbally abuse us or are they constantly positive and up beat?
  • Does our boss care about our health and our family?

The list could go on. I think you get my drift.

And to quote a late night infomercial – But wait….there’s more!

What if you do run a larger organization and you are the boss anyway? You may be a CEO, CFO, or President. You can still ask yourself the questions above and be honest with your responses. In my experience, you still don’t have good self-talk which can deflate your own confidence. You don’t reward yourself even though you will go out of you way to reward others.

Start making positive changes by taking stock of where you are today in your relationship with your “boss.” Whether you are a lone wolf or the leader of a large pack of wolves, you can start immediately improving your inner culture today by…

  • Rewarding yourself for good work often
  • Allowing yourself the luxury of not being perfect
  • Forgiving yourself for mistakes (most often only viewed as mistakes by you)
  • Planning vacation or get-away time
  • Closing your door to outside distractions
  • Giving yourself permission to have fun.

Bottom line – when your inner culture is good, it will transfer to your team and your clients. The culture of one becomes a culture of many and you become the driving force in that transformation.

Now THAT calls for a double mocha!

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about my CEO group or others around Puget Sound, click here.

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Guidance on the Fairway of Life & Business

This week’s focus point –

with my caddie Sebastian

Mentoring/Coaching

When I was in Bogotá last week, I played golf with the husbands of my cousins. In Colombia, they don’t use golf carts, they use caddies. And, I mean really good caddies. Sebastian read my putts, aimed me in the right direction, fixed my ball marks, and generally gave me a walking lesson as he helped me understand my bad swings and applaud me on my improvements. He probably easily saved 6 or 7 strokes on my round. He knew the course, and he figured out my swing quickly and the direction I should go.

We need help in the direction we go in business. I’ve been playing golf for over 30 years and I needed help. No matter how long you are in business, you also need help. I have a professional mentor; what about you? Someone to metaphorically read your greens, align you in the right direction, provide guidance and advice, and applaud your successes.

We all need mentors and coaches. Think of it as an investment rather than a cost and you will reap greater rewards than you can imagine.

What if you could save 6 strokes a day in your business?

This week’s quote – “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
~ Michael Jordan

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Mentoring

I’ve been very fortunate to be part of Alan Weiss’s Master Mentor program since March of last year. Two weeks ago, I attended his Mentor Summit in Las Vegas, where I hung out with about 70 of the best consultants in the world.

Mentoring is crucial in any line of business. Whether you’re a CEO, sales professional, entrepreneur, or magician (he’s had one in his program), you can gain tremendous value from mentoring and coaching. Here are a few of the values you get…

  • Honest feedback and input to your questions.
  • Unvarnished critique of your intellectual property, programs, proposals, web site, marketing materials, and anything else you need evaluated.
  • Strategy on the big picture, global view for your career.
  • Access to the “smarts” of someone who’s done or is doing what you want to do.
  • Help in overcoming a challenge, facing crisis, or gaining understanding.
  • Someone to share in your successes and joy
  • Focus and clarity

Everyone needs a mentor or coach. Every star athlete has one. In fact, the athletes are almost always BETTER in the skill than the mentor or coach. What they receive are the same bullet points you see listed above to help them ignite their talent and maximize their potential. What are you waiting for?

“I have enjoyed working with Dan. He is very insightful and has helped me create a plan for the future. He has great energy and is a wonderful net worker which I really appreciate. He helped provide clarity, during a time I needed an unbiased professional opinion.” Carolyn Frame, Seattle, WA

To inquire about being mentored by Dan, click here, or call him at 360-271-1592.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

On Thin Ice?

I just returned from three days in New York, where I finished the accreditation process with Alan Weiss for his Master Mentor program. It was my first trip to the Big Apple so I made sure to spend time seeing the sights.

I really enjoyed just watching the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center. There are constantly a large group of skaters ranging from the very good to the teetering on the brink. At one point, I two completely diametric levels of expertise. One young man looked like he could have been in the Olympics. He flawlessly jumped, skated, and twirled all over the rink to the amazement of all. Not far off, a gentleman had a death grip on the side railings with a lady clutching his elbow to help him support. He wore a large grin as a he worked at trying to stay balanced on his skates.

This reminds me of each one of us in our business careers. There are times when we are the Olympic skater and there are times when we are on the brink of falling on our duffs (and often do); and everything in between. The critical issue is to be like the man learning to skate. Accepting help, being humble, being willing to keep trying, and keeping focused on improving. Just because someone is more advanced than you now doesn’t mean you are a failure. It means you have something to strive for. In fact, seeking out mentors is part of that process. Finding that Olympic skater and learning from them is worth it’s weight in gold.

Where are you in your career? Where do you want to go?

Time to get off the rail and be willing to take a few spills in the name of progress.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Seth Kahan Interviews Alan Weiss on Mentor Program

You may have seen me announce that I am thrilled to be the 21st person in the world to become a Master Mentor in the Alan Weiss global community.  Seth Kahan, a world-class consultant from the Washington D.C. area (and the first Master Mentor) just interviewed Alan on his mentor program and the new Mentor Mastery program.  It’s about 24 minutes and well worth the listen.

Click here to listen to the interview.

If you are interested in dramatically transforming your consulting, speaking, or entrepreneurial career, take the half hour and listen to this interview.  If you have questions about my experience, I’d be glad to share it with you. Obviously, the experience has had a profound impact on me both professionally and personally.  It can for you, too.

To learn more about my new mentor program as part of Alan’s community, click here.

Cheers,

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved