Extra Points: Of Bush & Marley

Dan_Weedin_022I admit it.

Until recently, I took for granted the legacy of George H.W. Bush. In the 1980s, I voted for him as part of the Reagan ticket. I also voted for him for President. I knew him as a long-time politician and patrician. I knew he was a contemporary of my parents and like my dad, served in World War II.

It was when I read Flags of Our Fathers a decade ago that a new view of George Bush emerged. The book detailed his war record, his rescue in the Pacific, and his deep sense of grief for the loss of his fellow pilots 50 years previous. The author also wrote about Bush’s deep-rooted loyalty and love for his family, and the reciprocity by them.

This was never more evident that at his funeral last week. While there was much adulation for his public service, the memories and stories of him as a family man and human were ubiquitous. His care and concern for people crossed party lines and was seen clearly in the faces of his family and friends.

Then my mind did a crazy thing as it often does; I thought about another funeral that gets recreated this time each year. One of my all-time favorite movies is Charles Dickens’ The Christmas Carol. In my mind, I pictured the Patrick Stewart-played Scrooge attending the funeral of his business partner Jacob Marley. Outside of the Reverend and one other, Scrooge was the only attendee. We know the rest of the story.

Here’s my point: we all traverse life with the constant opportunity to touch people and change lives. Marley and Scrooge (until his reclamation) chose to be selfish; to be uncivil; and to bring sadness and despair in their “touch.” Bush was clearly a husband, father, and grandfather first. In spite of what must have been an incredibly busy life, he found the ability to touch his family, his colleagues from both parties, and his friends in incredible ways.

Whether one cared for George H.W. Bush as President, there seems to be nary a person that didn’t respect and like him as a human. Bottom line: this season of the year is always a good time for reflection. Watching the Bush funeral reminds me to continue to set high standards not only on myself professionally, but even more so as a human. I hope this brief memo might cause you to do the same.

After all, as Jacob Marley reminds us, “mankind is our business.”

Quote of the Day:

“There is nothing new in the world except the history you don’t know.”

~ Harry S. Truman

© 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: Muscle Memory

Dan_Weedin_022When I coached high school basketball, one of the concepts I taught was muscle memory. In changing fundamental mechanics – like shooting a basketball – it takes 21 consecutive days to create “muscle memory.” If you stop the consecutive and consistent training when trying to change mechanics, you will lose all you gained and will have to re-start the process. Muscle memory is a crucial concept in changing mechanics in sports.

The concept is the same in your business and in your personal life.

What changes do you want to make in your business? Ask for more referrals? Improve communication skills for leaders? Grow your skills or “smarts” in your industry? Regardless of whether you want personal improvement or that of your employees, implementing long-term improvement while optimizing your investment of time and money requires daily discipline. Just like muscle memory of 21 days is necessary to change basketball shooting skills, daily discipline around change is also a requirement for changed business practices.

While we are talking about change implementation, the concept applies to our personal lives. Eating healthier, increasing hours of sleep, exercising more, and advancing skills (e.g. learning a new language) might be on your list. No matter what you want to do better, if you want to create a better life it takes more than simply identification. It requires muscle memory.

Time to flex those muscles…

Quote of the Day:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

© 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: Simple & Speed is King

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week I ordered a salad and smoothie from the local drive-thru cafe and salad shop. I paid online for custom-order lunches. They sent me an immediate email acknowledging my order and letting me know that another email would soon arrive as to when my order would be ready. That came about one minute later and gave me a “ready time” that was seven minutes away. That was enough time to jump in my car, drive about half a mile, and pick up my meals. I was back home in three minutes.

It’s time to vote this week. In my state, I already voted. We are an all-mail in state voting system; in other words – no standing in lines, no driving to polling places, no traffic, no issues with picking up kids, no forgetting, no excuses. More importantly, it’s easy and fast.

On the other hand, three organizations I care about and am actively involved in all make me write a check for annual or monthly dues. In every case (unless they are keeping it a best kept secret – but then again I asked), each organization has no method for paying with a credit card online.

I see this same malady among many small businesses who are trying hard to compete with larger brethren. They don’t accept credit cards or have minimums; they make people stand in long lines; they give broad time frames for service; and they offer little to no real-time communications.

The problem is they are placing the burden on the customer or client. In a world where simplicity and convenience is king; and where speed to market or to pay is everything (see Amazon payment to home in two days or less); the adamant attitude of making the client guess, wait, or work harder is the quickest way to organizational demise. Small business actually has the advantage of nimbleness and speed, yet time after time I see many remain in the mode of dictating to customers and clients. If a small business selling salads and smoothies can do it, so can you.

If you aren’t concerned about being relevant, then continue to be hard to do business with. If you want to take advantage of your nimbleness and personal touch, use inexpensive and easy to access tools and resources to make your clients happy to do business with you.

Quote of the Day:

“The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.”

~ Mignon McLaughlin

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Scared of Change?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40My earliest memory of Halloween is dressing up as Captain America as a young boy and trick or treating with my parents. For a long period of time, that was how Halloween was celebrated.

As I grew older as a teenager, the celebration style changed. Trick or treating ended and hanging out with friends became the norm. As young adults, Halloween became about parties and costumes came back, although often with more creativity. The trend in change continued through having children that went through the same process. For me, Halloween is still fun for adult parties and watching my granddaughter start her own process.

So where am I going with this?

Businesses and careers have cycles of change as they mature and grow. In order to stay relevant and cutting edge, it’s important to be innovative and open to change. Halloween can’t stay the same through our own maturation process or else we look foolish. Likewise, if our businesses and careers never evolve, the danger of obsolescence and looking foolish is just as real.

Final thought: As I watched my children and now my granddaughter moving through their own, I am committed to letting them enjoy their time doing it their way. In business, companies should be mentoring and coaching, while allowing for autonomy, failures, and individuality.

Change is necessary for growth, maturation, and rebirth of companies and careers. That way you can assure both tricks and treats in your business and career.

Quote of the Week:

Research is creating new knowledge.

~ Neil Armstrong

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: On Demand Economy

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Barb and I enjoy binge watching television shows. Companies like Netflix and Hulu (as well as networks that create subscriber access to all their shows and then some) have created an “on demand” lifestyle of entertainment. The only live television I watch is sports, especially because it’s nearly impossible to keep scores and results a secret with social media and pop-up notifications. We have full control of what we watch, when we watch, and for how long we watch.

The same is true with activities like getting transportation (Uber and Lyft); finding restaurant reviews (Yelp and Trip Adviser); and finding someone to deliver food from your favorite restaurant (Uber Eats and Amazon). Technology has provided the opportunity to live “on demand.”

Because of this phenomenon, an On Demand Economy is growing and beginning to create a business model for aspiring entrepreneurs.

It’s not unusual for employees to have a “side hustle,” where they create or buy into a product or service where they gain revenue outside of their work. Multi-Level marketing companies have fostered this for years, and now opportunities created by Lyft, Uber Eats, and other on demand businesses make it easy for people to work when they want, for as long as they want. These entrepreneurs have created an “on demand” business to cater those that want services “on demand!”

Take a look at your business. What “on demand” options do you offer? If banks can offer on demand check deposits, then you can find a way to create offer on demand services to your clients. The reality is that today it seems like a cool thing to have. In five years, you’ll be obsolete if you don’t offer it.

Final thought: I believe all people living in 1st World economies like ours have an opportunity to create their own income outside of a job. It’s never been easier than before to innovate and offer your unique talents in an on demand economy (as long as you’re not contractually restricted from it). The On Demand Economy is on the rise and will be a wave that carries new entrepreneurs and ingenious companies. Will you be one of them?

Quote of the Week:

“Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

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: Warning Signals

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This past weekend, we rented a van to help our daughter get furniture for her new place. I used the application system to check out the van and get the key before the place opened up. To my surprise, upon starting up the van, a warning light came on indicating the the right rear tire was low and needed air.

Great.

I knew my local Les Schwab tire dealership was open and took it over to have the professionals look at it. The service they provided was immediate and quick (and that’s why I remain a loyal client). Turned out that the monitor wasn’t working and the tires were all good to go. The annoying thing is that the warning light stayed on the entire day. While I had plenty of piece of mind about it thanks to the help of my friendly tire guy, I had to mentally work hard to ignore the ongoing false warning.

As we work and live day to day, warning signs pop up all the time. You might notice that an employee is acting unusual right before they give their notice; you might get a scratchy throat before the nasty cold hits; or you might get a nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach before embarking on a bold move or difficult conversation.

Here’s the deal – warning signs are there to protect and warn us. Often, the best thing to do is to seek out some council from a professional (like my tire guy) in order to gain wisdom or just peace of mind. Warning signs can hang around well after the initial indication and often these are self-inflicted. The aggravation I felt about looking at the dash indicator was on me and threatened to negatively impact my mood for the remainder of the trip.

Warning signs are good to heed and educate yourself about, yet they should never be an obstacle. Identify the warning signs when they come up and then make a decision (often with that wise council from a trusted partner) on how to proceed; then commit and confidently move forward without worrying about past lights flashing in your face.

Quote of the Week:

The greatest teacher, failure is.

~ Yoda to Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi (guess what we watched this weekend?)

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: The Great Escape

JackA special edition missive by Captain Jack…

I got unleashed…

As much as Dan talks about being unleashed, he doesn’t approve when I take his advice. I made my great escape – the first in a long time – while Barb was attending to Bella. It was brilliant.

I boldly burst through the front door and made a sharp dogleg right to head up my normal path. I was unleashed… Barb made a valiant effort in following me. I crawled under a fence where there was this big race track-like pasture with a bunch of water in some kind of man-made lake. I just started running, and running, and occasionally taking flight like only I can. I jumped in the water. I played. Barb watched.

I soon heard Dan call my name. He wasn’t home for my great escape, but had apparently figured out what happened. He kindly beckoned to me to come over as he was holding my favorite treat. Been there and done that…he starts out nice but when he catches me, his mood changes.

I escaped the fence without either catching me. I then bolted into uncharted territory by crossing the passage called Viking Way. I spotted two small dogs with their human and ran towards them in an effort to play. The human grabbed me and told me to go home. Then Barb came running and captured me, leashed me, and spoke very firmly to me while apologizing to the other human. I hadn’t done anything wrong. I was simply being unleashed. For all my fun, I ended up getting a bath. I think that was my discipline. It was worth it.

Interesting that I hear humans often say that infirmities and aches are “part of getting old.” They use it as an excuse for not doing what they used to enjoy doing or eschewing activities because they are “past their prime.” Let me tell you, we dogs NEVER think about age. Unlike humans, we don’t consider how long we’ve been on earth as a factor in any decision we make. I heard Dan exclaim that I am pretty spry for 11 years old. I don’t even know what that means! I am just Captain Jack and will never change my mindset. Why should I?

Maybe the better question is, why should you?

P.S. Bella got extra treats and nice words for being a “good girl.” Clearly favoritism…

Captain Jack out…

Quote of the Week:

”The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”

~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (American 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: Your Uniqueness Quotient

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I was recently driving home from the ferry and heard the re-make of the legendary song Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel. The re-make by the artist Disturbed in 2015 has a more edgy, haunting sound than the original softer and more melodic song that came straight out of the Greenwich Village scene and intonation of the turbulent 1960’s. I love the original as it’s all I heard for nearly four decades. I really enjoy this cover by Disturbed as well. I’ve heard it many times and for some reason, it caught my attention on this trip and literally gave me goosebumps.

Remakes and covers are not unusual in the music industry. I just watched Ann Wilson from Heart in concert and she covered songs of her contemporaries. In fact, Robert Plant once said that Heart did Led Zeppelin better than Led Zeppelin did Led Zeppelin after their rendition of Stairway to Heaven at Radio City Music Hall when Plant’s band was being honored. When Disturbed re-made Simon & Garfunkel, I didn’t find myself comparing or judging; I just found myself enjoying the unique talent.

When you consider your competition in whatever industry you’re in, there is almost always some cause to seek out differentiation. While this is important, it’s not really that hard to find. The difference is you.

Your “uniqueness quotient” is that thing that makes you different from anyone else that does what you do, whether that’s selling real estate or insurance; building homes; creating new technologies; or running a bank. Whatever it is you do, your uniqueness comes from your experiences, your education, your successes and failures, and even just your personality. Nobody else can be you. Why is this important? Because no matter where we evolve in this new digital world, people do business with people they like and trust. What makes you unique is what people who can buy your product or service will gravitate to. Don’t compare yourself to the competition; instead accentuate your uniqueness quotient. That way, the sound you hear won’t be silence but new business!

Quote of the Week:

”Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

~ Albert Einstein

© 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.

Dealing with Distraction

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I’m spending my Sunday morning glued to the television watching the final round of The Open being played at Carnoustie Golf Club in Scotland. One of golf’s four major championships, The Open was being played for the 147th time, by far the most of any other golf tournament.

A young American golfer name Xander Schauffele is about to hit one of the biggest shots in his young career on the 17th hole. He trails the leader by one shot and this upcoming play is critical for him. He’s hitting from where the spectators were standing and in the background you can hear a child crying, likely protesting the fact she’s been out on the golf course for five hours. One of the announcers makes a comment about it, yet Schauffele seems unaware of it. That is, until he’s about to swing and the child makes an even louder cry that cuts through the silence like a hot knife through butter. Schauffele steps away from his ball, glances in the direction of the mother and child and smiles. In fact, you can see him almost chuckle. He proceeds to start his routine all over again, hits a nice shot and continues to play the hole. This 24-year old dealt with this situation far more graciously than most players many years his senior (and likely even me if I was in that position!).

Schauffele could have let this distraction affect him negatively; could have used it as an excuse for a poor shot. He could have lost his temper and the moment at hand. He could have attached blame. Rather, he smiled, chuckled, re-started his process, and played on. It’s a great lesson for business and life.

We all get distracted and diverted by things we can’t control. It’s very easy to attach blame and conceive excuses to others for our failures – the government, our employees, our clients; the weather, the bank, our family, the alarm clock, or that crying child. You don’t have to spend too much time on Facebook or other social media to find individual op-eds on the woe created by someone else. The reality is, we are all responsible for our own thoughts, actions, and behaviors, and no other distraction should have that kind of control over us.

The next time you find yourself angry or bitter over a bit of bad fortune, remember you have control over the next thing you think about and do. If a 24-year old professional golfer can quickly forgive a loud child and her mother for interrupting his concentration on the biggest stage of his career, we should be able to quickly regroup, recover, and play through our own distractions.

Quote of the Week:

”Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”

~ Confucius

© 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.