Extra Points: What Are You Afraid Of?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40For the better part of the last year, there seems to be a lot of fear and trepidation in this country. All you have to do is spend a few minutes on Facebook to get your fill of colorful responses to it.

The building of a wall on the Mexican border dominated the headlines last week as President Trump seeks to make good on his campaign promise. Fear of safety has been the rallying cry for those in favor, and the response against has been just as loud. As a history aficionado, I wonder what the response – had social media existed – would have sounded like in December 1941 when President Roosevelt ordered the internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese-Americans after the Pearl Harbor attack. Today we look back in horror to the actions of what is a now a very celebrated president. Just like the topic of today’s wall and other issues related to entering this country have been sparked by fear of security, those decisions made by President Roosevelt and the government were fueled by the same fear.

Fear is a powerful motivator. Although fear of certain things – getting too close to a flame for fear of being burned; fear of not insuring your home or business in case it’s destroyed – cause us to take actions that benefit us; many things we fear lead us to sit on the sidelines. We have all been guilty of it at one time or another in our lives, I’m sure. The question is now, what are you still afraid of and what is it holding you back from accomplishing.

The legendary actress Mary Tyler Moore passed away last week. For millions of women, she gave hope to taking control and betting on one’s self. The roles she played were contrary to the world’s view of a woman; and in real life she formed her own production company that spawned hundreds of popular television shows. Why is this important? Because regardless of gender, race, color of skin, or anything else, you control your own destiny. You direct each day, week, and year. The only thing stopping you from being bold is a fear of something. Identify what it is; exorcise fear from your thinking; lay your emotional and financial investment on yourself; and if you’re resilient, you may “just make it after all.” Because as some famous president who’s profile graces our dime stated nine years prior to those Pearl Harbor attacks, “the only thing we have to fear; is fear itself.”

Go be fearless.

Need help identifying and overcoming the fears and obstacles that hold you back? Give me a call or email and let’s talk.

Quote of the Week:

“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.”

~ Mary Tyler Moore

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

What Are You Thinking?

Captain JackI love quotes. Depending on where I am in life, I’ve found them inspirational, humorous, and filled with perspective.

I saw one this morning while scanning Facebook that I’d like to share with you briefly. Of all things, it was attached to a message Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll sent out. Here it is…

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu

If you’ve spent any time reading my work, watching me speak, or working directly with me, you’ll know what an advocate I am of “being in the moment.” This quote has summed up that sentiment quite nicely, don’t you think?

I believe to truly learn from this quote, it requires self-assessment. If I were to be honest with myself, my weakness of the two poor options is the latter…being anxious and living in the future. I continually use coaching, mentoring, and accountability partners to keep me focused on the present, because it’s hard to do by yourself. What about you? Where is your propensity and what can you do to stay in the moment? This might be a good use of your time today to figure that question out…

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Team

This week’s focus point…Team14_02_DanCapJackRetouch_001

This past Thursday, I posted two 1979 photos of my junior high basketball team and of me for Throwback Thursday on Facebook. We were undefeated at 12-0 and I was doing a little “Glory Days” posting. I received well over 120 LIKES and comments over the next several days. Many memories, good-natured jabs, and fun stories. There was one comment however, that resonated with me.

One of my teammates on that team and again in high school was a guy named Mark. Mark is the best high school basketball player I’ve ever seen, and through the years I’ve watched a ton of high school basketball. Mark had a nice college career and although he never made the NBA, his skill and abilities in high school were unmatched. He was easily the best player on our team, and the guy who was able to carry us when we needed it. Within all the comments on Facebook, myself and several others made this case. Mark is still a friend and he quickly posted back… “Also Dan, it took all 14 of us to go undefeated.”

When the star of the team makes the statement that it’s about the team, that solidifies a culture. Athletic teams all know who the best players are. The pivot point is if the best players are the hardest workers, the most generous, and put the good of the team above their own best interests. Mark did that, and that’s one of the reasons we went undefeated.

In your company, are the “stars” divas or do they make the other people around them better? If you’re the star/rainmaker/rock star, do you improve the condition of your fellow employees, your company, and your clients? Would your colleagues agree with you?

Life is a team game. We all have different skills, strengths, and roles. The companies that are primed to go “undefeated” have stars that are willing to be part of the team, rather than stars that are about their own glory.

Is your “team” (business, family, community) ready to play?

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote – 
 I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.

~ Mia Hamm
Okay…here’s my Throwback photo…
1979 North Whidbey JH Cougars
1979 North Whidbey JH Cougars

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Extra Points – Back to the Future

This week’s focus point…  14_02_DanCapJackRetouch_001

Back to the Future

As we were driving home last night from Easter dinner with Barb’s parents, I was playing the 1980’s classic album Sports by Huey Lewis & The News on my iPhone. My friends Lee and Curt and I wore out that cassette tape on a post-high school graduation trip to California in 1983, but that story is for another time.

My mind wandered to another Huey Lewis song that was a track on Back to the Future in 1985. I was reminded of a Facebook post from my nephew Kyle recently that stated that next year (2015), we will be as far away from Marty McFly (the Michael J. Fox character in the movie), as Marty was to 1955 (where he took the DeLorean back to).

Wow.

For people of my generation and older, that realization is stunning. Time flies fast and furious when you allow days to turn into weeks; weeks to turn into months; and months to turn into years. Spring is in full bloom and perhaps this is a good time to be reminded to stop and smell those proverbial roses. Or, maybe a better way to say it is to just slow down and be in the moment. I often catch myself racing around for a day and before I know it, it’s gone. Too much of life and opportunities are at your disposal when you are simply paying attention to what is happening right here and now. Be in the moment in your conversations, your activities, and your business, and the lives of those you love. That way, you won’t ever be in need of going back in time and wondering where it all went….

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

“Every action of your life touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.”
~ Edwin Hubbel Chapin

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Extra Points – Improving Daily

Improving

Last Friday I was an avid Twitter follower as I was tracking the signing of free agent baseball star Robinson Cano by my team, the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners reached an agreement with the now former New York Yankee on a 10-year, $240M contract. The Mariners have been a struggling franchise and this is seen as a way to improve dramatically and become relevant again. On Facebook, I got into a good-natured debate with friends over the efficacy of the signing. They were bemoaning that it wouldn’t help as as much if we don’t get more help; the money could have been used to get more players; and that in the latter years of the contract, Cano would not be as productive.

To me, that’s not looking at the most important factor. In this one day, the Mariners became better that they were the day before. By adding one of the best players in the game, they immediately improved.

We need to do the same in our world. We need to be better today than we were yesterday. Better tomorrow than today. Standing still or declining is a sure way to failure. The theory is sound, but how do you know you’re improving? There are many ways to improve personally and professionally – What are you reading? Who are you listening to? What skill is being heightened? What bad habit or behavior is eliminated. How can you tell?

As we begin to had into a new calendar year, it’s a great time to assess yourself. Set goals that advance your life, set measures of success to assure you are staying on track, and simply try to get better every day. If you keep doing that, you’re sure to hit a home run.

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

“The 1% Solution – if you improve by 1% every day, in 70 days you will be twice as good.”
~ Alan Weiss

Why I’m Thankful

Many of my friends have been posting something they are thankful for each day on Facebook. I’m not that creative. I’m thankful for 7 things. That’s right…7. I’d like to share them with you on this Thanksgiving….

1. I’m thankful for my faith. Life can be challenging with it. Without it, I can’t even imagine.

2. I’m thankful I married up. Big. Meeting my soul mate and spouse at 17 years old and being able to share our lives together was a blessing. Having it be her was icing in the cake.

3. The two greatest things in the world to be called are Daddy and Coach. I’ve been called both. The former by the most amazing daughters anyone could ever dream of. Heck, they even called me the latter, but usually with a twinge of sarcasm. I miss them this Thanksgiving.

4. I’m thankful to live in the United States, where I can grow up to be who I want, change my mind, run my own business, and fly the flag outside my house. God Bless the USA.

5. I’m thankful for my health. I watched a moving ESPN program on former baseball player Ben Petrick. Petrick was a rising star when he was stricken with early onset Parkinson’s Disease at age 23. It’s an amazing story of resilience and gives me perspective on my good fortune.

6. I’m thankful for Rotary. For nearly 19 years, Rotary has been the vehicle to join arms with friends and give back by improving the lives of others around the world.

7. “No man is a failure, who has friends.” Clarence Oddbody (guardian angel to George Bailey) – I have an abundance of wonderful friends. Thank you!

Copyright 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Politics & Social Media: Danger zone for business

From my September column in the Kitsap Business Journal….
September 5, 2012 @ 3:48pm | Dan Weedin

It’s September and we are heading down the backstretch of this political season. For business people, this means you are entering a danger zone.

Fear not, I am NOT the political pundit this month. Far from it. But, I am here to warn you of the dangers of “mouthing off” with a click of a “post.” The consequences could cost you business.

Let me preface by saying that I have no problem with business people supporting a candidate or a cause. You have every right to voice your opinion and advocate whatever positions you like. That doesn’t mean you should be a social media bully.

In an era where Facebook and Twitter send your sound bytes viral in milliseconds, you may find yourself wishing you could turn back time and control your finger. Your clients and prospects may solely be on Facebook for fun. In fact, the odds say that they are.

With that in mind, I present to you Dan’s 10 Rules for Surviving the Political Season:

Tip #1 — Proofread your posts. Don’t write your last line; click send; and walk away feeling triumphant. You probably aren’t. If you’re angry or agitated, you probably wrote something you shouldn’t have.

Tip #2 — Avoid “fighting words.” It never ceases to amaze me what people will say when they don’t have to say it to your face. Case study — I had a “friend” write on a Facebook post that people with a certain line of thinking were “knuckle draggers and crack pots.” This was the husband of someone I sent business to! If you’re using verbiage like this to attract attention, be careful what attention you will get.

Tip #3 — Avoid using “labels.” Liberals, Democrats, Conservatives, Republicans, Tea Partiers, whatever. By lumping them all together, you may include people you don’t want to. Some of those may even be your clients! Many Facebook “posters” are notorious for lumping in outliers by enlarging their demographics through generalities.

Tip #4 — Don’t enter into a war of words online. I’ve been guilty of this myself. No good can come from it. Either back off, or pick up the phone and call. If you don’t know the person well enough to call, then why do you even care?

Tip #5 — Beware of Pinterest. I know it’s the new hot craze. You can’t go through Facebook without seeing a gazillion posters (90 percent are absurd, based on my personal scientific study). When you start posting these things, people will assume you are fully supportive of the meaning. The problem is that the meaning may not be all so clear.

Tip #6 — Don’t take things personally. People have different opinions. It’s still okay to have them as friends or do business with them. There is a direct correlation where the less fighting words are used, the less likely someone will take something personally. Just saying…

Tip #7 — Don’t be angry. Anger usually leads to rash judgments, vitriolic posts and hurt feelings. Do you really want to hurt your potential customers’ (as well as current customers’) feelings? Anger tends to subside quickly; hurt feelings not so much.

Tip #8 — Be open to learn. When positions are cited without rancor or mean-spiritedness, I feel I can actually learn something new. I may not ultimately agree, but I am happy for the discourse and opportunity to grow.

Tip #9 — Have some perspective. These elections will all be over in a few months and the winners and losers will all go their own ways. Your words may linger on forever with those who read them.

Tip #10 — Don’t engage in political debate on social media. This will save you from yourself. Social media has the ability to take your position, inflate it past what it really is, attach a really mean voice, and shout it to the world. If you’re in business, the only thing you want shouted to the world is how you can help them, not whether you favor donkeys or elephants!

Bonus — A really large majority of Facebook “posters” aren’t in business. They have nothing to lose. They can break all my rules and be no worse for wear. If you get into battles with them, your posts are available for all your community to see (you knew that, right?). You may be slinging mud at your brother-in-law in Hoboken, but your best client may read it.

I’m not perfect. I’ve broken a few of my rules over the years (how do you think I thought of them?). I can tell you that as things get heated up, I will keep my opinions off the Facebook news feed. You and I may chat about them over a cold beer, but you won’t be “liking” or seething from them online.

My recommendation to you as a business professional is that you adhere to my rules, focus on building your business, and dodge the mud!

Dan Weedin is a Poulsbo-based management consultant, speaker and mentor. He leads an executive peer-to-peer group in Kitsap County where he helps executives improve personally, professionally and organizationally by enhancing leadership skills. He is one of only 35 consultants in the world to be accredited as an Alan Weiss Master Mentor. You can reach Dan at 360-697-1058; email at dan@danweedin.com or visit his website at www.danweedin.com.

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Top 7 Posts for 1st Quarter

New feature…

Here are the Top 7 posts for 1st Quarter of 2012 (in order)…

1. Saints to Sinners: Business Lessons from the NFL

2. Moneyball for Insurance Executives

3. The Escape and Capture of Captain Jack

4. Too Much in Your Face(book)

5. The Seinfeld Principle

6. Worry and Concern: A Blog from Alan Weiss

7. My Famous Daughter

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Barking Up a Tree

Barking Up a Tree.

My dogs have two very different world views on their fellow canines. Bella (on the left) could care less about dogs that happen to appear on the television. But get her out in the real world, and she becomes crazy. She knows where every dog on our walk lives; thinks there’s a dog in every car that drives by (based on seeing one once); and makes it her quest to bark maniacally at them. Captain Jack on the other hand doesn’t seem to be overly concerned with other dogs on his walk. He can pretty much take them or leave them. But, if he spies them on TV, he goes crazy. He attacks the television, searches behind it for those dastardly dogs, and now even recognizes the tunes in commercials where they pop up. Bella doesn’t care. In the end, neither cares about the others difference of opinion.

We all have different world views. Our own personal experiences and biases lead us to form political, religious, and economic notions. That doesn’t mean the other person with a different opinion is damaged.

During this political season leading up to a presidential election in November, social media has fueled the firestorm of conjecture and opinion. Everywhere I read, people are voicing their opinions louder and with more gusto than Captain Jack assailing my TV. Unfortunately, with it often comes boorish behavior. It’s not enough to have one’s opinion, but castigating those who think differently has become not only commonplace, but encouraged.

Don’t do this in business or you won’t last long. In fact, if you choose to do this in your social media platforms beware. You never know who is reading. Having an opinion is terrific and applauded. Tacking on foul language, degradation, and inappropriate humor may lose you business and friends. Always remember that the cyberspace curtain we hide behind is pretty transparent. Next time you bark, know that the entire neighborhood is listening…

This week’s quote – “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.” Muhammad Ali

Too Much In Your Face(book)

When Facebook started years ago (not really sure because now it seems to have been around forever) it was for college kids. They posted what school they went to, who they were partying with, and what they would do over the summer. Then the adults figured it out. And according to many young people…ruined it. I’m starting to think they are right.

Here’s what adults have inflicted on Facebook…

  • Facebook has become a venue for a plethora of sappy posters, ramblings, and other inanities. Last year, I had to block all the dumb games. Now my News Feed is filled with these posters. I’ve found one that was funny and I passed it on. Ironically it was on social media. The rest are mostly awful. Now, they are all over the place!
  • It’s election season and I may have to take a 6-month hiatus. It’s bad enough to see a gazillion signs littered around our streets; horrid and often inaccurate commercials; and political debates that have become a circus. Now, I get to see every party – Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Tea Party, Tea Drinkers, and the Field – tell me their opinions and attitudes. I get the right to voice your opinion and overall, that’s okay. The problem is the way it now is delivered. This leads me the next bullet point…
  • If you’re having a political conversation or discussion in person, you have more at stake to be civil. Now, even with your profile picture showing, it seems acceptable to talk like a belligerent drunk. Bad language, name calling, and vitriol unleashed. It used to be that Facebook was on par with walking around a cocktail party. Now, its 1:30 in the morning in a bar and chairs are flying.
  • I don’t care if you are a Republican or Democrat (or one of the others); Pro-Life or Pro-Choice; For Gay Marriage Against Gay Marriage; Baby Boomer or Gen Xer; Like Cats or Hate Cats; Like the Patriots or Hate the Patriots; or on any side of any controversy; do yourself a favor. Be nice. Don’t think that just because someone may have a different opinion than you (and on Facebook you have no idea), that they are damaged. You never know who may be reading and how it may affect your ability to do business with them, or even to remain friends. I think the kids get this better than the adults do.

While I’m firmly positioned on my Soap Box, I’m going to continue…what the heck…I’m probably being “DE-friended” all over the place:

  • Think twice about posting a picture of you with a huge cocktail in front of you as your profile picture. Yes, you’re undoubtedly well over 21 years old and it’s legal for you to drink. Just remember that a growing number of employers check out Facebook profiles prior to hiring. Even if they can’t see your wall, they can see your profile picture. Just saying…
  • Think about what you can do to enhance relationships and improve others personally and professionally (for you business people), rather than insulting the other person’s intelligence.
  • Voice your opinion. Just don’t assume the people on the other side (normally pretty close to 50%) is damaged. They just have a different opinion. Voice your opinion maturely.
  • Don’t swear or curse (and that includes all the funky acronyms and spellings – we get it). It doesn’t ever show well for you.
  • Use this amazing technology to re-connect with family and friends; help others in their business; promote the value your business can offer others; learn about others; promote your favorite charities; and share photos of your life with your friends.
  • Be careful what you say. You never know who is reading. Be certain you’re willing to standby what you say and how you said it.

Okay, I’m stepping off my Soap Box. Facebook is about to go public. I’m certain it’s because they see a huge opportunity to make money as they watch adults turn this once innocuous platform for kids into a place where adults can aggressively spar and spit while sitting comfortably behind their computer screen or cell phone. As 2012 moves closer to elections, my guess is it will only get worse. My guess is that when it does, many adults and kids alike will begin to be more careful about who they “hang out” with…

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved