Extra Points: Eye of the Tiger

Dan_Weedin_022For a period of about 10 years, Tiger Woods was the best golfer in the world. Arguably, he was the best athlete in the world. He was dominant; to the point of being super human in his play and stoic personality.
And then came the fall. Both personal and physical calamities damaged his reputation and skills. His brand was so strong that he remained relevant, however it was starting to look like at a young age, his time was over. His body and his game were in need of great repair and he was at an age, that even in golf, future glory wasn’t likely.
Yesterday, he won his 15th Major and fifth green jacket at The Masters in Augusta. He held off a field of the top golfers in the world and resembled that super hero who stalked the course over a decade ago. But a lot happened in between, and that is relevant to all of us in business.
Life happens and all of us – including Tiger Woods – are subject to the downfalls. We are all vulnerable to personal and professional travails; we all make mistakes; we all have failures. In fact, many times – just as with Tiger – these failures (often devastating) come after great success. Being an entrepreneur or a business professional isn’t an easy road. It’s filled with potholes and sand traps. So what can we learn from the Tiger Woods story?
Build a team. We can’t be brilliant by ourselves. In my little world, I have my business and life partner, a coach, an accountability partner, CPA, attorney, and countless other team members that that allow me to focus on what I do. Golfers like Woods have their own teams. While it appears they are out there on their own (often like entrepreneurs), the most successful are surrounded by a team.
Be resilient. Woods had to overcome significant injuries. Those of you in business have felt the body blows that occasionally (and sometimes often) happen when trying to forge a path. It might seem best to quit; yet those that are able to be resilient; to honor the process; and to see crisis as a temporary setback, will be in a position for redemption and success.
Be patient. I heard Tiger interviewed after the final round and he talked about being patient; that in fact he thinks this was the most patient he’d been in years. I can attest that patience is a hard virtue to master. In the “want it all now” world we live in, patience can often lead to changing course right about the time redemption and success was within the grasp. Trusting and honoring the process and your skills requires patience.
Finally, trust yourself. Lack of confidence is the enemy of the entrepreneur and business professional. It’s easy to place blame on ourselves when things go awry. It’s better to learn from the lessons mistakes teach us and always believe in yourself. Confidence is a tiger and it is required to do successfully achieve your dreams.
Bottom line – be prepared to both succeed and fail; and then succeed again. This cycle is part of the journey of being able to thrive both professionally and personally. Now, it’s your turn to hit off the next tee….
Quote for the Day:
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
~ Steve Jobs
© 2019 Toro Consulting. All Rights Reserved
Unleashed® is a registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

Extra Points: Chip Shots

Dan_Weedin_022Watching the World Golf Championships Mexico tournament on Sunday, there was a point in the round where Rory McIlroy did something that I often do when playing golf (and believe me, Rory and I do very little in common on the golf course). He hit his ball right next to a tree. I mean the ball was nestled up directly next to this huge tree with literally no swing available.

McIlroy called over an official to see if he could gain relief and he was denied. He quickly grabbed a club, turned it upside down and proceeded to play his shot left-handed back into the fairway. McIlroy is right handed, as our his clubs. He basically did a McGyver to create a possibility to escape and recover. Although he went in to bogey the hole, it was a remarkable play that minimized damage.

Here are a few business lessons for your consideration:

McIlroy never complained or berated the official as we see in other sports. He owned the fact that he put himself in that situation.

He quickly surmised the quickest and most effective way to get back to the fairway. Faced with other options that would have taken him away from the hole he was playing, he chose an unorthodox play to get back on course.

His short swing left-handed with his club facing the opposite direction was flawless. That means he’d done it before. Likely at some point in his life facing a similar situation, and knowing he might one day again, he practiced the shot until he became more than just competent. If he’s like most golfers, he likely turned the practice into a game.

Your challenge to take into next week and beyond:

Focus always on taking ownership of your actions and behavior. Too many people have a victim mentality where it’s always someone else’s fault. In my experience, the majority of times we find ourselves stymied by a tree is because we hit it there!

Always have a plan to recover quickly to get back in course. You should always know where the exits are in a building or an airplane. Likewise, you should know where the quickest exit to get back to your own fairway is. Not doing so is negligent to your employees and clients; and perilous to your profitability.

Finally, practice your recovery. The reason amateur golfers like me shoot high scores is because we never practice hitting out of the woods; rather focusing on the perfect position created by driving ranges. You must practice your escape and recovery plans in order to be prepared to hit that difficult shot when it’s most needed.

Quote of the Day:

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you are doing.”

~ W. Edwards Deming

© 2019 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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.

Extra Points: Going for the Green

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I’m writing this missive while watching one of my all-time favorite sporting events, The Masters. I’m always impressed with all these professional golfers on how they stay resilient and positive in the face of adversity on the biggest stage of their “industry.”

I’m writing this minutes after being inspired by one of the best golfers in the world, Rory McIlroy. Playing the vaunted Par 5 13th hole, he hit a terrible second shot that found it’s way into a huge clump of azaleas. After a brief effort was made to find the ball in the plants (fortunately at professional tournaments there are many eyeballs working on it), he had to make a decision on trying to play what appeared an unplayable shot, or go back and re-play with a penalty shot.

The danger of playing the ball is staying stuck in the azaleas and compounding the mistake. Unflinchingly, he played a marvelous shot out and went on the save his par. While it looks effortless on television, I know that it’s not. You don’t practice those shots so it comes down to two things: skill and confidence. Confidence is probably 80% of it.

Business is hard. Entrepreneurship is hard. Life is hard. There are many times we will all find ourselves metaphorically tromping through the azaleas looking for our ball and wondering what to do next. Many times, fear and anxiety will lead to a lack of confidence and cause us to make bad decisions and mistakes.

Self-confidence is the most powerful attribute any of us can have in both business and life. It’s the consistent and unflappable belief that you are great at what you do; that you have tremendous value to offer as a person; and that you are willing to bet on yourself even when others aren’t. Confidence is the 80% in the difference between success and mediocrity in both business and life.

Just like Rory McIlroy is supremely confident in his game and skill level, you have permission to be equally confident in yours. That permission simply needs to be accepted is by you.

Quote of the Week:

“Either I will find a way, or I will make one.”

~ Philip Sidney, 16th century English soldier

© 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: Who’s Your Caddie?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I just finished watching an incredible and dramatic ending to The Open Championship (aka The British Open). Jordan Spieth displayed an unbelievable amount of poise, focus, and patience in winning the championship when the momentum and tide had turned sharply against him late in the round. I understand there may be many readers that are not golf fans, and this isn’t going to be regurgitation of the tournament. What you do need to know is that in 40 years of watching professional golf, I’ve never seen anything like it.

During his victory speech, Spieth thanked his caddie, Michael Greller. This isn’t unusual, yet Spieth said something which captured my attention. He said that Greller helped him keep his head in the game when things were going poorly. He acknowledged that he was getting down on himself “as any person would,” and that Greller kept him on a positive mindset and focused on the next swing. He said the trophy was as much Greller’s as it was his.

Caddies are critical to pro golfers for much more than simply handing them the next club and carrying the bag. They end up being a combination of psychologist, accountability partner, sounding board, and coach. Who’s your caddie?

Every business professional will face trials and tribulations in their career. Just like a round of golf on the biggest stage, those that are resilient and focused on positive outcomes win the day, even if they don’t win the championship. As Spieth accurately noted, “any person” can and will get down on themselves. We all need a caddie to help us.

While some of you may say that your spouse or significant other act as your caddie, I’d offer you this perspective: There are no professional golfers using their spouses or significant other to tote the bag for them. You find spouses and significant others giving support from behind the ropes, but in those crucial moments, there is a need for an objective voice and often a tough love that can’t be duplicated by those closest to us.

If you truly want to be successful in your career, you need to find a caddie that will talk you back into focus when you need it, hold you accountable to your goals, and provide both tough love and an encouraging pat on the back when needed. You’ll find that they will ultimately save you many “strokes” in your championship round!

Quote of the Week:

”Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.”

~ Arnold Palmer

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need a caddie? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

Extra Points: Full Swing Thinking

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I had a great idea a couple of weeks ago. At least, I think it was a great idea.

My garage is very tall because we have a full daylight basement. It’s easily 20 feet straight up and wide enough for two cars. One day when I was in there, I spotted a couple of golf driving range mats I’d purchased for next to nothing from the range when they were going to discard them. I observed my surroundings and came to the conclusion that my garage made a perfect private driving range for me to practice during the winter.

I plopped down a mat about a dozen yards away from the closed garage door and grabbed an 8-iron out of my bag. I took one of my practice balls that is made out of rubber and dropped it on the mat. I took a couple practice swings to feel comfortable. I eyed my target on the heavy wooden door. And then I boldly took a full swing and connected solidly with that 8-iron. You know what happened next…

When rubber traveling at a high rate of speed impacts a very heavy wooden door, the result is the ball shooting straight back to me like a cannon ball being shot out of a cannon. As agile as Russell Wilson evading a defender, I dove out of the way of the ball coming straight for my head. I determined a net would be in order for future use of my new innovation.

Funny thing. Had I been out on the golf course with the same 8-iron and real golf ball staring at my next shot, I might have been (based on experience) distracted and potentially “fearful” of the sand traps guarding the green; the out of bounds stakes to my right; and the water hazard directly behind my target. All those factors might clog my brain, lessen my confidence, and alter my swing. Ironically, faced with the potential of getting struck in the face with a rubber ball traveling 1,000 mph (you had to be there), I was fearless.

We often let real life hazards distract us. Those hazards you face when making hard decisions; when assessing results vs. consequences; and when determining your own path (see last week), will clog your brain, lessen your confidence, and mess up your swing.

Don’t be scared of onrushing calamity because you can avoid it. Be scared of choosing the path of least resistance; be scared of wasting valuable time; be scared of not living your life to the fullest; and be scared of not living outside the fence that you built around yourself.

Take a full swing with boldness and confidence. You may just hit the green.

Quote of the Week:

“I’m not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”

~ Alexander the Great

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

No Rest for the Stupid

Dan Weedin Unleashed-19Yesterday afternoon, my daughter Mindy and I went out to hit golf balls at the local driving range. I purchased a large bucket instead of my normal medium or small size because I’m getting ready to play in a tournament on Saturday, and figured I could use the extra swings.

While the concept was okay, the results were stupid.

The reason for the stupidity was centered not so much on strategy, but on tactics. Instead of keeping with my normal practice pattern, I found myself “raking and ripping.”This is a common malady for golfers on a driving range. It’s the act of “raking” a golf ball from it’s little waiting trough to the mat, and then “ripping” at it. The increased number of balls over time actually wore me out. It’s not how you play golf. You don’t just stand in one spot hitting ball after ball with no break; rather you hit a ball, walk to the next one, hit a different club, and rinse and repeat. I basically hit more balls in rapid fire mode, than I would over four hours on the course.

The results by the end of the session were terrible. I lost all accuracy, got mad (which exacerbated the situation), and left for home frustrated at my results. While I enjoyed my time together with Mindy, that would have even been improved with a better experience.

What would NOT have been stupid was slowing the process down, being patient, having goals, and resting when I needed it. The results and experience would have been better and I’d have had more fun.

This analogy also fits a business problem.

Business leaders often spend too much time “raking and ripping” in their business an career. Here are a few examples:

  • Not having clear goals and metrics before implementing initiatives and projects
  • Veering from strategies and tactics that worked in an effort to falsely accelerate results
  • Becoming impatient with bad results and not taking the time and effort to find the root cause of those results
  • Being stubborn rather than nimble
  • Seeking perfection rather than success
  • Allowing poor performance in business to encroach in personal relationships
  • Working one’s self to exhaustion, rather than taking time to rest and rejuvenate

It took me until this morning to realize that my mechanics aren’t bad, rather my process was …, well, stupid. At the very least, I needed time to rest. Just like in weight training, your muscles need time in between sets (and days) to rest; I needed to rest at proper intervals; you need to find time to rest your brain and spirit. Otherwise, you end up frustrated and that transfers to everyone in your circle of life.

So don’t be stupid like I was. Take time to plan, strategize, learn, and have patience. And by all means, carve out time to rest and re-charge so you’ll always be on your A game!

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved

Extra Points: Branding Your Path to Success

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Arnold Palmer died at the age of 87 just over a week ago. His passing not only impacted the golf and sports world, but the business community, too. Arnie was not only a legend in golf; he was an iconic business leader and entrepreneur.

The most Arnold Palmer ever won for any one golf tournament was $50,000, yet he was worth in excess of $650M at his death. During his playing days, Arnie created a true persona of the “every man;” bringing golf out of the country club and engaging everyone. His charisma, style, and genuine love of people spawned “Arnie’s Army,” followed by gobs of endorsements. He actually paved the way for all athletes to earn income outside of their playing contracts through endorsements. He also was highly astute in business, forming corporations, starting The Golf Channel and Champions Tour, and countless other endeavors. He understood that you are your own brand. That who you are, how you treat others, and being authentically unique would lead to archetypal business success. Heck, he even has his own beverage named after him!

What about you and your business or career?

How would others define you? Are you recognizable? Does the value you provide resonate because of your skills, knowledge, and charisma?

While you may face competition in industry, no one can be you. You’re uniquely brand-able, and you’d better understand the power of it. Without maximizing your unique value to others, you’ll be emblematically leaving putts short for birdie much too often. However, if you unleash your brand through strategic marketing, planning, and delivery, then you’ll be hitting greens and sinking birdie putts on the way to becoming legendary.

Quote of the Week:

The road to success is always under construction.

~ Arnold Palmer

shrimptanklogoNext Seattle Shrimp Tank podcast is October 4th at 4 pm PST. Our guest will be Rusty George of Rusty George Creative. Catch the recorded podcast from September 27th and our gust Matthew “Griff” Griffin from Combat Flip Flops. WEBSITE

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

A Tribute to Arnold Palmer

thIf only we had cell phone cameras in 1987…

The GTE Northwest Classic was being played at Inglewood Country Club outside of Seattle. The GTE was the senior tour where all the legends of golf (over 50 years old) played. My brother-in-law worked for GTE at the time and got me passage into the tournament to watch. I followed Arnold Palmer for 18 holes.

I started playing golf at 13 years old in 1978. Jack Nicklaus and Seve Ballesteros were my first golf heroes. Mr. Palmer by that time was nearing 50 years old and wasn’t a regular on the PGA Tour anymore. However, if you golfed, you knew Arnold Palmer and I was no different.

So when I had a chance to watch The King in person, I devoted the entire round to him. I followed tee to green for all 18 holes, stopping at every shot behind him to eagerly watch him in action. Had I only had my iPhone, you’d have seen a few selfies!

My favorite story of him came midway through that round. Mr. Palmer had hooked a ball a little to the left and found himself stymied by a tree. He stood behind the ball and pensively considered his options. The crowd was hushed in anticipation. Then suddenly breaking the silence, a woman exclaimed, “But Arnie, I’ve seen you hit these in your videos all the time…” The crowd nervously chuckled. Mr. Palmer turned around, made eye contact with the woman, then reached out his club to her and replied, “Okay then. Here, you hit it for me!” He smiled and the crowd erupted. He then on cue hit a beautiful shot right at the green.

Arnold Palmer – like Muhammad Ali who passed earlier this year – transcended his own sport. His dedication to fans, to the game, and to people was an unmistakable hallmark of the man. He touched everybody in the game in some way; and his list of accomplishments and awards outside of golf is impressive, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Medal of Honor. I even noted in reading his biography today that he’s a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, which adds a common bond with me.

Arnold Palmer was a brilliant businessman, basing his entrepreneurship and philanthropy on helping improve the lives of people. He will be sorely missed, however it’s clear his legacy will continue and help others though what he’s made sure to leave behind. The game of golf, the business and philanthropic community, and the world will miss him.

I’m thinking a toast in his honor, lifting a cold Arnold Palmer, is in order…

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

Perilous For Your Business Health

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