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Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

Extra Points: Time Keeps On Slipping

March 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Time Keeps on Slipping

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’…into the future…

For those of you who are old enough to remember the early part of the 1970’s, you likely recall Columbia House Records. It was late 1975 and I was in 6th grade when I mailed back my postcard to Columbia House to get my dozen cassette tapes (for you Millenials, go ahead and Google cassette) for 99 cents. It was a great deal; every month Columbia House was going to send me the hottest new cassettes for only pennies. My first cassette album was Fly Like an Eagle by the Steve Miller Band (see opening lyrics above…) By the way, as you all probably figured out, I couldn’t afford what I was really getting from Columbia House and my great deal was soon squashed by my dad. But that’s another story for another time…

Steve Miller was right. Time does keep slipping into the future and if we’re not careful, we will slip away with it without reaching the goals we desired.

How are those New Year Resolutions doing? Have you accomplished all you set out to do in 1Q 2017?

My intent is not to chastise. Heck, I’m as guilty as anyone in allowing “busy-ness” get the best of me at times. Here’s what I hope you take away from this missive…

Without metrics of success, you’re bound to keep chasing that dream all the way into next year and beyond. Whether it’s writing that book, learning that new language, cleaning out your Inbox, or creating better relationships with your colleagues, employees, and co-workers, without metrics they are likely to be falling short.

My tip for you is this – keep your metrics focused on the short term. What do you want to accomplish this week? Maybe it’s writing for one hour a day to get that book done. It could be making three phone calls each day to potential clients you haven’t talked to in a while. Heck, maybe it’s just spending 15 minutes a day cleaning out your Inbox! All of these goals are quantifiable. While you may have more emotional reasons for accomplishing these things, without placing some quantifiable metrics and then (hold on tight now) asking someone else to hold you accountable, then you’ll likely fail. But, if you do set metrics, write them down, be held accountable, and reward yourself for small victories, well you may just spend every week flying like an eagle.

Tick tock tick… doo doo doo doo

Do you or your company need help maximizing the value of your time for your business and life? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective.

Quote of the Week:

Reject your sense of injury, and the injury itself disappears.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Whack Job

March 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week, I attended my first-ever lacrosse game. My nephew plays on the Western Washington University team and they were playing the University of Washington at the UW. Barb and I were very happy to make the much shorter trip to the UW campus to watch Bennie play.

So here’s what I learned about lacrosse after just one game. It’s a combination of basketball, hockey, and soccer where players are armed with sticks that are used both as tool to catch and pitch a ball and as a weapon.

I watched with great interest as these young men dashed around the field in full protective gear and constantly being whacked across the chest, arms, legs, and sometimes even head. The players that were the most successful at avoiding the constant “whacks” to the torso were the fastest and most nimble ones. While never fully escaping an occasional “whack,” they were able to protect themselves better using their speed and nimbleness.

Kind of like business and life, wouldn’t you say?

We go through our days and can pretty much assure that along the way, things outside our control are ready to whack us…hard. We have goals and dreams to achieve, yet obstacles are normally in the way of those goals. That being said, these obstacles – like the defenders with sharp sticks – aren’t insurmountable. Especially if your fast and nimble!

Fast and nimble in your business, your career, and your life doesn’t translate into speed and athleticism. What it does mean is that you use your “smarts” to be decisive, bold, able to change course, influential, and resilient. It’s that ability to get whacked hard a few times, yet find a way to persevere towards your objectives. For the best and most successful at this practice, they not only are resilient but they are able to find alternate routes that get them to success and significance faster and more effectively. Your mission, should you accept, is to continually grow in speed, nimbleness, and resilience to score more goals for your team.

Do you or your company need help avoiding and thriving through the “whacks” in your business and life? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective.

Quote of the Week:

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

~ C.S. Lewis

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Greetings and Salutations

March 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40“Good afternoon, ladies…”

My mother held two tables of bridge at our house weekly for easily a decade when I was in grade school through high school. For Dad and me, it was great because Mom usually went big in the dessert department and the ladies rarely ate it all, leaving plenty for Dad and me to consume after dinner that night. What Mom required from me in return was the proper greeting to her bridge club members. The verbiage was not left up to me. It was simply, “Good afternoon ladies,” proclaimed seconds from entering the house.

When Mom passed away two tears ago, many of bridge club friends reached out to me with condolences. What resonated most was that to a person they remembered my greeting. Nearly 40 years later, they were still affected by my simple greeting and remembered me fondly because of it. Little did they know – or perhaps they actually did – that Mom was the strong impetus behind those greetings. Nearly 40 years later, I’m grateful she made me do it.

This week’s message is really pretty uncomplicated. In a communications age featuring sophisticated digital technology, the simple act of cordially greeting people; engaging in a conversation; and genuinely caring about building a relationship with another human being is important. The straightforward acts of courtesy, manners, and civility – often lost in the slog of social media tirades and rhetoric – will last longer and have more lasting and memorable value.

When this happens, we all benefit both personally and professionally. It’s easy to forget when things get chaotic and time is short, but a friendly “good afternoon” will go a long ways. It might be a good time to check your own business and behaviors to make sure that you’re creating the relationships and building the legacy you strive to leave.

Do you or your company need to improve your  and messaging? Give me a call or email to discuss how I can help you.

Quote of the Week:

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

~ Maya Angelou

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: How to Build a Team from Thorns

March 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Lent began last Wednesday. I still vividly remember my most unique Lenten memory when I was 17 years old. Our high school youth group accepted a challenge put forth by our pastor, Father Ashwell. He said, “Instead of giving up something this year, let’s try doing something as a group.” He handed all of us (about 30 teenagers) an actual thorn with a pin and challenged us to wear the pin for the entire 40 days of Lent as a sign of of our faith. The thorn signified the crown of thorns.

We all started out with a full thorn – some were larger and more prickly than others. We’d all show up at our public school with a thorn attached to our clothes, which forced us to explain this oddity. While that was part of the process, the more significant one started next. All of us at some point forgot our thorn at home, showing up to school thorn-less. Quickly one of us would help that person out by breaking off a piece of our thorn and giving it to them. As the forty days processes, all of our thorns continued to get smaller, but we all stayed the course. By Good Friday, our thorns all resembled a tiny stick. It actually became s trong bonding experience and we had fun with it.

The moral of this story was that we performed and executed as a cohesive team; we were selfless, willing to share, and putting aside any teenage drama, conflicts, and personality differences for the good of the team. And, we enjoyed it…

How cool would that be for a company to run with such genuineness and collaboration?

If you’re in a position of ownership and/or leadership, what would that level of teamwork mean to your company? If you’re an employee, how much more fun would you have at work? How much more would your family, friendships and affiliations be benefit from such unselfishness?

Most companies and organizations have a vision of providing “unleashed” service or products to benefit and improve the lives of others. Employees most generally want to help accomplish this. True leadership inspires and motivates a culture of playing together as described in my book, Unleashed Leadership. In the end, it almost always starts with one person; maybe that’s you.

Whether we want to turn thorns into roses or businesses into thriving enterprises, it all starts by fostering a culture of “we.”

Pass the thorn, please…

Do you or your company need a better process for turning thorns into roses for your company or organization? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective.

Quote of the Week:

I am a part of all that I’ve met….”

~ Excerpt from Ulysses by Lord Tennyson

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Opportunity Knocks Daily

February 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Opportunity Knocks Daily

I was browsing my Linked In timeline last week and a connection of mine shared a post with the quote – “There are 365 days in a year; and 365 opportunities.” I liked that saying…I wish I’d thought of it myself!

What I do regularly remind clients is to always ask – in every situation – “What’s the opportunity?” 

The quote from Linked In goes along with my firm belief that in every situation – good, bad, and indifferent – opportunity knocks. The problem is, especially in difficult and sometimes overwhelming situations, that we don’t hear the knock through the chaotic clamor in our head! Opportunity might actually be breaking the door down, yet we are oblivious becasue our focus is on the problem rather than the solution.

In every uncomfortable situation, there is an opportunity for understanding. In every crisis, there is an opportunity for growth. In every moment you feel stuck, there is an opportunity for innovation. For every joyful and exciting moment, there is an opportunity to share the wealth.

Go into every situation (both professional and personal) armed with that little voice in your head exhorting you to uncover what opportunity lies in front of you. In that way, you” be primed to unleash your ultimate potential and those of others around you.

Do you or your company need a better process for uncovering opportunity for and profitability? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective. Email or call me to get yours…

Quote of the Week:

It is absurd to divide people into good or bad. People are either charming or tedious.”

~ Oscar Wilde

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: The Future of Work

February 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The concept of “work” is changing.

In the not too distant future, if a robot (or other artificial intelligence) can do it, they will. Who would have thought that cars could parallel park without a driver’s hands on the wheel? As we all know, self-driving cars are being developed now. Robots are frequently seen in operating rooms performing delicate surgeries much more effectively than human doctors.

Employers will be able to use AI to reduce uncertainty, lower workers compensation and other operational costs, improve efficiency, and get to market quicker (to name just a few).

That’s bad news for employees that are “transactional” in output value. Those employees that do repetitive physical tasks; who are part of an assembly line; who don’t require specific and skills training to do their work.

It’s good news for employees that become indispensable for their ability to strategize, communicate, innovate, and influence others. It’s ideal for those that create and deliver solutions; who are able to form important alliances and relationships; that strive to think outside the box; and that are able to be nimble and seize on opportunities for themselves and their employers.

In this country, there’s been too much emphasis in public schools on teaching to the “middle” in an effort to leave no one behind. There’s an emphasis on being “employed” rather than on also developing young entrepreneurs. I’ve met many an entrepreneur in my career that were students that played on the edges and didn’t always conform to the normative. That’s how they forged their way.

The future of “work” requires not only academic training, but also leadership and talent development to become valuable to employers (and perhaps become one themselves) of any size or industry. If you have young people in your life, encourage them to be innovative and bold; to challenge assumptions; and to drive their own destiny. Because the future of “work” is upon us, and the smartest and most savvy will be leading the field with the robots carrying their bags.

Does your company need  innovative and new strategies to grow and prosper? Call or email me to get your Unleashed® Balance Sheet. They are free to complete and send to me for a no obligation perspective.  (360) 271-1592 or dan@danweedin.com

Quote of the Week:

Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything.  Plans don’t accomplish anything, either.  Theories of management don’t much matter.  Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved.  Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.”

~ General Colin Powell, USA (Retired)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Barking at the Wind

February 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Captain Jack hates the wind. Hates it. He doesn’t cower and hide from it. He gets mad. So mad that he spends an inordinate amount of energy barking furiously at it. He can’t see the wind, but he can hear it and figures it’s his mortal enemy (along with the vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, and electronic sounds emanating from mobile phones).

His persistence in expending this energy is limitless. It ends when he has successfully vanquished the wind (in his mind – Mother Nature is the real reason). What he fails to understand is that his energy has accomplished nothing but to wear him out, create chaos, and cause great stress for him and everyone around him.

Do you ever get caught “barking at the wind?”

How many times have you ever caught yourself expending great energy at something which you don’t fully control? It might be something a competitor is doing or saying. It might be a client or partner failing to return your emails or calls. Maybe it is something you control in your business, but instead of looking for a solution, you find yourself fretting or even worse, becoming our own typhoon wreaking havoc on everything and everyone in our path.

We all can be guilty of barking at our own “wind.” Some sort of calamity or issue arises and we spend our time wasting energy that would be better used solving the problem; delegating to someone else more capable to handle it; or finding out its not really a problem at all! This negative energy not only exhausts and depresses us; it exhausts and depresses everyone else around us.

If you are the one barking at the wind, stop. Identify the cause, set counter measures to deal with it, and spend your most valuable resource – your energy – on things that will help your business, career, and family. If you’re in a leadership position and have employees that are expert in barking at the wind, then it’s your responsibility to help them stop.You will be doing them – and everyone around them – a huge favor.

Captain Jack gains nothing positive by barking at the wind. He’s proven to be less than coachable. You are. Make the commitment to invest your energy on solutions, growth, and development and you’ll find yourself barking a different – and more rewarding – tune.

Is barking at the wind an issue in your company? Give me a call and we can discuss how to change that for the better!

Quote of the Week:

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

~ Maya Angelou

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved