Unleashed Case Study #1: Experiences

Tomorrow is the massive celebration and parade for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. I’m 49 years old and the last parade happened for the Kelli and Me_SafecoSupersonics in 1979, when I was 14. I also lived an hour and a half away, didn’t drive, and going was just not possible. Today, it’s a different story. My buddy and I are hopping the ferry to 4th Avenue, find a great spot to watch, and then perhaps watch the ceremony from inside the stadium at a local watering hole. I can’t wait.

The Seattle area public schools should give all the kids a day off. I’m a part of the public school community and I feel like I can support that. Why? Because the memories this one day will create will absolutely trump one day of school. My daughter Kelli says that a photo we have together attending to the ground breaking ceremony for Safeco Field is one of her all-time favorite memories (see photo). It was March 8, 1997 on a cold Saturday afternoon. You often only get one chance for an enduring experience. Too many of you miss out on it because you’re not willing to cross that open gate. (Note: This is beyond a football team. Your experience might be seeing Paul McCartney in concert or Bill Cosby perform live, both of which I’ve done. Play along with me…)

Don’t pass up chances to enhance your life’s experiences. Take the chance sometimes to take a vacation day; upgrade to first-class; or take the penthouse suite on a trip with your spouse.  The downside is low, and the upside is huge.

P.S. Before people get all fired up about this one case study and cry foul about work, responsibilities, blah, blah, blah – Sometimes you can’t. I get it. My point is that there are many times a month that you do get chances to “experience” life and some of the fun things about it, and you hesitate. Jumping off my soap box…

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Being Gracious

Being Gracious

While I was in San Francisco last week on a business trip, I happened to run into Michael Jordan. Not the “fake” Michael Jordan featured in the commercial. The dude who scored about 40,000 points in the National Basketball Association.

He was sitting with a small group in the lounge at the hotel we were both staying at. I kept looking at him trying to disabuse myself of the notion that it was really him, but the more I looked, the more I was convinced. Finally, a young lady approached him and based on their conversation, it was confirmed that this was the basketball legend. The thing that impressed me was how gracious he was to her. He allowed her to take a picture and even get an autograph. As I was leaving, I reached out to him simply to thank him for years of enjoyment in watching him play. He was very kind to me and we even talked a little Sonics basketball.

Many celebrities and “stars” aren’t gracious for a variety of reasons, most not good. Michael Jordan was. Many business people aren’t gracious for a variety of reasons, and there is no excuse. I’ve seen business professionals and leaders who are rude, intimidating, callous, boorish, and plain mean. You have seen them too, I’m sure. Heck, you may have even worked for a couple of them!

How you act will forever leave marks on those you come in contact with. Michael Jordan left a positive impression on that young lady, on me, and my group. What kind of impression are you leaving in your world? Make it a good one!

This week’s quote –
“At one point in your life you either have the thing you want or the reasons why you don’t.”
~Andy Roddick, Tennis Champion


© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Class by Cuban

I just finished watching the Dallas Mavericks vanquish the Lebron-led (or not led) Miami Heat. I can tell you that there is a stark difference in class. First, you’ve got the mega-hyped, Lebron James who held “The Announcement” last year to bolt from Cleveland. Everyone outside of South Beach was rooting against him.

Mark Cuban is the bombastic owner of the Dallas Mavericks. He just won his first NBS championship and what’s he do? He invites the club’s original owner, Donald Carter, to receive the championship trophy on stage. That’s class.

Leadership is about actions. Mark Cuban showed tremendous leadership, character, and class tonight.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Sonics 30th NBA Championship Anniversary

Where were you 30 years ago today?

On June 1, 1979 at about 7:00 pm in Oak Harbor, I sat glued to the television watching Gus Williams hurl the basketball in the air as my beloved Seattle Supersonics defeated the Washington Bullets in Landover, MD for the first professional championship in Seattle sports history.

As a 14-year old sports fanatic, the Sonics were my team.  I followed them starting about 1974 when Bill Russell stalked the sideline and Fred Brown, Slick Watts, and Spencer Haywood were the stars.

The Sonics had lost to the Bullets in the Finals the previous year in a tough seven games series.  After starting the season 5-17, Lenny Wilkens took over the team and led them to the Finals in an incredible turn of events.  In the post-season, the Sonics lost Marvin Webster to the Knicks and picked up Lonnie Shelton as compensation.  It turned into the final piece of the puzzle.

It was a magical year.  Lenny Wilkens led a great team back through the grind of the NBA season in 1978-79.  They were the best defensive team in the league statistically.  This was a team that was beloved by the Seattle community.  I say it was a great team and that is so overstated these days, but it applies to this team.  No superstars – just a blend of very good players who worked as a team and believed in themselves…

Gus Williams, Dennis Johnson, Jack Sikma, John Johnson, Lonnie Shelton, Fred Brown, Paul Silas, Wally Walker, Joe Hassett, Tom LaGarde, Dick Snyder, Dennis Awtrey, Lars Hansen, and Jackie Robinson

As I sit here this morning listening to Lenny Wilkens reminisce on radio, it takes me back thirty years. I can see the games, hear the great voice of Bob Blackburn, and remember the feeling of watching my hometown guys win it all.  The Sonics were stolen from us last year (it’s my article and I can say stolen if I want) after 41 years.  There is still pain for not having them around, but today I remember very fondly that year, that team, and that moment.

Sports is a great equalizer.  Culture, race, religion don’t matter.  When you root for a team like the 1979 Sonics, you are all part of the same team.  They also leave some of the greatest memories in your life.  I still have my Sonics championship t-shirt.

Thank you to the 1979 Sonics for memories that will last forever.

Handling Adversity

Last night, I watched the second half of Game 1 in the Cleveland – Orlando NBA Eastern Conference finals.  At the end of the first half, a Cleveland player drained a 70-foot shot at the buzzer propelling the Cavaliers to a 15-point halftime lead at home.  They lost one time in that building all year, and hadn’t lost in the playoffs yet.  In fact, all their wins in the post-season were by double digits.  This game was over.

But, the Orlando Magic didn’t get the memo.  By the end of the 3rd quarter, they cut the lead down to 4 points.  Halfway through the 4th, they took their first lead.  At the ensuing timeout, you could hear Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy say, “They’ve won easy all year.  They’ve never faced adversity.  We have.  We know how to win this game!”

In the end, after a back and forth battle where All-Planet player LeBron James scored 49 points, the Magic won on a 3-point shot by Rashard Lewis.  An improbable victory.

How do you respond to adversity?

The Magic showed how having fought through tough times in the past (like being down 3-2 to the defending world champs just last week) can lead to a mental toughness that leads to improbable wins.  The same is true in business.

These are tough times for many.  Those who battle through, persevere, and survive will be better for it because they will be mentally tougher.  This too will pass, but it also may come again.  If you’ve seen it, played through it, and won, you have the confidence and the toughness to do it again.

Business is a competitive sport.  The “athletes” in this arena that are willing to be tough, get up when knocked down, and battle to the end will be the winners both now and in the future.

Are you able to handle adversity?  Now is the time to start.  Game on!



(c) 2009 Dan Weedin – All Rights Reserved

Chemistry = Trust

Intriguing interview with Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown. He talks about “chemistry.” His definition of chemistry is TRUST. I think TRUST is the key component in sports, business, and in your personal relationships. The question is asked at about the 2 and a half minute mark of the interview. His answer is worth listening to.


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