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Posts Tagged ‘Professional Development’

Extra Points: Who’s Your Caddie?

July 24, 2017 Leave a comment

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: Driving Leadership

June 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40News came out over the weekend that Uber board of directors would be discussing a leave of absence for its embattled CEO, Travis Kalanick. This comes on the heels of months of terrible press related to claims of sexual harassment allegations, berating drivers on video, and a Pandora’s Box of other workplace and public scandal and crisis. According to the Wall Street Journal, the board will also vote on setting up an investigation onto workplace issues.

Just because a person has the CEO acronym following their name on their business card, doesn’t mean they have a clue how to lead, manage, and inspire people. Kalanick had publicly admitted he needed to grow his leadership skills, but hasn’t shown much growth so his board is now taking more swift action to try and salvage the brand of the company.

Small and medium-sized business (SMB) leaders should take note. Just because one can start a business doesn’t mean they can effectively lead, manage, and inspire people. In order to tap into and unleash the power and potential of a business, that SMB owner or executive must intentionally enhance that part of their professional repertoire. It should be a daily discipline and requires accountability. Unlike highly-visible public companies like Uber, there often isn’t a board of directors there to do it. The metrics are most often a combination of high turnover, workplace drama, apathetic employees, and lack of production.

If you’re in any type of leadership position, I encourage you to make the development of your skills in this area a daily discipline. Read articles and books, watch videos by experts, and most importantly find an advisor (or advisors) to hold you accountable to your leadership growth goals. You’ve got your hands on the wheel; make sure you’re driving down the right road.

Quote of the Week:

”All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Would you like help improving your leadership development strategy for your company? Need help getting your organization to a higher state of resiliency and profitable growth? Then 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: Splashing in the Mud

April 10, 2017 1 comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Splashing in the Mud

Last Friday, I was wending my way through a client’s gravel parking lot looking for a place close to the door to park. As has been the case of late in my neck of the woods, it was raining hard. There were a few small potholes that had been created and were filled with muddy water. I was working to avoid them and a mother and her very young daughter that were walking in the deluge through the parking lot.

The mom was holding the little girl’s hand – she looked to be about 3 years old. They were dressed for the walk in the weather, including big rubber boots. While the mom was walking gingerly through the parking lot (as most adults would be doing), the little girl suddenly did what almost all 3 year olds would do – she very deliberately and with great gusto – splashed in the mud puddle. The muddy water went flying all over the place and the look of glee on her face was unmistakable. As she and her mother passed by me, the mom and I exchanged a knowing smile.

There’s something wonderful about being in the state of mind that you actually crave getting dirty. We are taught not long after 3 years old to avoid mud puddles. As we get older, we are also taught by family, society, school, and well meaning friends to avoid other “dirty” endeavors that might cause us angst. Things like boldly taking risks, being unafraid of failing, not worrying about what others think, to start a business, to jump out of a plane, to change careers, and many other activities that attract the risk of getting messy and muddy in life.

Ironically, the day before, I was sitting in another client’s office and he had a sign prominently displayed on a shelf that read, “If you didn’t get dirty, you didn’t play in the game.”  The sign and the little girl’s actions offer a great lesson for us.

There’s nothing wrong with splashing through mud puddles and getting dirty. It’s how we best grow professionally and personally. We are all washable. Even the dirt that might cause challenges are only temporary and we end up being the wiser for them. My professional mentor Alan Weiss is oft heard saying that we are not here in the world to merely dip our toes in the water; we are here to make waves.

My encouragement to you this week is to make some waves, splash in some mud puddles, and get dirty. You may just walk away from the experience with the same gleeful expression of a three year old girl that just splashed through her own muddy water!

Do you or your company need help splashing in the mud? If so, we should talk. Contact me at (360) 271-1592 or dan@danweedin.com.

Quote of the Week:

If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

~ Winston Churchill

© 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: Are You Out of Water?

January 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Are You Out of Water?

One of my jobs as the minion of two demanding Jack Russell Terriers is to keep their water dish full. While they might think it’s my “only job,” I do on occasion lose track of the depth of the water dish. Captain Jack is not afraid to tell me. He is very skilled at striking the empty bowl as hard as he can with his paw, causing a loud clang that reverberates through the house. If within a few seconds I don’t appear, the action is repeated until I respond. Captain Jack is not shy about asking for (or rather demanding) help and getting what he needs.

Business owners and other professionals should take a cue from my canine pal.

Be bold and ask for help. In my experience, many business owners and professionals choose not to ask for help for three reasons. First, they don’t think they need it. Second, they know they need it but don’t know where to get it. Third, they fear looking “weak.”

My responses: First, we all need help. Sometimes it’s advice; sometimes guidance; and other times a full blown intervention. No matter what one has achieved, there is always a need for growth. Just ask any world-class athlete if they still get coaching and help. Second, help is easier than ever to find. Referrals from colleagues and simply searching on the Internet are two fast ways to start the process. If that’s the real excuse, then the problem is probably deeper and more the last reason I mentioned. I believe that the most self-confident and successful people in any profession are boldly willing to seek and find help. Just like Captain Jack, they don’t waste time in seeking it; are persistent on their attempt; and gain tremendous value and return in investment from it. For both Jack it quenches thirst and is necessary for a healthy and happy life. Same for you…

You have a right to keep your water bowl filled. That might mean your professional skills, the growth and significance of your business, or the quality of your life. Whatever it is, I encourage you to be vigilant over the depth of your bowl by constantly keeping it filled so you never get thirsty and desperate. Captain Jack doesn’t, and neither should you.

Need help identifying where your dish is getting empty, 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:

“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”

~ Maya Angelou

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Seattle Shrimp Tank Episode #8

January 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Listen to the Podcast (45 minutes) – LINK

Here are both the audio podcast and video wrap up to our great interview with Ryan Fournier. Ryan is President of Fournier Insurance Solutions in University Place, WA. In fact, Ryan has five locations around South Puget Sound. Ryan and his sister Kendra are second generation owners of the agency. Listen to Ryan give some age advice on running a family business and how business insurance is so critical to small business success.

Ryan also played football in college with former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Jon Kitna. Listen to hear if he shares any “dirt” on Jon!

You can subscribe on our website or on iTunes to never miss an episode. The next one is on January 25th at 3 pm PST with our guest Nick Johnson from Cima Creative.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved