Extra Points: Picking Up Tomatoes

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Picking Up Tomatoes

Last week, my wife and I were walking into the grocery store when a guy about our age walking out of the store had his small plastic box of tomatoes plummet from his cart and spill out on the ground. My immediate reaction, was “bummer,” while proceeding to walk in. Barb is a way kinder person than me (and those of you who know both of us don’t need to be told this). She immediately asked, “Do you need help,” and then proceeded to stop and start picking up tomatoes before he could even answer. Of course, I then sheepishly joined the tomato picking by association to the kind person, which ultimately is to my own personal growth.

What does picking up tomatoes outside of a grocery store have to do with any of us?

Here’s the deal…the mere act of genuine kindness resonates in every business and organization regardless of size. Barb volunteered to help someone she didn’t know who had a misfortune happen. How many of us eschew showing genuine kindness to people we employ, work with, live with, and/or care about because we are either not paying attention, don’t think it’s our problem, or are in such a hurry to take care of ourselves that we become uninterested in the plight of those around us?

Organization resilience always starts with people. That sentence is worth reading again. Overcoming adversity and crisis; finding solutions to difficult challenges; and just sometimes getting through a bad day shouldn’t be a lonely path. When we as fellow humans lighten the load of those we work with and employ, then resilience is enhanced through better decision-making, swifter resolutions, improved collaboration, and enhanced morale. Resilience isn’t simply about being tough; it’s mostly about helping each other out when we dump tomatoes on the ground.

Quote of the Week:

”An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

~ Winston Churchill

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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: Whack Job

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

In Plain Sight Behind Closed Doors

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Kansas City Chief in an exciting National Football League playoff game, sending them to the AFC Championship match up against the New England Patriots. After the game, Head Coach Mike Tomlin gave a rousing speech to his team; full of praise for their efforts and encouraging them to now move on and pull off the upset of the favored Patriots team the next week.

Coach Tomlin’s inspired words included a few expletives and exhortations that are normal in post-game locker rooms at any level of play. They are normally expressed behind closed doors and private. That’s what Coach Tomlin thought they were. Turns out that star player Antonio Brown was off to the side of the locker room recording everything on the moment on Facebook LIVE for the world to see.

Aside from the fact that it’s a violation of both team and NFL rules, there are huge issues here that pertain to your business.

  1. There was a well-communicated rule about the privacy of the locker room. What’s said within the walls (before the press is allowed in) was for those players and coaches. Brown blatantly and selfishly violated that rule using a live stream social media platform. What rules do you have about privacy in your company? What rules apply to the sharing of: employee compensation, bonuses, disciplinary actions, intellectual property, proprietary information, client and prospect lists, technology, and other “classified” materials? How do you know your “locker room” is safe?
  2. If you’ve seen the stream (now playing at your local Internet), you see Brown is around the corner from the coach and other players. He’s not listening or being part of the team. He’s more concerned about preening in front of the camera for 18 minutes (45 seconds of Tomlin’s speech included). While your employee meetings may not use the same format, how many of your employees are listening when you speak? Ever see any vacant eyes, distracted stares, peeking at text messages and email under the desk? 
  3. Antonio Brown is one of the star players. From all I’ve heard, he’s a hard worker and good teammate. He got caught up in the moment, thought of himself first, and then willingly broke rules. How many of your best and brightest employees are capable of bad behavior that could damage your company in some way? Don’t say “none.” I’ve had a situation where a client’s bookkeepers stole tens of thousands of dollars from under his nose over the course of several years before getting caught. Smart and successful business owner (just as Tomlin is a smart and successful coach) who placed trust in someone.

Here’s today’s takeaways:

  1. Don’t get caught being looking behind every rock for an employee behaving badly. The majority are doing the right things for you. However, being consistent in your message about what is expected and required is critical; even if you think you’ve got it under control.
  2. Your private company conversations, resources, information, etc. are all more at risk than ever. Cyber issues – whether it be crime or just social media – can put your company and your reputation at risk. You need to have a plan.
  3. Develop strong leaders to police yourselves. Give them autonomy to be your eyes and ears.

For most small and mid-size companies, these actions rarely get taken due to time and energy constraints. This is an investment of your time, energy, and money. In order to avoid both your “dirty and clean laundry” from being exposed to the world (and your clients), then you need to create a resiliency plan. Doing this will keep you from yelling expletives in the privacy of your office!

Need help creating a resiliency plan to prevent and mitigate crisis, and protect your reputation and profits? Contact me at (360) 271-1592 or dan@danweedin.com and let’s talk.


© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Podcast Interview on Business Growth

podcast-page-option-3-1I was thrilled to be recently interviewed by Shawn Casemore for his “The Growth Inspired” podcast.

LINK to listen

Our topic was how to build a strong team that supports growth and create a strategy around resilience management.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Learn more about Dan, his background and his work
  • Dan’s ‘secret sauce’ to business growth – there are 3 areas
  • Why is resiliency so important to a business?
  • Why you need to grow profitably
  • Dan’s tips you should look into to grow your business

Enjoy and be unleashed!

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Extra Points: The Greatest

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I remember the first time I saw Muhammad Ali fight. It was versus George Foreman in Zaire, dubbed “The Rumble in the Jungle.” Ali knocked out Foreman, then the heavyweight champion, in the 8th round. Some pundits have argued it was the greatest sporting event in history. For me personally at 9 years old, it solidified Ali as my boxing champion.

I was privileged to have watched the last years of Ali’s career, including the brutally painful loss to Larry Holmes in 1980, when it was becoming apparent that age and some infirmity had caught up with “The Greatest.” He was pummeled by Holmes, who later sat in his locker room after and wept out of his tremendous respect for Ali. Certainly it can be argued that Muhammad Ali was the best boxer of all time. But ultimately, his legacy was much greater.

I’ve often written about being resilient. My definition has been that resilience is the ability to take a punch and get up and throw two back. Ali was the epitome of resilience, both in and out of the ring. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1984 and the young age of 42. Years of being hit upside the head had for him, exacerbated the disease.  For 32 years, the champ fought the biggest and most impressive fight of his career, while all the while championing freedom, civil rights, cures for his disease and others, and global peace. Largely forgotten is his 1990 trip to Iraq to negotiate the release of 15 American hostages by Saddam Hussein. Ali was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2005. How amazing, that a man who was so reviled in the late 1960’s and early 70’s would ultimately become one of the most loved and respected people in the world.

Friday night, I walked down to my small exercise room where among images of Russell Wilson, Ronda Rousey, and my favorite Washington Huskies, hangs the greatest photo ever taken of Muhammad Ali, as he stands boldly and triumphantly over Sonny Liston on May 25, 1965. I was just under five months old when that fight happened, yet it holds a special place in my home. That night, I appreciatively and respectfully saluted Muhammad Ali, for being “The Greatest.”

Rest in peace, Champ….

Quote of the Week:

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

~ Muhammad Ali 1942-2016

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Oops. Now What?

58842030-Dan+Weedin+%22Unleashed%22-30Yesterday was the day that my county (as well as many other communities nationally) hold their “Great Give.” It’s a unique way to ask donors to support all their favorite charities with one payment. It’s a pretty slick process, until…

I went on yesterday afternoon armed with my credit card to make my donation. When I arrived at the website, I was stunned to see that it didn’t want my money. Well, not really. The website was down due to technical difficulties. This would be the disaster that all the charities (and the organization ) would most fear. The event only runs for 24 hours, and at the very least was looking to lose over half that day.

Fortunately, somebody thought of that obstacle to success. The website indicated that because of the gaffe, the Great Give was going to be extended until into the evening the next day.  I simply moved my calendar reminder to today.

Calamity and “obstacles” happen every day to us in business. Some of them are minor (a key employee is out sick for the day), or major (see above). The business owners and entrepreneurs that are best prepared to deal with these obstacles more effectively overcome and even thrive out of crisis. Take the Great Give for example. Now, the event may actually add time to the giving, all the charities get to keep sending additional reminders to their lists, and the chance that someone might have forgotten and not donate is lessened. In all, the charities may end up being better off than if nothing happened!

Things that go “oops” will happen to you and your business. The best thing you can do is to in advance, identify your obstacles to success, create a contingency plan to rebound and thrive, tell everyone in your company about what to do, and then hope it doesn’t happen. The good news is that if it does, you’re ready and that is a great security blanket and peace of mind.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Resiliency

Resiliency                 Fenway Park

Last week was a bad week in this country…

First we had the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon and subsequent events that killed 4 people, injured hundreds, and altered thousands of lives. A few days later, the explosion at a fertilizer plant killed 12 people (most of them first responders) and again injuring and affecting hundreds. Throw in a couple of earthquakes outside the United States and it was a crisis filled and emotional week.

One thing is absolutely certain, however, and it was proven again this week. We are a resilient people. We care, we sacrifice, we take care of each other. Hundreds of marathon runners kept running past the finish line to donate blood; bystanders put themselves in harm’s way to aid injured people; and as Boston showed, a city completely shut down in an effort to protect its people and seek justice. Regardless of who we are, where we come from, our political point of view, or our age, we are resilient and know what to do in the face of crisis. We band together for the greater good, lick our wounds, care for those who have lost, and keep moving forward.

One final thought. My great-grandfather was a police officer in Seattle in the early 1900’s. He was killed on the Seattle streets in the line of duty (and eventually had a street named after him). We saw in Boston and in Waco that law enforcement, fire fighters, medical staff, and other professionals who are first responders put their lives on the line every day for our protection and safety. Thanks to all of you who bravely put your life on the line for us…

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
“It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.”
–  Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Your Red Truck Plan

Over the past several months, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dave Shapiro on a series of joint seminars. Dave is a guru on leadership and CEO development. One of the topics he talks about is “The Red Truck Plan.” Dave explains that if you or a key employee are carted off on that big, red truck, then who is in charge? Who knows the passwords? Who has the keys to the kingdom? How will your business respond and continue operations?

It’s a great question that for many business owners and executives means business resiliency and survival.

On Saturday night, my wife Barb went out with a girlfriend to see a movie. It was one that she knew I had no interest in, so she went and I stayed home with my mom (yes, I still live with my mother – or she lives with us!) and watched Romancing the Stone on Netflix. I enjoyed watching Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner slog through the jungles of Colombia in search of fortune. But, I digress…

As the evening came to a close, it was time to give my mother her evening medicine. I went to the place we keep it, opened up the tray, and realized that the next week’s medicines had not been distributed in their weekday holders. I had no idea what or how much to give her! I called Barb and caught her on the way to dessert with her pal. She already knew why I was calling and guided me through the process. Crisis averted.

Here’s the problem. I have no “red truck plan” for my mother’s medical care. All that vital information lies solely in Barb’s head. What if something had happened to her and that information was not readily available? Yes, I understand that if something terrible had happened to Barb, she would be the priority. But, think about it. Wouldn’t Mom also be a priority? Doesn’t she need her medicines to stay healthy and safe, even overnight? The answer of course, is yes.

Think of your business. If something terrible happens to you; or your person who keeps all the company passwords; or your CFO; or your best sales person; then what happens to that area of your business and what are the ramifications? Just because someone is no longer there (temporarily or permanently) doesn’t mean that other needs don’t need to be met.

My solution is writing down all Mom’s medicines in a secure and accessible space where I can always find them, if needed. Added to that will be making that available to other key “stakeholders,” like my children or neighbors, in case something happens to bot Barb and me at the same time (after all, we are together a lot).

Your solution may be similar. You may need to create redundancies, plans, and back up plans. Whatever those may be, now is the time to do them. BEFORE you open up your medicine tray and find it all empty and not knowing what to do, create your “red truck plan” and be ready to respond.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved


Resiliency Defined in Real Time

I’ve spent the day watching the PGA Championship being held at the Atlanta Country Club. I’m waiting for the 3-hole playoff between Americans Justin Duffner and Keegan Bradley. Very dramatic finish leading to a tie after 72 holes.

Here the thing…

On the 15th hole, Keegan Bradley triple-bogeyed after hitting in the water putting him 5 strokes behind Duffner and virtually eliminating him from contention. Bradley proceeded to finish the last 3 holes going birdie – birdie – par, while Duffner finished with 3 bogeys and a par on 18. This puts them in the playoff.

Resiliency is defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity. Bradley is resiliency defined in real-time. Bouncing back from a gut-wrenching triple-bogey with a -2 finish puts aside all the bad that just happened and proves that you should never give up.

How about you? How about your business? Do both you and your business or career show the same resiliency that Keegan Bradley just showed on the biggest stage in his vocation.

Just saying…

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved