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Posts Tagged ‘risk management’

Extra Points: The Thrill is Gone

July 31, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This past weekend, Barb and I watched the movie, Lion on Netflix. Great movie and I highly recommend. No spoiler alerts, so no worries. The only mention of the movie is that the protagonist in the story used Google Earth to do his research on searching his family in India. It was 2008 and at the time, Google Earth was a new concept, and thought to be remarkable. While it was and is still today remarkable, it’s also now become pretty commonplace a decade later. It’s lost it’s initial appeal of wonder and awe.

The same has been true of a lot of technological advances in my lifetime. In listening to music, I’ve gone from vinyl record, to cassette tape, to compact disc, to iPod, to streaming on a mobile device. At each jump in technology, the same wonder and awe existed, soon to be replaced by normalcy. You can see the same sequence in video games, computers, and mobile phones. The “thrill” of each new discovery when it comes to technology is fleeting, with anticipation of the next iteration.

I wonder if the average person’s career – both business owner and employee – doesn’t go through the same process. In the examples I gave, we go from wonder; to excitement; to normal use; to impatience and agitation; to anticipation for the next level of wonder. Any time we start a new adventure, it’s easy to fall into that same trap if you’re not careful. My professional mentor, Alan Weiss refers to it as “the success trap.” Over time, one ends up being so good at what they do that without change boredom, complacency, animosity, and dreaming of greener grass takes hold.

If you’re the business owner and the process looks familiar for you personally, it’s likely that you’ve gone from loving what you’re doing, to doing work that you no longer want to do but feel you’re supposed to. It’s time to start delegating, training others, and focusing in on what you do best and enjoy the most so that you don’t get caught in the quicksand of bitterness. If this is happening to your employees, then the consequences will be poor productivity, low morale, and high turnover.

If you’re a professional that starts feeling like you’re hating your job and just going through the motions for a paycheck, I’ve got news for you….life’s too short for that. It’s time to assess whether the problem is the job or you. Mindset is a crucial component to enjoying your life, and if you’re spending a large part of your life working, you’d better find a way to love it or find a new adventure to love.

For everyone, you need to find that thrill in life every day or else it makes for very long and distasteful ones. The process starts with your own self-assessment and continues on to making implementation of positive changes. Before you know it, your next personal iteration is better than ever.

Quote of the Week:

”Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help gaining control of your business or career? 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: Walking Hills

May 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Yesterday my Rotary Club had a big fundraising event during our city’s annual festival. The location was only about a mile and half walk (22 minutes to be exact), so I decided to walk to it. The weather was beautiful – maybe one of the best days of the year. The festival also brings lots of traffic and parking challenges, and I figured the exercise would be good. 

After a full day of volunteering in the sun, the time came to walk home. The majority of the walk back is uphill, which added to the exertion level. By the time I hit the stop light to cross to the final big hill, I took a deep breath and thought, “Oh boy…” (The word boy is a place holder…it was actually a different word)

I climbed the hill no worse for wear, just a little more tired and strengthened. Strengthened because hills develop physical strength and stamina, and build toughness.

We all face hills in our business life and career. Nothing is a straight level path. We never know when these hills will emerge, or how long a duration they are. But just like my final hill home yesterday, we are forced to climb them to reach our destination.

Here are three quick tips to help you traverse these hills in your business (and personal) life and career:

  1. Take a deep breath and charge forward…always remembering to breathe. It’s rarely as bad or as steep as we think.
  2. Don’t take side routes. I considered taking an alternate route where the hill was less steep, however the longer path would take more time to get home. Speed in business is everything. Find your inner strength and persevere.
  3. Honor the struggle. The hill will make you stronger and tougher; and ultimately make the reward at the end more satisfying. If you honor the struggle, you will honor your ability to conquer it.

There will always be another hill coming up. You may have just finished walking your hill; may be in the midst now; or may see it approaching. Regardless of where you’re at in business or in life, prepare for your hills by being strong of mind and body. It’s the only way to run the race.

Need help walking your hill and rapidly achieving your goals? Contact me at (360) 271-1592 or dan@danweedin.com and let’s talk about it!

Quote of the Week:

”He who angers you, conquers you.”

~ Elizabeth Kenny

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

In Plain Sight Behind Closed Doors

January 17, 2017 Leave a comment

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

 

The Enemy Within Your Walls

December 16, 2016 Leave a comment

He is ready to fight for success

This past week, Wake Forest University had to deal with a very unsettling matter. It was revealed that a former assistant football coach turned team radio analyst for the Demon Deacons football program was found to have passed on game plan information from his team (provided to him as part of his job in preparing for games) to opposing teams prior to games.

Let’s make it clear. This guy (for ease of the example) was an assistant coach for the Wake Forest football team. When a coaching change was made, he was not retained as the new head coach brought his own team of assistants with him. This guy was a Wake Forest supporter through and through, seemingly accepted his fate, and then immediately was brought on to the team as the color commentator for the games. Unbeknownst to many, this is akin to be a member of the team. He has access to practices, gets private information on game plans, and is trusted with this material.

After a game against Louisville, it was discovered that game plans had been distributed to Louisville prior to the game. Further investigation found it wasn’t an isolated incident. Long story, short, This guy was implicated and fired. We still don’t know the reasons for this betrayal, but let’s just guess.

Here’s This guy that was terminated. He was allowed to stay in the program because he was deemed “loyal.” Turns out he harbors a grudge and gets on the inside to sell team secrets to opponents. Who knows how long this would have continued if This guy hadn’t been caught.

I know this isn’t national security stuff, but let’s not minimize that these are organizations that employ people. These people keep their positions based on wins and losses. Families are impacted; students are impacted; and the university is impacted. I’ve worked with many small and mid-size businesses that have had similar issues. In fact one small painting business – about 15 employees – had their bookkeeper (acting with CFO functions) steal $25,000 over a 3 year period and used that money to fund her wedding! My client said, “I would have never imagined she would do this.” No kidding! If he had, she wouldn’t have been working there. Problem was, she had done this to a previous employer and my client had not checked references prior. (Yes. She listed the company she stole from. You can’t make this up.)

My question to you is this – could this happen to you?!

The answer is YES. It can and may be to some of you reading this now. While you can’t prevent this in totality, you can greatly minimize the risk to it. Here are three things to consider:

  1. If you terminate someone – or they leave on their own accord, like retirement – the escort them out the door nicely. Do not let them leave with anything that is yours. Cancel their log-in information.
  2. Take care of your client list and proprietary information. That means check their phones for addresses and other important information. If you don’t know how this works, call me and we can discuss.
  3. Be aware of anything that can harm you, including social media.

Bottom line – terminated and disgruntled employees can cause great harm to your company. It happens all the time, yet we rarely hear of it when it happens to small businesses. Protect yourself with a resilience plan that includes this very important issue.

You just may then be able to assure that your “game plan” is safe and secure from This Guy in your own house.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Podcast Interview on Business Growth

November 2, 2016 Leave a comment

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: Of Storms and Calamities

October 17, 2016 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40As I sit writing this edition of Extra Points on the Friday before, the day outside is miserable. And that’s being kind. We are in the midst of a series of rain and windstorms that are projected to be some of the worst and most damaging in recent history. Those who went through Hurricane Matthew a few weeks ago know all too well the wreckage that Mother nature can inflict.

So in advance of the worst of it – I’m hurrying to write this before we lose power; have purchased food and other necessities (as instructed by Barb) to last through the weekend; fully charged all devices and portable chargers; and battened down the hatches as best as possible to mitigate damage and create resiliency. And of course, Captain Jack is pacing and barking at the wind, doing his part to protect the ship…

We’ve known this storm was coming for the last three days. It was hard to believe becasue the preceding days have been sunny and pleasant. It created a false sense of security and many people are just now braving the elements hoping to stock up and prepare. Why the delay?

Why do you delay preparing for the storm in business? While your daily operations may for the most part seem sunny and pleasant, we all know that calamity comes – unlike winter storms – unannounced. Too often business owners and entrepreneurs are left scrambling to recover and sustain operations in the midst of the storm. Had they planned in advance, it would have been easier and less costly both financially and emotionally.

Make resilience part of your basic business planning and strategy. In grade school we used to do fire drills in preparedness for the building fire that never happened for me in 12 years. (Lights blinking and Jack barking, so tying fast…) Bottom line – protect your business, protect your employees, and protect your revenue. Resilience management may not be sexy, but it might be the most important work you do.

Quote of the Week:

Behind every cloud is another cloud.

~ Judy Garland

© 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