Extra Points: En Fuego

Dan_Weedin_022This past Saturday, ten of us from our neighborhood got together on a beautiful night to sit outside around an open fire and enjoy each other’s company with a few adult beverages and lots of food. It’s one of the things we love about our neighborhood.
As the evening went on, I found myself interested in the fire. As a couple of the guys kept feeding it with wood they brought over from home, the fire would suddenly get bigger and hotter. This sequence repeated itself over the hours we were together. The heat and “vibe” of that fire created energy and life.
Is your business “en fuego (on fire)?
Every business has a vibe (energy) that is needed to keep alive. All too often, business owners lose sight of the fire beginning to go out. It can be a very subtle thing; and if left too long takes a whole lot of extra wood (in your case energy, effort, and money) to get the fire burning with the same vibe again.
So what are the signs that the fire is being extinguished?
Apathy and low morale in employees; increased turnover; decreased sales; stagnant leadership and management; lack of innovation and ideas; overlooking areas around safety and security; and increased client and customer complaints.
Your job is to stay en fuego. That means you have to take charge like my two friends did to ensure everyone is not only staying warm, but being invited to stay and create the energy. Being a business owner requires the ability to be vigilant on the health of the fire burning in the organization, assuring it doesn’t become the wrong type of fire!
Be on the lookout for stagnation and combat it with a collaborative environment that encourages innovation and growth for it’s people. That way, your company and it’s people will continue to stay en fuego…
Quote of the Day:
“He who clutches desperately to security, to every day habits, work, organization, friends, family; no longer lives. More than security, life needs adventure, risk, dynamic activity, self-giving presence to others.”
~ Jean Vanier (Canadian philosopher, theologian, and humanitarian 1928-2019)
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Risky Business ~ Smart or Stupid

umbrella_riskI was recently interviewed by a freelance journalist working for a major online publication. His question was about “smart and stupid” business risks. He wanted to use an angle about how to tell which risks fall into which class – smart or stupid. Here was my written response to him and I thought I would share with you…

There aren’t smart or stupid risks. There are simply just risks.

All football plays are designed to score a touchdown…it’s the execution that determines the success. Similarly, risks that go sideways (or deep dive staring down) happen due to poor planning, lack of guidance, lack of self-confidence, and just bad “execution.”

In fact, the biggest risk might be not taking the risk at all.

How can you take that theory and implement in your business life?

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

When It Rains It Pours

I was having a drink with a couple colleagues at a nice place in Miami Beach prior to dinner. We had spent the day with our mentor and with full brains were ready to enjoy the evening. The place we were at was classic Miami Beach. Nice outdoor seating area (where we were) adjacent to a covered patio area with an indoor restaurant. The place was full both in the patio and the outdoor area, even with a light mist falling.

The light mist turned into a heavy spray…

Out of the blue we heard a sound akin to when you turn on your shower, followed by a few shrieks. The sprinkler system inexplicably turned on (apparently confusing the heat of the Miami night scene for a fire) and showered the guests directly underneath sending them scrambling. The people just on the other side of the sidewalk from us caught some “collateral damage,” but other than a sudden jump, didn’t need to vacate. We got nothing except the resulting flood of water cascading down from the patio area. Thankful I had shoes on rather than sandals!

I talk all the time about a crisis in business. While this might seem minor, it wasn’t at that moment. Spraying your clients with water while there eating rarely is good for business. The ensuing costs of the food, the employee efforts, and the clean up are part of the hidden costs of a crisis. This restaurant did an exemplary job of getting things back to normal quickly. Are you prepared to do the same if your version of a sprinkler crisis occurs?

Do you identify your own exposures (e.g. Sprinkler system)? Do you analyze the potential hazards (malfunction)? Do you prepare to respond to perils (getting everyone or everything wet)? What if this happened in your computer room, for example? In my experience, too many business owners and leaders settle for reacting in real-time to crisis. Savvy business owners are intentional about crisis strategy and use the system I describe for both preventive (avid the peril from ever occurring) and contingent (response) actions. What about you? What are you doing to assure you never let the “rain” ruin your day?

Copyright 2014 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved