Thanksgiving Special

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Being Thankful.

It’s pretty easy to immediately think of the things I’m thankful for every Thanksgiving. My beautiful wife of 32 years; my children that have grown into wonderful adults (and I include my son-in-law when I reference children); my perfect granddaughter; my family and friends; my business…. you get the picture. While these people I’m grateful for are foremost in my mind, I’m often guided to think of other areas of thanksgiving.

I’m grateful for the countless things in my life that I daily take for granted:

I was born in a first-world country that offers freedoms, resources, and opportunity to chart my own course in life.

I was born to parents who provided me with unconditional love and the income that could send me to good schools to get an education unlike what millions of children at that time (and still today) can’t even fathom.

I’ve never had to find clean water; been anxious over my next meal; or worry about discrimination or injustice. I’ve had the advantage of the best medical care possible and education to know how to live a long and happy life.

While I have great faith, I also know serendipity is involved. I could have been born anywhere in the world where all those amenities I described wouldn’t exist. While I’m thankful for me, it’s a sobering reminder of the plight of many.

As I write this, it dawns on me that this month, I’m celebrating 25 years in Rotary. Rotary has been a constant reminder to me of how my life is the exception; how I’m in the 1% of the world’s population based on when, where, and to whom I was born. While I made my own decisions which helped me to where I am, those were made simpler by my education and those that mentored me. I’m thankful to be a Rotarian so that in some small way, I am able to give back and support people who aren’t as fortunate as me.

Final thought. This memo today is meant to inspire. You are getting this because you’ve been placed in a similar position to me. Be thankful not only this week, but every day and do something small daily to help improve the condition of someone else. Very often, that might simply be kindness. My guess is that every one of you do this, and it’s a friendly reminder that we should all be thankful of where we are and how we got here. And a reminder that we have a chance to take that thankfulness and help someone else.

As I conclude, my sincere thanks to all of you for being faithful readers and followers of my work. I am grateful for you.

Quote of the Day:

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”

~ Helen Keller

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

How Will They Know You Were Here?

58842030-Dan+Weedin+%22Unleashed%22-30I was driving in to my Rotary Club meeting this morning and a country song came on the radio that made me pause to think. The song is “Gonna Know We Were Here” by Jason Aldean. The lyrics from the chorus that caught my attention were…

Ain’t scared to ride this train
Make a few marks, leave a few stains
Might slam just a little too hard
Might take it just a little too far
Might burn out like a firework,
Like a shooting star across the sky
And we may not be around in 20 years but they’re sure gonna know we were here
Yeah, they’re sure gonna know we were here

At my club meeting, we had a fascinating speaker. This woman is a nurse that volunteered to go to Africa last year and help with the Ebola outbreak. In fact, this particular woman has been doing volunteer medical work around the globe for 15 years. Going into the most impoverished areas, seeing the most improbable and horrible things, and making a mark on those people and the world.
I’m not suggesting that if all of us aren’t making these heroic efforts that we are failing. As a matter of fact, we all have chances every day to be heroic. We have an opportunity in our business, in our career, and in our personal life to improve the condition of someone else. We’ve got talents and skills to leave a few marks and stains; to be able to say that the world will know you were here.
This is about action; it’s about implementing. Pausing to ponder is fine, but taking action in a bold and confident manner is what moves the needle. The speaker I watched today has been doing that and can say she’s left a mark. We all have opportunities to do the same, maybe not to a global extent, but to very important ones.
How will people know you were here? What are you doing to leave a few marks, leave a few stains…?
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Thankful #1

Thankful 1 of 4: Service Above Selfrotarylogo

I know many of my friends are doing a daily memo of thanks, usually on Facebook. That’s way too much work for me, so I will do it four times during the month on Extra Points. And, my family, friends, health, etc. are all givens. I want to loo a bit deeper by peeling the onion.

On November 4, 1993 I was inducted into Rotary. I actually remember it like it was yesterday. Little did I know at the time what an impact this wonderful organization would have on my life. In the past 20 years, Rotary has given me the opportunity to really learn (emphasis on really) what their motto, Service Above Self, truly means. As a relatively young Rotarian at the time, it helped me to grow up with service to others as a mantra for myself and my family. Every member of my family has done work through Rotary, including work parties, hosting exchange students, and a project trip to Mexico.

Thank you, Rotary. You continue to teach and define for me the value of community; you provide opportunity for fellowship with other like-minded people; you enrich lives of the people we work and raise money for by doing good in the world; and you perpetuate the belief, the genuine belief, of the words written by Charles Dickens a century and a half ago in The Christmas Carol, that “mankind is our business.”

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
“It has been the way of Rotary to focus thought upon matters in which members are in agreement, rather than upon matters in which they are in disagreement.”
~ Paul Harris (founder of Rotary)

Extra Points from Monday – Team

Team.

Don Draper on Mad Men portrayed by Jon Hamm

I’ve been watching AMC’s hit television show, Mad Men on Netflix. I just finished Year 3 (two years ago so consider this your spoiler alert) where Don Draper leads a group of people from the firm, including two partners, to form their own agency. They take drastic and covert action when they find out that their old agency was being sold and they didn’t want to play along. At the end of the episode (and season), you see Draper standing in the hotel room being used as the new office. He is gazing at the 7-8 people hand picked to go to war with the new agency. These were “his people.” The ones he wanted to move forward. He had a choice to pick the best and he chose them.

Four years ago, as I was preparing to take the presidency of my 130 member Rotary Club, one of the speakers asked a compelling question – “If you’re club had to whittle itself down to only 25 members, would you be one of them?’ Very thought-provoking.

If you had to choose 5 people to move forward with a new organization, who would you choose? Why? Would you be one of them? Not everyone in your organization work and perform at the same level of excellence. Are you spending too much time trying to “fix” them at the expense of enhancing your best performers? Unfortunately, many executives and business owners spend too much time with the squeaky wheel. The same thing happens in schools. In the end, it only hurts the organizations. The best path is to work on your strengths, not your weaknesses.

Bottom line. Who would you go to war with if you only had 4 people to choose. What makes them your choice? Take those answers and instill those values in your strongest performers and watch your organization prosper.

This week’s quote – “Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick ’em out!” Robert Tew