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.

Extra Points: What’s That You Say?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40As the Youth Exchange Officer for my Rotary Club, I get the honor of helping to pick up our inbound exchange student every summer. This student will stay a year with families from our club and have an exciting time. This year, we have a young man from Thailand.

I was speaking to my colleague in the club who is hosting our student to see how his first week went. He said things were great, and that the young man’s English was very good. As with all languages, we have idioms and slang that don’t translate very well. He laughed when he said, “I had to teach him what ‘I’m just messing with you’ means!” I’m sure this learning curve will continue as the young man starts school next week. 

There’s a language to business, both holistically and by industry. While one may have studied the language of business, they may may get stumped with the acronyms, slang, colloquialisms, and insider humor that is prevalent in all businesses and vocations. It’s as if someone were messing with them.

This is actually quite simple to fix; keep it simple.

Never assume someone else knows shortcuts and acronyms; avoid making things more complicated than they need to be; be pithy and clear; use strong vocabulary to clarify and define. In other words, make it easy to do business with others.

We are now a global economy and must be able to quickly communicate ideas and concepts with each other, whether it be with clients and customers next door or halfway around the world. The better you are able to accomplish this, the more rapidly you’ll be able to leverage success and build relationships.

And I’m not messing with you…

Quote of the Week:

”We cannot forever hide the truth about ourselves from ourselves.”

~ John McCain

© 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.

Extra Points: Talking ‘Bout My Generation

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This past weekend was my annual Rotary District Training & Conference where 500 Rotarians gather to learn and have fun together. In addition to that number, there are about 50 exchange students from across the globe that join in to share their experiences from the past year, display their amazing talents, and fellowship with the us Rotarians. Their participation was significant; in fact you could say they were ubiquitous throughout the weekend.

I talk to business owners and leaders regularly and one of the hot topics is about generations in the workplace. I often hear complaints about “millenials.” The concerns are manifest around how they are tied to technology; are all about instant gratification; and don’t aren’t willing to put in the effort. Funny…many of the same complaints were lobbied against my generation when we were joining the workplace. I have a feeling that history repeats itself.

What business owners and leaders must do is get out of their own way when it comes to developing younger people. Instead of trying to force them to do things in a way that might now be archaic, why not commit to identifying what can be learned from this generation? I’d submit that people are people, no matter their age. We just have different ways that we learned and developed based on when we were born. From what I saw this weekend, we can learn a lot from the “next generation,” but only if we take off the blinders of preconceived notions and  arrogance. The new generation might just have the answers we need and all we need to do is use our experience to help them and us succeed faster.

Need help accelerating your business results? Contact me at (360) 271-1592 or dan@danweedin.com and let’s talk about it!

Quote of the Week:

” Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”

~ General George Patton

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Peering in the Looking Glass

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The past few weeks, as the Youth Exchange Officer for my Rotary Club, I’ve conducted Question & Answer sessions for students and parents interested in our outbound exchange program for next year. It’s an opportunity to provide details on being a Rotary exchange student to another country, and recruit students to apply. It’s a fantastic program, and as you might imagine, there are many questions.

One of the most common involves the potential countries that students may be sent to. Our district has worked diligently to develop relationships with countries we want to exchange with, and at times have had to terminate relationships due to poor experiences. We are very pleased with our current roster.

That being said, parents are often nervous of certain countries due to what they’ve seen in the news surrounding violence (e.g. France, Belgium). I must then remind them that parents in other countries around the world likely voice similar (if not more vociferous) trepidation about sending their children to the Unites States based on violence they view in the news (e.g. school shootings, gun violence, campus rapes, and more). The sudden realization on the parents faces that I’m speaking to quickly indicate the newfound perspective of peering in the looking glass.

When was the last time you looked at your business from the perspective of an outsider? Are incoming phone calls received with politeness or brusqueness? Is correspondence replied to promptly or belatedly (or never)? When someone walks into your office, will they be impressed or ignored? Do your employees contribute to the community or are they visibly absent? Notice all of my queries are around how people are treated, not your product or service. Business is and has always been about relationships and the “brand” that relationships create. Each person in and of themselves are a brand within a larger organizational one.

When you peer into your own looking glass, what do you see?

Quote of the Week:

The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.

~ Mignon McLaughlin (American journalist 1913-1983)

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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: Control

This Week’s Focus Point: ControlDan Weedin Unleashed-40
Last week, I was the guest speaker for a Rotary Club that meets at golf course. During lunch, as I was watching a group approach the green, I noticed something unusual. One of the golfers was following his golf bag! It was the first time I had seen one of the remote control hand carts in action. This was actually putting the cart ahead of the…golfer. I have to admit I was fascinated watching the golf bag lead it’s owner to the green-side sand trap. Apparently, it doesn’t help your swing!

This cutting edge gadget once implemented is a pretty cool accessory…as long as the person with the remote control is leading it correctly. Likewise, employees are excellent assets for a company…if they are led correctly. Your professional career is a tremendous source of reward and revenue…if you know how to lead yourself. And your life – the only one you get – can be a source of enjoyment, exhilaration, and delight. That will happen when the person leading it – you – commit to mastering the remote control of which you have full “control” over. Not doing it well puts you in a hazard; but effectively maneuvering your own life’s course will result in putting for birdies more often than not.

Quote of the Week:
“Ideas pull the trigger, but instinct load the gun.”
~ Don Marquis (American Poet)

© 2015 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)

More…

This is a 5 and a half minute speech I gave as part of a Toastmasters demonstration at my Rotary Club last week. Here is what you can take away from it…

1. Public speaking can not only be effective for your business, but fun for you. You just need to practice, learn techniques and strategies, and gain “Stage Time” (courtesy of my pal, Darren LaCroix).

2. Humor is powerful if used correctly. Humor makes people laugh and listen. It evokes emotion and caring. And, it reduces anxiety and tension. You can effectively use humor in any business presentation, especially if it’s self-deprecating.

3. Record when you speak and put it on your You Tube channel. Get your message out to a broad audience so you can improve the condition of more people.

I hope you enjoy More…

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

New Video

Many thanks to Matt Biondi from BiondiMedia for creating this new video on my business. Video is a great way to engage your readers of your web site, blog, or other promotional pieces. It doesn’t matter what your industry is, video can be a terrific part of creating a marketing presence and brand.

Check mine out an let me know what you think!

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

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