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: Trick or Treat?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The first Halloween I remember trick or treating was when I must have been around 6-7 years old. I was dressed up as Captain America. I had the the whole packaged suit, replete with cape, a makeshift shield, and the cheap plastic mask that caused beads of sweat to form on your forehead within seven seconds of donning it. I remember Dad taking me up and down the neighborhood appealing to friends and strangers to give me rock hard candy that would send me on a sugar high, while helping to fund our dentist’s retirement.

Oh, if it were only that easy as adults….

As adults, we “dress up” in our best attire, go knock on doors of people we don’t know, pretend to be someone “better” than what we are, and ultimately ask for a treat. More often than when we were kids, it ends in a trick, not a treat.

This analogy goes beyond sales. Think of your own business, career, and life. How many times have you tried to be someone you’re not (maybe in your own mind a better someone) to impress somebody else? Might be at a social function, a golf course, a meeting with the board of directors, a sales pitch to investors, your banker when seeking a loan…. you get my point.

Here’s your treat for today – Be yourself. Dress for the occasion (rule of thumb is always be slightly better dressed than your “audience”). Be warm and engaging. Ask more questions. Care about the answers. Don’t pitch your business; demonstrate your incredible value. Have fun. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Have big picture perspective. Boldly aim high. Be unleashed.

Trick or treating was fun as a kid. It can be fun as an adult, as long as you commit to going as the best character you can – yourself.

Join in on the conversation on my blog

Quote of the Week:

“I’ve arranged with my executor to be buried in Chicago. Because when I die, I want to still remain politically active.”

~ Mort Sahl – Canadian born, American comedian

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: A Series of Sprints

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40My favorite television series began it’s new season last week with several key changes. NCIS is now in its 14th season and introducing two new agents, one of which is replacing an original star, Micheal Weatherly (who now has his own new series).

My wife Barb and I enjoyed the “new blood,” however she found in reading social media, that there are many who don’t. She noted throngs of people upset that significant characters have come and gone and lamenting on why changes to a successful show would occur. To add to the topic, I have a friend that chided beer maker Dos Equis on Facebook for parting ways with the popular commercial character, “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” The actor, Jonathan Goldsmith is 77 years old and undoubtedly will get his chance to explore more Interesting things in retirement.

Here’s the deal folks. Just like in our normal lives, people (and characters) come and go. Life is not a television series or commercial where characters live on well past their prime. In fact, the most successful shows and campaigns make changes to stay up with the times. While both Weatherly and Goldsmith may have requested a change, both NCIS and Dos Equis got younger. They now are in a position to attract and engage millennial viewers, thus making it more likely to grow and sustain their “businesses.”

Life and business is a series of sprints. Each sprint has a life cycle to it, filled with different characters, situations, and opportunity. When one sprint ends, another begins. So it is with your business and life. If you’re unwilling to let go of characters and situations that no longer serve your best interests and provide new opportunity, then you’ll go the way of the dinosaur, video stores, and transistor radios. However if you consistently seek to embrace bold change aimed at expanding opportunity (and actually act on them), you will find that you’re unleashing your potential and prosperity to be successful, sustainable, and significant.

And winning all your races….

Quote of the Week:

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

~ Frederick Douglass

NEW

Join my co-host Brad Berger and me in our brand new podcast where we interview CEOs pf small and medium-sized businesses on what made them successful. The podcasts will air every two weeks and you can listen in our website. First streaming podcast is on September 27th at 4 pm PST!

Shrimp Tank Seattle Website

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Are You Available?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40As the National Football League season kicked off this past weekend, it’s a reminder that unlike many high school and college teams, the NFL is a “cut sport.” In other words, not everyone makes the team. All 32 teams must cut down to 53 players (with a few extra for a practice squad). One of the critical factors in one player making the team over another that might be as equally qualified is availability.

My favorite team the Seattle Seahawks, cut a player that had been a member of their squad for the past three years. He lost his job to a rookie. When asked to elaborate why the veteran was released, Coach Pete Carroll indicated that he was just never able to get over an injury and get on the practice field…which had also plagued him the three previous years. Carroll said, “he just wasn’t available.”

Are your employees (or those that directly report to you) “available” at work? I’m not referring to injury or illness. Rather I am wondering if they are mentally available to giving full effort while they are working. It’s probably to most insidious of categories related to absenteeism, because the person is there…sort of.

Are you an entrepreneur or employee that isn’t “available?” Sometimes, we need to look in the mirror and make sure our own focus and attention is where it needs to be. Granted, there are days we all are not as available as we should be. The problem is if it becomes chronic.

Leadership, culture, and observation go a long way towards assuring that your employees and subordinates are available. Self discipline will take care of you.

Quote of the Week:

Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.

~ H.G. Wells

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: In Sync

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week, I had a golf swing analysis done, along with 90 minutes of coaching. My game has been inconsistent for the last several years, and after trying to fix myself, I elected to get professional help. I’d also never performed a swing analysis before, and I was eager to see how it worked.

The result was that the foundation of my swing was very good, but had one major flaw. My weight shift was bad, meaning that my arms were coming through faster than the rest of my body causing inconsistency hits and results. I originally thought I was swinging too hard; in reality I was “out of sync.” The golf pro gave me tools and drills to help me get back that feel back. When I inspected my high school yearbook, I found a picture of my swing from my junior year. It was perfect. I’d managed to inadvertently and unknowingly deteriorate over the years and desperately needed expert help to get back “in sync.”

Have you allowed your business, your career, or your life get “out of sync?”

Too often, in any (or all) of these areas, it’s easy to allow past success and satisfaction to grow monotonous and pedestrian. You don’t even realize your “swing” becoming diminished because it “feels” the same. It’s one thing to have that happen to a golf swing (that’s easy to fix). It’s quite another to let it impinge on your business, career, and life.

Go get your own “swing analysis” on your personal and professional life. Get help in the areas that you want to improve or achieve change. Be disciplined to implement that change. And start shooting better scores in the much more important “game” you find yourself playing daily.

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”

~ Auguste Rodin

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

Extra Points: The Power of Persuasion

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: The Power of Persuasion

When I was in New York City in March, I had the great pleasure of dining with friends at historic Keen’s Steakhouse. The Manhattan restaurant was founded in 1885 and is famous for its steaks, chops, and collection of 90,000 clay pipes that line the walls and ceilings.

I was there during Lent and it was a Friday, which meant no steak for me. Fortunately, their fish selections were fantastic. The menu featured their acclaimed Dover sole. I was also intrigued by the chard because while familiar with the Atlantic fish, I’d never tried it. When I asked the waiter for his suggestion between the two, he of course said they were both grand, yet he had a twinkle in his eye and a heightened hint of enthusiasm when he spoke of the chard (which was decidedly less expensive than the sole). It intrigued me enough to get it, and boy was I glad I did! It was one of the best fish dishes I’ve ever had, if not the top. The power of the waiter’s suggestion persuaded me to a great dining experience.

The waiter gave me his honest opinion in spite of a lower bill (meaning the possibility of a lower gratuity). His candor was in my best interest and translated into a memorable experience. His focus was on the value of that experience.

In your business, sales are mandatory for survival. Are you (or your sales team) persuading people with enthusiasm based for the value your customer or client will receive, or based on money in their pocket? Sales people focused on earning a commission rather than the client’s best interest ultimately get found out. The problem is they bring your company’s reputation and future sales down with them. You can do a lot for the growth and sustainability of your business by building a culture of outcome-based sales. In other words, believing in the tremendous value to others and transferring that benefit in exchange for equitable compensation. In the end, it’s a win-win-win situation.

In my story, I won (magnificent experience) , the waiter won (equitable compensation), and the restaurant won (reputation and brand). I can’t wait to go back.

Are your clients saying the same thing about you?

Quote of the Week:


“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.”

~ Miguel de Cervantes (16th century Spanish novelist)

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Need for Speed

Speed is critical to success in business. Weedin Place image

Period.

While this seems like an overly simplistic statement, I’m constantly amazed at how many entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t follow this mantra. Do you ever catch yourself saying something like:

“I just need to wait until I have the money to….”

“I am going to wait for the perfect time to…”

“I need to think about…”

Here’s the deal. Smart and savvy business people don’t need to take a lot of time to make a decision. Here’s the formula: Assess the situation. Quickly determine upside and downside. Create metrics to measure return on investment. Make a decision and commit to it.

Fear is the primary cause keeping entrepreneurs from pulling the trigger with velocity. The consequences of lack of speed – especially in today’s fast-paced, digital world – are severe. They include loss of opportunity, loss of valuable time that can never be reclaimed, and regret and anxiety for not having had the courage of commitment and missing out. The primary fear is manifested in the thinking that a risk will fail. Welcome to being in business. Risks fail all the time. Rarely are failures fatal. Taking risks is the hallmark of an entrepreneur. If you follow my decision-making model above, I surmise you’ll win significantly more than you lose. And even in those losses, there is opportunity.

I’m not suggesting that you take every risk that comes your way. I am suggesting you make speedier decisions. Here’s one important example:

Entrepreneurs often put themselves last when it comes to investing in themselves. They are eager to invest in better equipment and technology, the professional development of their employees, and marketing. While all these are terrific investments, the most important is the growth and development of the owner. It’s the first place that should be considered because without continually improving one’s own self, the rest of the organization will never reach it’s potential. I’ve heard entrepreneurs say, “I can wait on me until we can afford it.” The reality is that they can’t afford to be without it. The faster they grow their skills, the faster the company develops and accomplishes greater things.

Speed to market, speed to being smarter, speed to produce, and speed to reaching your ideal condition as a company are common denominators of successful and significant companies and business professionals. You don’t have to drive 55 on this highway; instead get your engines revved up and speed toward greater success!

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

BeastMode Branding Brilliance

BeastModeSeattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch “announced” his retirement on Sunday during the second half of the Super Bowl. And he did it in consistent fashion….without words. The entire staging of this whole event just goes to show how smart Lynch is when it comes to business.

It’s all about the brand, boss.

Here’s the deal – Lynch knows that today’s athlete is more than just someone who competes in a team or individual sport. Each athlete – especially the high visibility ones – are a brand. Brands have longer life spans than athletes; they can be forever. Brands are critical to obtaining endorsements, creating intellectual property, manufacturing and selling proprietary products, writing books, giving speeches, and a multitude of other things. The real “action” here is about advancing the brand. Here’s why BeastMode is so brilliant:

  1. He stayed consistent with his persona. Instead of holding a press conference with throngs of reporters, he tweeted out his signature green cleats hanging up – i.e. “I’m hanging ’em up.”
  2. He used only visuals. Heck, even is “peace out” was an emoticon.
  3. He “announced” during the biggest sporting event in the world – and it happened to be his world. Right in the midst of the Super Bowl, where everyone in the sports world in on Twitter, he subtly announces his intentions and it catches fire.
  4. Just days earlier, he had the grand opening of his new BeastMode brand store in the Bay Area (the same location as the Super Bowl).
  5. In the following days, both the team and his agent confirmed his intentions. No words from him…just the people in the know, assuming that the speculation was completely valid.
  6. Suddenly, there is a just a ton of buzz – gratitude overflowing on social media, highlight videos being created and promoted by the team to honor his accomplishments, and national stories circulating about his greatness.

Finally – and maybe most importantly – the timing is perfect. Let’s face it, Lynch will be 30 next year (ancient for running backs that have endured the pounding he has over the past 9 years). He just had his first major surgery and all signs indicate the team was moving on with a younger running back. Based on his personality, it’s unlikely he would find a good fit with any other team that has any Super Bowl aspirations. He’s saved his money brilliantly – reports are he hasn’t spent any of his nearly $50M earned from salary, living off his endorsement money.

Waiting one more year would not have advanced his brand; in fact the opposite was more likely. If he had an injury-riddled year, played poorly, was viewed as a malcontent, or even was just mediocre, his BeastMode brand suffers. If he walks away now, he’s still BeastMode. he’s a legend in Seattle and his hometown of Oakland and a sports figure that’s last memories are basically from the 2 Super Bowl runs where he played a dominant part.

Here’s your BeastMode lesson for the day – Build your brand. Be consistent. Make waves. Have others talk about you and your products or services. Create a buzz. Be visual. Be innovative. Be bold. Have good timing. Be BeastMode in your world. Be Unleashed.

Download the Periscope app on your mobile device and follow me @danweedin for videos and quick hitters to help you to achieve higher performance and stronger resilience.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

 

Extra Points: WIIFM

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Dogs are often very focused on their own self-interests. That’s especially true of Captain Jack. A few years ago, he managed to escape and ran into the greenbelt behind the house. Knowing that I am ill-equipped to chase him through blackberry bushes, trees, and stumps, he figured this was the perfect location to be “unleashed.”

I walked across the street and asked our neighbor Karen if we could borrow her dog Charlie to help us retrieve our AWOL pooch. She was happy to help, but I could see from her look she was unsure how Charlie would be of assistance. My wife Barb escorted Karen and Charlie to the back yard along with a couple of dog biscuits (Jack knows that Barb is the nice one in the family). Barb then asked in a loud voice, “Hi Charlie, would you like a cookie?” Suddenly, just like a whack-a-mole, Captain Jack’s head popped out of the bushes. Barb asked, “Jack would you like one, too?” He bounded out of the bushes straight to the waiting arms of Barb.

You see, Captain Jack is all about the “what’s in it for me” concept. Had I chased him or barked at him in anger, he would have run. But the minute he thought Charlie was getting something he wasn’t, his emotion got the best of him. We “influenced” him home.

If you’re in a position where you must influence – CEO, sales professional, executive leader, parent of teenagers – then you need to keep the WIIFM concept in mind. It’s not about manipulation; rather it’s influencing for the betterment of someone else. What is the outcome you want? How will they be better off? What will motivate them to take action?

Bottom line – Logic makes people think and emotion makes them act. Uncover what motivates, why it’s in their best interest, and how they will be happier. In our case, it was simple (food and jealousy). The more biscuits you uncover, the more dogs you’ll be able to beat out of the bushes.

Quote of the Week:


“You can never plan the future by the past.”

~ Edmund Burke

If you’d like to hear more about this concept, listen to my live Periscope broadcast today at 10 am PST. Download the free app and follow me at @danweedin.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Flossing Your Business

58842030-Dan+Weedin+%22Unleashed%22-30I remember having a discussion a few years ago with my dentist. I asked him, “Do I really need to floss my teeth every day?” He answered, “Only if you want to keep your teeth for the rest of your life.”

I hate flossing. I don’t know why, but I do. It only takes a few seconds, isn’t labor intensive, and doesn’t require much skill. I had gotten in the habit of taking days off in the process in the name of “saving time.” The reality was I was being lazy. Based on the conversation with my dentist, I wasn’t the only one that fell victim to sloth when it came to daily flossing. While flossing ones teeth isn’t difficult, it does require motivation and discipline.

My motivation quickly became keeping my teeth. Both parents had full dentures, and that end result wasn’t appealing to me. The discipline was (and is) the harder part. Every time I consider taking a “day off,” I force myself to think of the consequences. It’s easy to say, “It’s only one day.” But that’s how bad habits start.

I always talk to my clients about metrics. I needed some qualitative results to measure improvement. My last cleaning several months ago provided that. The dental hygienist exclaimed, “This is the best visit you’ve had. Your teeth and gums look great!” To add to it, my experience was less uncomfortable and basically painless. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

I’ve often heard my professional mentor Alan Weiss say that logic makes people think and emotion makes people act. I expressed this yesterday at a client workshop I was giving for their leadership team. If you want to be influential with your direct reports and staff, then you’d better fully understand the concepts of motivation and discipline.

That being said, it starts with you. Ask yourself these 3 questions:

What are you not doing now that you need to start doing (e.g. delegating, training, your own professional development)?

What are you doing now that you need to stop doing (e.g. worrying, over thinking, procrastinating)?

What can you do today that is repeatable that will help you grow daily both professionally and personally (e.g. reading, marketing, publishing, reducing distractions, etc.)

What’s your motivation? Is it increasing revenue/income to improve your lifestyle and reduce your stress? Is it uncovering discretionary time so you can focus on the things you like and are good at doing? Is it simply having more fun?

Now you have to implement. That’s the discipline part and this is harder. Heck, I had to talk myself into flossing my teeth this morning (which made me think of writing this article)! You need to find some internal trigger that forces you to take action. It’s usually that motivation that drives you. You can use external forces like business coaches and mentors or accountability partners. I’ve had coaching clients admit they hate the idea of not being able to be accountable to me when we meet, so they force themselves to get the work done. Whatever it takes…you need to find it for yourself.

Final piece of the puzzle – once you’ve figured it out, you need to be able to transfer that to people you influence. The best way to do this is not the old school authoritarian approach (i.e. “I need you to do this…”). You must find what motivates them and encourage them with that result (i.e. “You will be better off because…”).

Flossing isn’t hard, but it’s imperative to retaining your oral health. Your professional disciplines are also not hard, yet imperative to your professional growth and development, and that of the people in your company.

So go out there and floss daily…and be unleashed.

Follow me on Periscope at @danweedin. Its the new broadcasting platform from Twitter. Download it for free, and the find me. I will be doing regular broadcasts to help you boost your business and enrich your life. Click here to watch yesterday’s Periscope broadcast.

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved