Punching Back…Hard

Ronda RouseyRonda Rousey, in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, admitted that she was so distraught after her defeat to Holly Holm in November that she briefly contemplated suicide. The former UFC champion had been undefeated – and literally unmatched – until Holm knocked her out in the 2nd round of their title bout. Rousey’s words in the interview were chilling. She said, “I sat in the corner and thought – What am I if I’m not this anymore?”

What am I if I’m not this anymore?”

“This” for Rousey was undisputed, undefeated, and rock star UFC champion. I don’t doubt her sincerity in her statement or her feelings after the fight. I’m glad she found a way out of that mindset through the help of her friends and family. And, this sentiment doesn’t just hold true for athletes like Ronda Rousey. The world of entertainment is rife with stories of “stars” that have committed or attempted suicide or just threw their life away because they no longer identified as the “rock star” any longer. They defined their life – and their self-worth – as that “rock star.”

Humans are humans. Business people can fall victim to the same mindset. It’s not limited to Fortune 500 CEOs, political figures, and well-known business moguls. It can also happen to a small business owner that is running a 3rd generation family business and is facing a crisis; a sales superstar that has gone from fortune to famine; or a community leader that has fallen on hard times. These are just examples…the truth is that anyone can get caught in the trap of defining themselves by what they do rather than who they are.

When I coached high school basketball a decade ago, I admit I was pretty competitive. In my earlier years of coaching youth basketball, my teams won the vast majority of our games. As a high school coach, the losses outweighed the wins by a much larger margin. There were times that I allowed myself to be defined as a coach – and as a person- based on my winning percentage. The only person thinking that was me. I had defined myself as a “winning coach,” and “what was I if I was no longer that?” This hurt my self-image, my self-talk, and my self-confidence.

Fortunately, that was short-lived. These can often be minor points of time based on perspective and proportion. For business owners, executives, and entrepreneurs, this definition of themselves may be tougher to break free from.

Let’s do a very quick exercise to help you find out where your self-worth is currently:

FirstHow do you define yourself? What makes you who you are? Is it your job, your business, your affiliations?

SecondWhat happens if that’s gone? Are you opportunistic to find something else, or will you be crushed? Is what you do everything, or are you resilient to become anything?

FinallyDo you believe that you’re special, talented, and great even if when you fail? Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson confidently proclaimed after he threw a game-ending interception in the Super Bowl that he wouldn’t let that one play define him. He was seeking that next opportunity to be great. The following year, he had his best year ever.

Maybe in the end, since we started with Ronda Rousey, we should look at this from a boxing perspective. It’s not simply about being able to take a punch in life. Almost all of us have been able to do that.

The real question is – Can you can take a punch and then jump back up and deliver two punches of your own? People with great self-worth, that define themselves by who they are and not what they do, and that are resilient and opportunistic…these are the people that can.

Russell Wilson has. I have full confidence that Ronda Rousey will. But more importantly for the purpose of this article, can you?

Go define yourself as a puncher and a winner. That’s the surest and straightest past to living an “Unleashed” life.

© 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

 

Can You take a Punch?

o-lineIt’s three days after an excruciatingly painful Super Bowl loss for my hometown team. The Seattle Seahawks and their fans basically took a brutal punch to the gut.

In the span of about 30 “real-time” seconds from the point where Marshawn Lynch was tackled on the 1-yard line to the fateful interception by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, we all went from the jubilation of winning the Super Bowl to losing. Cruel.

Now I understand that as a fan, this isn’t the most compelling crisis that’s occurring around the world. The measles outbreak in the United States; the terrorist actions around the globe; and the winter storm pummeling the Midwest and East Coast surely are weightier in a human perspective. That’s not quite the same for the players and organization, though.

For these people, this is their livelihood. Just as you and I go about our jobs and careers, this is their “business.” That not only includes high-salaried players and coaches; it also means the office and support staff in the building. It’s the equivalent of your company being “sucker punched” and having the entire organization in crisis-mode.

My question for you is – Can you take a punch and get back up?

The Seahawks now have to answer this question as an organization. The culture, the churn of players and coaches, and the overall mindset must stay resilient. There will be hurt feelings in the locker room. There is likely to be drama regarding new contracts offered, and others not offered. There will be that lingering feeling of opportunity lost that never goes away. Leadership and communication is critical to being able to take a punch and stand back up for them.

The same is true for you in business and in your personal life.

There are two important aspects to this resiliency. The first is physical. Do you have processes and redundancies in place to overcome a physical disaster like a fire, flood, hurricane, earthquake, or loss of power? Is your insurance adequate to replace and repair property? Do you have a plan for staying open in the interim period? These are all questions that good business leaders deal with in advance.

The second aspect is more challenging and more important.

Resiliency is easy when fixing property – homes, equipment, buildings, computers. Fixing the emotional side is harder – loss of confidence, depression, distraction, fear, sense of loss, and uncertainty.

Great leaders can do this knowing 3 important things:

  1. It will take time. I know we all like to fix things fast. Emotional resiliency requires some level of grief, understanding, and perspective. It can’t be rushed, only lightened.
  2. It requires constant communication from the top down. Candid, real, and transparent communication.
  3. It requires trust. Sometimes in crisis, trust is lost, or at least damaged. In order to rebuild trust, you must enhance organizational culture.

Bottom line- we will soon see of the Seahawks are able to take a punch and pop back up. Based on experience, I’m certain they can and will. What about you personally and professionally?

Can you take a punch?

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserve

My Super Bowl Epilogue – Therapy for a 12 the Day After…

20140121-162057.jpgI’ve been asked my many of my faithful readers what my thoughts were on the end of the Super Bowl. They were surprised that I didn’t vent on my Extra Points, but that edition was written long before the game.

When I coached high school basketball, I had a 24-hour rule (especially after losses) on making statements to avoid allowing emotion take over. This one hurt…bad. Heartbreaking, tragic, and any other adjective on that level applies to me and my fellow 12s. There may even be a few lessons on leadership and management for all of us. You never know. So here it is…

Full disclosure…I expected and wanted Marshawn Lynch to carry the ball on 2nd down on the 1-yard line to score a go-ahead touchdown and win the Super Bowl. It’s what I (and about a gazillion other people including the Patriots) expected to happen. I still think it was a tragic error by Pete Carroll to call for a pass in that situation. But then again, I would have kicked a field goal with 6 seconds left in the first half. Which leads me to my first point…

  • You can’t have it both ways. Head Coach Pete Carroll has always been a gambler and as much as we sometimes cringe, we more often than not have ended up on the good side of the score. Have we forgotten last year’s 4th down completion to Jermaine Kearse for a touchdown against the 49’ers in the NFC Championship game that ended up being one of the critical game-changing plays? How about the fake field goal just 2 weeks ago versus Green Bay that resulted in our first touchdown? You live by the sword and you die by the sword. In truth, his instincts have been right more often than not.
  • Calling a pass in that situation (although I’m on record that I wanted the run) isn’t crazy. In fact, it’s a good option at that point with only one timeout left. My issue is the pass play itself. If you’re going to pass, put the ball in your point guard’s hands (i.e. Russell Wilson) and give him options to throw or run. Eliminate the necessity of perfect timing and a bunch of bodies clogging up the middle of the field. I watch every Seahawks game and I think they are more effective passing the ball in from the 1-yard line than running it. My issue is with the play.
  • Pete Carroll was right. The call was set up perfectly for the defense. If you watch the experts on ESPN or the NFL Network diagram it out, it was set up for success. Here’s my issue – I believe more in players than plays. If you have Calvin Johnson or Dez Bryant running that route, fine. With all due respect to Ricardo Lockette, we don’t have that guy. The timing of the play requires that Wilson throw to a spot. Kearse didn’t get his job done in rubbing off the cornerback that eventually picked it off. The failure was in the execution and that happens when you put your trust on the play and not your best players. Our best players are Lynch and Wilson. We needed to give them the opportunity to win the game for us.
  • Let’s give a lot of credit to two Patriots on that last play – Malcolm Butler and Brandon Browner. Browner stood up the smaller in stature Kearse (in my opinion a coaching gaffe to have him there) and didn’t allow the legal pick. Butler, an undrafted rookie, made a brilliant move beating Lockette to the ball and then hanging on to it. That was an unbelievable play by him. Wilson’s ball was too high and needed to be in a spot that only Lockette could catch it. Give Butler credit for making him pay. Those guys on defense get paid, too. They out-executed us on that most important play and it won them a championship.
  • Pete Carroll took the blame. That’s what good leaders do. Russell Wilson took the blame, saying that he threw the pass. That’s what good leaders do. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Ricardo Lockette could have fought harder for the ball (twice). That’s bogus. While he may be entirely right, he threw his player under the bus. Lockette is a backup that makes his living as the gunner on special teams. He’s not even your best wide receiver. He’s good, but not special and that play required special. Bottom line is that even if you’re right in your assessment, you take the blame. That more than anything else can lead to dissension in the ranks. Bevell is not ready to be a head coach.
  • I read and hear people bashing the defense for their 4th quarter performance. The Seahawks were 18-0 heading into this game when leading by at least 10 points in the final quarter. Now 18-1. Here’s the deal – first of all, the Patriots are good. Really good. They have one of the best quarterbacks of all time and outstanding skill receivers. Second, I literally gulped when we lost Jeremy Lane. That was a huge loss because now the Hawks had to move Byron Maxwell into the slot and leave Therold Simon out there against these terrific wide receivers. Advantage Brady. Two of the touchdown passes (including he final one) were thrown against Simon. Third, losing Cliff Avril to a concussion was brutal. We lost our outside speed rusher and from that moment on, we never put the same pressure on Brady.
  • Injuries are part of the game, but let’s be candid here. Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor were all banged up and not nearly close to 100%. You lose Lane and Avril during the game. The guys coming in are doing the best they can but it’s not the same. Brady will find weaknesses and exploit them. It’s not dissimilar to benefiting two weeks earlier from a gimpy Aaron Rodgers. The defense wasn’t the same because, well…it wasn’t the same.
  • I was asked about the mêlée at the end and must admit I wasn’t watching it live because I was off in the corner throwing my own little private tantrum. Let’s face it, highly charged guys in the heat of the moment can get into very emotional states at the worst time and that is unfortunate. For his part, Bruce Irvin issued an apology. What Doug Baldwin did earlier was indefensible. I like Baldwin a lot and have every time come to his defense, but on his touchdown celebration antic, I can’t. It hurt his team and it was embarrassing to the organization and the city. Knowing him to be a smart guy, I doubt it will happen again.
  • I look back at how close Marshawn was to scoring on the play before the interception. When he hit the 3-yard line, I thought he was in. Someone made a great tackle and isn’t getting credit for saving the game for the Pats. Damn.
  • If I hear one more knucklehead conspiracy theorist imply that the coaches actually decided to not give the ball to Lynch because they didn’t want him to be the MVP, then I might actually internally combust. These people are either still drunk, ignorant, or need concussion testing. C’mon, man.
  • To a fan with no dog in the hunt, it may have been the best Super Bowl of all time. That is of no solace to us on the losing end; in fact it makes it worse. This loss doesn’t sting. It hurts like a Kam Chancellor hit to the gut. You don’t get chances to make history all the time. It may never happen again. The NFL is set up for “anti-dynasties.” It will be hard to get back here again next year. I think I now know how Boston fans felt when the ball went through Bill Buckner’s legs in the 1986 World Series or Buffalo fans when Scott Norwood’s game-winning FG strayed to the right in Super Bowl XXV.
  • I’m now way past “dazed and confused.” I’m getting over the “really, really angry” stage. Now, I’m just trying to gain perspective. All that within 24 hours shows some maturity and growth from me. Maybe that’s what happens when you get your AARP card in the mail.

My final thoughts – The coaching staff made the same mistake that many business people make. They were guilty of “over-thinking.” It’s always best to “stay in your lane” and do what you do best. The Monday Morning QB in me says you err on the side of winning or losing with your best players. With 26 seconds and one timeout left, you lean on Wilson and/or Lynch. If you’re going to pass, then give Russell options and outs, not precise timing patterns. That’s when he’s at his best. Damn again.

I know how much I am still hurting. As a former coach, I know it’s exponentially more painful for the players, coaches, and organization. It’s probably time for us soon to be part of the team and show them our support. You win and lose as a team. And we fancy ourselves part of the team, so time to act the part.

But (as a good colleague of mine always signs off with), that’s just me…

Extra Points – Never Give Up

This week’s focus point…Never Give UpJack and Dan

I admit it. I gave up. I was sitting forlornly at my brother-in-laws house with a group of people watching my beloved Seahawks losing at home in the NFC Championship game versus the Green Bay Packers. They’d played poorly. Nothing seemed to be working. And now with 4 minutes left, we had thrown another interception and were still down 9 points. It was over.

I won’t recount the crazy next 20 minutes, but the history books will show an improbable Seahawks victory in overtime. Listening to the post-game interviews from coach Pete Carroll, quarterback Russell Wilson, and several other players; it was clear they hadn’t quit. They were going down swinging; they still believed. Until that clock hit zero, they truly never gave up. That’s why they are going back to the Super Bowl.

Never give up. Ever. No matter what happens in your life or your career, never quit. Life is short and the opportunities abound even in what seem to be incalculable odds. Football and all sports are a microcosm of life. I hear people say that sports aren’t like real life. I disagree. They are “real life” for all the players and coaches that make it their career. They are real life for the fans that follow them. Your career and life are just as “real,” and often face the same anxiety, stress, and challenges that face teams in games and seasons. That’s why no matter how bleak things may look, never give up. You never now when that winning touchdown pass will happen for you!

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

The 2015 Unleashed Executive Experience –Click here to learn more

Welcome to the most powerful and dynamic program I’ve ever created for business owners and executive leaders on unleashing your vast potential and maximizing your own unique talent and that of those around you.

My concept of the “open gate” is that unlike dogs, we as humans often tether ourselves inside our own personal gates and due to our own self-imposed limitations and fears, choose not to risk going through the open gate in front of us. The results include dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, poor leadership, bad morale, inefficiencies, and boredom. Bottom line is you and your business leave money and talent on the table.

 

What Are You Thinking?

Captain JackI love quotes. Depending on where I am in life, I’ve found them inspirational, humorous, and filled with perspective.

I saw one this morning while scanning Facebook that I’d like to share with you briefly. Of all things, it was attached to a message Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll sent out. Here it is…

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu

If you’ve spent any time reading my work, watching me speak, or working directly with me, you’ll know what an advocate I am of “being in the moment.” This quote has summed up that sentiment quite nicely, don’t you think?

I believe to truly learn from this quote, it requires self-assessment. If I were to be honest with myself, my weakness of the two poor options is the latter…being anxious and living in the future. I continually use coaching, mentoring, and accountability partners to keep me focused on the present, because it’s hard to do by yourself. What about you? Where is your propensity and what can you do to stay in the moment? This might be a good use of your time today to figure that question out…

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Barking at the TV

This week’s focus point…Barking at the TV14_02_DanCapJackRetouch_001

Hello. This Is Captain Jack. I’m Dan’s charming witty, and highly intelligent Jack Russell terrier. Dan’s on assignment driving back across the country with one of my human sisters. I’ve taken on the responsibility for your reading material for the week. Lucky you!

I’ve been watching the FIFA World Cup soccer matches on television with Dan the past couple of weeks. As you might know, I love watching TV. It’s the best information I can get to try to figure you humans out. There is a lot to figure…Dan watches these matches differently than how he watches the Seahawks. On Sundays during the NFL season, he has been known to yell, cry, jump for joy, utter disgust, proclaim admiration, and occasionally bark at the TV. I listen for him to yell, “get him,” so I can then burst into a ball of fire (like the Tasmanian Devil of Looney Tunes fame) barking at the TV and exhorting the Seahawks defense to make a big play. I look forward to all those opportunities because they need me.

Dan doesn’t move around or say much during soccer. His reaction is much more muted, yet when all of a sudden someone scores a goal, he reacts with fervor. I think it’s because he is a novice with the game and doesn’t understand all he’s watching. He does know that a goal for us is good, and a goal for the other guys is bad. That’s pretty much it. But he knows how to bark at that!

How humans react to things that happen to them determine how they move forward. I notice that often humans react with cynicism and negativity. Their bark is more of a growl. They blame others, dwell on the conflict, and in so doing mess up the rest of their day, week, or year. They are also no fun to be around. The good news is that there are humans out there that react with a positive attitude, take responsibility, and commit to solutions. Their results are much better. We dogs react, respond, and then move on. Even if the wrong team scores the goal, we know there are other opportunities ahead of us to bark at the TV. Always knowing there is more time to bark keeps us motivated and focused on the moment. What about you?

 

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote – 

One-fifth of people are against everything all the time.”

~ Robert Kennedy

Inaugural Unleashed Summit on September 23rd. Learn more and register now to save your seat to this dynamic event.

 

 

 

Creating Your Own World Cup Experience

Calling me a casual soccer fan is like saying Seattle Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman is understated. World Cup

I watched the first USA match in the World Cup on Monday with my daughter. Of course, like everyone else I root hard for the home team. As a novice when it comes to soccer, I’m just guessing at what’s going on and know that when we score a goal that’s good, and when the other guys do, that’s bad. On Monday, we had just enough more good than bad!

I will continue to watch this monumental event that captivates the world for 30 days. And then I doubt I will watch anymore soccer again until maybe the Olympics or the next World Cup in 4 years. I’m just not a fan of the sport. So what compels me to spend any of my time actively participating? Two things ~ national pride and the stakes.

To get casual fans interested in these games, both are required. With only national pride and no stakes, it’s simply a novelty. While I would be happy with a USA win, I doubt I would do more than have passing interest when the news pops up on my iPhone. It would be very similar to my interest in pre-season NFL games and I’m a huge football fan. With only high stakes and no national interest, it’s invisible. If the USA weren’t competing in the World Cup, I might not even be aware it was going on. The combination of the two catapult it into my stream of consciousness and creates deep interest.

The same is true with your business…

In order for a casual “fan” to consider you an object of interest, you need to generate two things ~ emotion (i.e. national pride) and a valuable return on investment (i.e. stakes). Without both, you will be nothing more than a novelty or worse, invisible.

Too many business owners and entrepreneurs try to use logic as a base for creating interest and making sales. That’s a mistake. Logic makes people think. Emotion makes people act. People buy Mercedes cars, Rolex watches, and Prada handbags because of how it makes them feel about themselves, not becasue they are practical. Emotion is the first and foremost response you need to create in your target audience. You do that by showing dramatically improved condition.

In my marketing for coaching and mentoring business owners and entrepreneurs, I focus on my ability to help them rapidly realize an improved and more joyous lifestyle through accelerated sales and revenue, more discretionary time to do things that they enjoy, and increased peace of mind. I could focus on the methodology of getting there, but that’s boring. In the end, people want to be happier. What makes them happier is all individual, yet in my experience they tend to focus on money, time, and peace of mind. That’s where I focus my energy on the intellectual property (writing, speaking, presenting) I generate.

What about you? What is your product or service that improves the lives or conditions of people and businesses? Do you spend your time boring them with details or exciting them with how you make there life better? How can you assure that you keep that momentum rolling and sustainable?

I undoubtedly will never be an avid soccer fan, but I am certain to sustain my interest in the World Cup as long as I have a rooting interest and the stakes are high. The event has captured my attention. You have the great opportunity to do the same thing in your business. If you’re successful, then you will spend the foreseeable future with the ball landing safely in the back of the net.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

 

Weedin Unleashed Video from June 2

Topic is on Team Building and how your “stars” create great teams. Perfect for CEOs, solo practitioners, sales manager, and executives. And you!

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved