Yesterday afternoon, my daughter Mindy and I went out to hit golf balls at the local driving range. I purchased a large bucket instead of my normal medium or small size because I’m getting ready to play in a tournament on Saturday, and figured I could use the extra swings.
While the concept was okay, the results were stupid.
The reason for the stupidity was centered not so much on strategy, but on tactics. Instead of keeping with my normal practice pattern, I found myself “raking and ripping.”This is a common malady for golfers on a driving range. It’s the act of “raking” a golf ball from it’s little waiting trough to the mat, and then “ripping” at it. The increased number of balls over time actually wore me out. It’s not how you play golf. You don’t just stand in one spot hitting ball after ball with no break; rather you hit a ball, walk to the next one, hit a different club, and rinse and repeat. I basically hit more balls in rapid fire mode, than I would over four hours on the course.
The results by the end of the session were terrible. I lost all accuracy, got mad (which exacerbated the situation), and left for home frustrated at my results. While I enjoyed my time together with Mindy, that would have even been improved with a better experience.
What would NOT have been stupid was slowing the process down, being patient, having goals, and resting when I needed it. The results and experience would have been better and I’d have had more fun.
This analogy also fits a business problem.
Business leaders often spend too much time “raking and ripping” in their business an career. Here are a few examples:
- Not having clear goals and metrics before implementing initiatives and projects
- Veering from strategies and tactics that worked in an effort to falsely accelerate results
- Becoming impatient with bad results and not taking the time and effort to find the root cause of those results
- Being stubborn rather than nimble
- Seeking perfection rather than success
- Allowing poor performance in business to encroach in personal relationships
- Working one’s self to exhaustion, rather than taking time to rest and rejuvenate
It took me until this morning to realize that my mechanics aren’t bad, rather my process was …, well, stupid. At the very least, I needed time to rest. Just like in weight training, your muscles need time in between sets (and days) to rest; I needed to rest at proper intervals; you need to find time to rest your brain and spirit. Otherwise, you end up frustrated and that transfers to everyone in your circle of life.
So don’t be stupid like I was. Take time to plan, strategize, learn, and have patience. And by all means, carve out time to rest and re-charge so you’ll always be on your A game!
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved
Anyone that knows me well knows I’m a burger fanatic. I ordered a bacon cheddar burger (sans bun) on a lettuce wrap with fries. My colleague Hugh, sitting next to me, ordered a lamb burger (that I’d also been eyeing but opted for the former). When the plates came out, a mistake had been made. Not only did Hugh get his order of lamb burger, but they thought I also ordered one, too. It came without bun exactly as ordered, except the wrong burger. As they were about to whisk it away, I stopped them. I told them I wasn’t picky, almost had ordered the lamb burger, and was happy to take it. The “mistake” turned out great for me. The burger was simply delicious. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The wrong gift concealed in the correct wrapping turned out to be the best surprise.
Great gifts will come when and how you least expect them. They may look like what you want or expected from the outside, and may be your second, third (or last) choice, but by being amenable to the change and uncertainty may lead to your improved condition. In other words, face value can oftentimes be a mirage; what’s really to your benefit is rolling the dice on the unknown with the certainty that you will have learned, grown, or become happier becasue of it.
I’m glad I didn’t let that burger get sent back to the kitchen because it’s not what I first wanted. Don’t let yours pass you by either.
Quote of the Week:
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
~ Milton Berle
If you’d like to hear more about this concept, listen to my live Periscope broadcast today at 10 am PST. Information below…
© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Being influential is not about manipulation. To the contrary, it’s about helping others become better and more successful. The power of language is the most overlooked skill by business leaders. While the message, the content, and the purpose might have great merit, if the delivery is poor, the results for everyone is poor. The mistake those that desire to influence make is that they rarely are strategic or thoughtful about the delivery.
Do you want to become better at influencing others whether at work or at home? The do this – uncover what motivates the other person; deliver your message in words that improve their condition, not yours; exude positive outcomes rather than negative consequences; improve your vocabulary; practice your delivery; listen “in the moment;” and remember your not in a competition. Your delivery of whatever message you’re trying to send will fall on deaf ears if given badly. Alternatively, if your motive is to make everyone better, then deliver that message in a way that motivates. Words have great power. Your ability to deliver those words with influence is a skill. Learn how to leverage both and you will become a person of influence.
© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved
This week’s quote –
~ Winston Churchill
P.S. My new book has an entire chapter dedicated to influential language. It’s called Unleashed Articulation. You can purchase the book – with that chapter ready to help you – below. What are you waiting for?
This one-hour webinar workshop is specifically tailored for small business owners (1 to 100 employees). I constantly hear that there is simply not enough time or budget to spend on crisis strategy and disaster recovery planning.
Okay…now I’ve got your solution!
By attending this live and interactive workshop, you will walk away with your very own disaster recovery game plan for your business. I will walk you step by step through the process, so you will have an actionable plan ready to implement. You will be able to ask questions along the way AND have email access to me for up to 72 hours after the workshop.
September is National Preparedness Month, so it’s an ideal time to get your plan in place. For the investment of one hour and $50, your return will be potentially massive. Don’t leave the viability of your business and the well being of your employees to chance. Being unprepared is negligent. Conquer crisis in your business and safeguard all you’ve worked for.
Register now by clicking on this link~ space is limited.
Note ~ Don’t sit on this information if you’re not a small business owner. Pass this on to your boss, your friends, your clients, your peers, and your colleagues that are. This workshop may just save their business and you will be a hero!
P.S. The workshop will be recorded and sent to all registrants, so they can keep it forever. Also works in case they can’t be there live.
© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
That is the new question. No longer is it, “what are you going to do when you grow up?” That is for 5th graders who still dream of being professional football players and veterinarians (both things I wanted to do until I realized that I had no talent in the former and I had no stomach to put pets down for the latter). This new question causes a lot of anxiety for both high school and college students, but most especially those matriculating with a 4-year degree from a university.
I know first hand.
My daughter Kelli just recently graduated from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh with a degree in sports management and an emphasis on marketing. She was working with the Pittsburgh Marathon in a job she really enjoyed, yet she was ready to head back home after 4 years. As we talked, she was feeling a little depressed. Her comments centered around the pressure of having to answer this question…over and over again. She knew that she would be asked by well-meaning family, friends, and people in the community she knew. At one point she told me, “maybe I will just tell them that I interviewed with Art Vandalay!” (Art Vandalay was the classic fictitious character that George Costanza made up in Seinfeld)
Here’s the deal…
College kids dread this question because they feel like a failure if they don’t have an answer. There has been so much pressure put on them by parents (yes…that’s right I’m talking to parents and that included me), family, society, and themselves that it actually inhibits their ability to properly strategize. They end up taking jobs they don’t like or offer no career advancement just for the sake of getting a job. Don’t get me wrong, earning some money in a temporary job is fine as long as you have a plan to move forward. No plan usually means no light at the end of the tunnel. All the graduation speeches about having you whole life ahead of you; of being bold and assertive; and of changing the world all vanish when the stress of the implications of this question bubble to the surface.
What are you going to do when you graduate? The right answer for many young adults is, “I don’t know yet, but I’ve got a plan.”
© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
Want to know how to create your own personal plan to accelerate into the career you will love and takes advantage of all the work you did in college? Then join me on September 30th and October 1st for a dynamic workshop that will help guide you to being “unleashed” on the world! Learn more by clicking here!
It never ceases to amaze me when executives and business owners delay or simply refuse to put a strategic crisis plan in place for their business. I see it over and over again with small businesses. Quite honestly, it’s negligent on their part. They risk their profit, their revenue, their employee’s future, their reputation, and the impact to their supply chain. Other than that, it’s not a big deal.
Later today, I am hosting a webinar for executives in the assisted living and elder care community on the topic. These are some quick bullet points on the reasons to invest time and resources towards a plan. If you are in a position where you’re ultimately responsible for the sustainability and resiliency of an organization, you should all me. Or, allow me to put it this way – If you want to assure that no crisis is fatal to your business, you should call me. You will get a plan that meets these objectives:
- To maximize the prevention of crisis or disaster situations from ever occurring.
- To minimize the likelihood of any suspension of operations.
- To minimize interruptions to the normal operations.
- To limit the extent of disruption and damage.
- To minimize the economic impact of the interruption.
- To establish alternative means of operation in advance.
- To train personnel with emergency procedures.
- To provide for smooth and rapid restoration of service.
- To assure that no crisis is fatal to the organization.
- To set up a communication procedure for employees, supply chain, media, and community.
Hola. Me llamo Dan Weedin. Como esta usted?
Okay, that’s NOT the bilingual I meant, but I wanted to take this brief opportunity to show off and grab your attention.
Being bilingual is critical to your success as an executive, business leader, entrepreneur, and sales professional. Unfortunately, most of you only speak one “language,” and in so doing leave others confused and money on the table. Allow me to explain…
Coming out of the insurance and risk mitigation world, we have our own special jargon. We like to talk about exposures, hazards, perils, exclusions, redundancy, and coinsurance. We reference ITV, ACV, BI, RC, BOR, and DIC. It’s clear to us, but gibberish to normal people. Unfortunately, I’ve watched professionals in my industry use terms and acronyms like this when speaking with current and prospective clients. To say this is painful for their listeners is an understatement. What’s worse is that important information is being misinterpreted and rejected because the message is flawed. They are speaking the wrong language.
I am on the school board in my community. In the beginning, I was inundated with academic-speak. I thought that insurance jargon was confusing. Hang around a school district for a while and you’ll feel like you’re in a different country! The perceived lack of “transparency” and communication to the public is really a misnomer. They are speaking the wrong language.
This affliction is rampant in all industries, yet gets pervasive when the content gets more complex. CFOs, financial executives, financial planners, insurance agents, and attorneys may lead the pack. In an effort to be influential, they lead with methodology instead of results; and speak in their language rather than the intended audience’s. The results are misunderstandings, frustration, extra work, lost time, lost opportunity, and stress. If you want to be influential, you need to become bilingual. You must speak in a manner that is easy to comprehend and clearly states your call to action.
So let’s get started on getting you a quick and simple Business Language 101 lesson! Here are my seven techniques to becoming bilingual and influential:
Translate your language into their language. Stop using jargon that only you know. Find other words to be descriptive. If you must use industry jargon, take the time to explain it. Drop all acronyms, even if you think they know it. If it’s highly technical, make it simple. You already have credibility; your goal is now results.
Strategic or tactical? If you’re speaking to the CEO or business owner, you need to be strategic. Strategic is the WHY. This means big picture; visionary; results; and ramifications. If you’re speaking to vendors, direct reports, or employees, you need to be tactical. This is the HOW. This means techniques, specificity, and instructional. Know your audience and what motivates them to act.
Be results-oriented. Too many of my colleagues get caught up in their methodology. Most people don’t care about the intricacies of how the car starts. They only care about the results of the car starting. Change your language to results — increased sales; reduced risk; improved morale; decreased drama; enhanced product. If you stay focused on results over methodology, people will be more engaged.
Become a storyteller. Since we were children, we humans have always cherished being told a story. This is even truer in a business environment. Become adept at taking personal stories and using them as a metaphor for a business outcome. I promise that people will remember your message more clearly if you have a witty story attached to it. The best speakers in the world always use stories. You should, too.
Add humor. No cheesy jokes; I’m talking about light and appropriate humor to add sizzle to your steak. Stories are the best way to uncover your humor. People learn when they laugh. That’s why advertisers use it. Have some fun and practice this. You will become an object of interest if you do, and that is part of being influential.
Limit technology. Only use a slide presentation if it adds value to your presentation through images. Images. Don’t fill space with bullet points and text. Don’t read to people. I guarantee they already know how! The focus should be on your words, not words on a screen. Simple graphs, charts and images can enhance your message. Use technology for good, not evil.
Call to action. Always leave with a call to action. Even in a one-on-one conversation, you need to be direct and specific about what you want to happen next. Never assume that your verbiage implied next steps. Be clear, concise and direct.
My professional mentor Alan Weiss espouses that language controls conversations; conversations control relationships; and relationships control business. If you’re going to maximize your influence in business, you must maximize your relationships. The best way to do that is to be influential. You can’t be influential if you’re not understood. Become bilingual by turning the complex into simple, and your results will be increased influence, enhanced credibility, and improved outcomes.
Hasta la vista, baby!
© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
Follow on Twitter – @danweedin