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Posts Tagged ‘Unleashed!’

Extra Points: Whack Job

March 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week, I attended my first-ever lacrosse game. My nephew plays on the Western Washington University team and they were playing the University of Washington at the UW. Barb and I were very happy to make the much shorter trip to the UW campus to watch Bennie play.

So here’s what I learned about lacrosse after just one game. It’s a combination of basketball, hockey, and soccer where players are armed with sticks that are used both as tool to catch and pitch a ball and as a weapon.

I watched with great interest as these young men dashed around the field in full protective gear and constantly being whacked across the chest, arms, legs, and sometimes even head. The players that were the most successful at avoiding the constant “whacks” to the torso were the fastest and most nimble ones. While never fully escaping an occasional “whack,” they were able to protect themselves better using their speed and nimbleness.

Kind of like business and life, wouldn’t you say?

We go through our days and can pretty much assure that along the way, things outside our control are ready to whack us…hard. We have goals and dreams to achieve, yet obstacles are normally in the way of those goals. That being said, these obstacles – like the defenders with sharp sticks – aren’t insurmountable. Especially if your fast and nimble!

Fast and nimble in your business, your career, and your life doesn’t translate into speed and athleticism. What it does mean is that you use your “smarts” to be decisive, bold, able to change course, influential, and resilient. It’s that ability to get whacked hard a few times, yet find a way to persevere towards your objectives. For the best and most successful at this practice, they not only are resilient but they are able to find alternate routes that get them to success and significance faster and more effectively. Your mission, should you accept, is to continually grow in speed, nimbleness, and resilience to score more goals for your team.

Do you or your company need help avoiding and thriving through the “whacks” in your business and life? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective.

Quote of the Week:

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

~ C.S. Lewis

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Greetings and Salutations

March 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40“Good afternoon, ladies…”

My mother held two tables of bridge at our house weekly for easily a decade when I was in grade school through high school. For Dad and me, it was great because Mom usually went big in the dessert department and the ladies rarely ate it all, leaving plenty for Dad and me to consume after dinner that night. What Mom required from me in return was the proper greeting to her bridge club members. The verbiage was not left up to me. It was simply, “Good afternoon ladies,” proclaimed seconds from entering the house.

When Mom passed away two tears ago, many of bridge club friends reached out to me with condolences. What resonated most was that to a person they remembered my greeting. Nearly 40 years later, they were still affected by my simple greeting and remembered me fondly because of it. Little did they know – or perhaps they actually did – that Mom was the strong impetus behind those greetings. Nearly 40 years later, I’m grateful she made me do it.

This week’s message is really pretty uncomplicated. In a communications age featuring sophisticated digital technology, the simple act of cordially greeting people; engaging in a conversation; and genuinely caring about building a relationship with another human being is important. The straightforward acts of courtesy, manners, and civility – often lost in the slog of social media tirades and rhetoric – will last longer and have more lasting and memorable value.

When this happens, we all benefit both personally and professionally. It’s easy to forget when things get chaotic and time is short, but a friendly “good afternoon” will go a long ways. It might be a good time to check your own business and behaviors to make sure that you’re creating the relationships and building the legacy you strive to leave.

Do you or your company need to improve your  and messaging? Give me a call or email to discuss how I can help you.

Quote of the Week:

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

~ Maya Angelou

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: How to Build a Team from Thorns

March 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Lent began last Wednesday. I still vividly remember my most unique Lenten memory when I was 17 years old. Our high school youth group accepted a challenge put forth by our pastor, Father Ashwell. He said, “Instead of giving up something this year, let’s try doing something as a group.” He handed all of us (about 30 teenagers) an actual thorn with a pin and challenged us to wear the pin for the entire 40 days of Lent as a sign of of our faith. The thorn signified the crown of thorns.

We all started out with a full thorn – some were larger and more prickly than others. We’d all show up at our public school with a thorn attached to our clothes, which forced us to explain this oddity. While that was part of the process, the more significant one started next. All of us at some point forgot our thorn at home, showing up to school thorn-less. Quickly one of us would help that person out by breaking off a piece of our thorn and giving it to them. As the forty days processes, all of our thorns continued to get smaller, but we all stayed the course. By Good Friday, our thorns all resembled a tiny stick. It actually became s trong bonding experience and we had fun with it.

The moral of this story was that we performed and executed as a cohesive team; we were selfless, willing to share, and putting aside any teenage drama, conflicts, and personality differences for the good of the team. And, we enjoyed it…

How cool would that be for a company to run with such genuineness and collaboration?

If you’re in a position of ownership and/or leadership, what would that level of teamwork mean to your company? If you’re an employee, how much more fun would you have at work? How much more would your family, friendships and affiliations be benefit from such unselfishness?

Most companies and organizations have a vision of providing “unleashed” service or products to benefit and improve the lives of others. Employees most generally want to help accomplish this. True leadership inspires and motivates a culture of playing together as described in my book, Unleashed Leadership. In the end, it almost always starts with one person; maybe that’s you.

Whether we want to turn thorns into roses or businesses into thriving enterprises, it all starts by fostering a culture of “we.”

Pass the thorn, please…

Do you or your company need a better process for turning thorns into roses for your company or organization? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective.

Quote of the Week:

I am a part of all that I’ve met….”

~ Excerpt from Ulysses by Lord Tennyson

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: The Future of Work

February 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The concept of “work” is changing.

In the not too distant future, if a robot (or other artificial intelligence) can do it, they will. Who would have thought that cars could parallel park without a driver’s hands on the wheel? As we all know, self-driving cars are being developed now. Robots are frequently seen in operating rooms performing delicate surgeries much more effectively than human doctors.

Employers will be able to use AI to reduce uncertainty, lower workers compensation and other operational costs, improve efficiency, and get to market quicker (to name just a few).

That’s bad news for employees that are “transactional” in output value. Those employees that do repetitive physical tasks; who are part of an assembly line; who don’t require specific and skills training to do their work.

It’s good news for employees that become indispensable for their ability to strategize, communicate, innovate, and influence others. It’s ideal for those that create and deliver solutions; who are able to form important alliances and relationships; that strive to think outside the box; and that are able to be nimble and seize on opportunities for themselves and their employers.

In this country, there’s been too much emphasis in public schools on teaching to the “middle” in an effort to leave no one behind. There’s an emphasis on being “employed” rather than on also developing young entrepreneurs. I’ve met many an entrepreneur in my career that were students that played on the edges and didn’t always conform to the normative. That’s how they forged their way.

The future of “work” requires not only academic training, but also leadership and talent development to become valuable to employers (and perhaps become one themselves) of any size or industry. If you have young people in your life, encourage them to be innovative and bold; to challenge assumptions; and to drive their own destiny. Because the future of “work” is upon us, and the smartest and most savvy will be leading the field with the robots carrying their bags.

Does your company need  innovative and new strategies to grow and prosper? Call or email me to get your Unleashed® Balance Sheet. They are free to complete and send to me for a no obligation perspective.  (360) 271-1592 or dan@danweedin.com

Quote of the Week:

Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything.  Plans don’t accomplish anything, either.  Theories of management don’t much matter.  Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved.  Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.”

~ General Colin Powell, USA (Retired)

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Barking at the Wind

February 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Captain Jack hates the wind. Hates it. He doesn’t cower and hide from it. He gets mad. So mad that he spends an inordinate amount of energy barking furiously at it. He can’t see the wind, but he can hear it and figures it’s his mortal enemy (along with the vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, and electronic sounds emanating from mobile phones).

His persistence in expending this energy is limitless. It ends when he has successfully vanquished the wind (in his mind – Mother Nature is the real reason). What he fails to understand is that his energy has accomplished nothing but to wear him out, create chaos, and cause great stress for him and everyone around him.

Do you ever get caught “barking at the wind?”

How many times have you ever caught yourself expending great energy at something which you don’t fully control? It might be something a competitor is doing or saying. It might be a client or partner failing to return your emails or calls. Maybe it is something you control in your business, but instead of looking for a solution, you find yourself fretting or even worse, becoming our own typhoon wreaking havoc on everything and everyone in our path.

We all can be guilty of barking at our own “wind.” Some sort of calamity or issue arises and we spend our time wasting energy that would be better used solving the problem; delegating to someone else more capable to handle it; or finding out its not really a problem at all! This negative energy not only exhausts and depresses us; it exhausts and depresses everyone else around us.

If you are the one barking at the wind, stop. Identify the cause, set counter measures to deal with it, and spend your most valuable resource – your energy – on things that will help your business, career, and family. If you’re in a leadership position and have employees that are expert in barking at the wind, then it’s your responsibility to help them stop.You will be doing them – and everyone around them – a huge favor.

Captain Jack gains nothing positive by barking at the wind. He’s proven to be less than coachable. You are. Make the commitment to invest your energy on solutions, growth, and development and you’ll find yourself barking a different – and more rewarding – tune.

Is barking at the wind an issue in your company? Give me a call and we can discuss how to change that for the better!

Quote of the Week:

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

~ Maya Angelou

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Anxious or Eager?

February 6, 2017 2 comments

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Anxious or Eager?

One of my pet peeves is the improper use of the words anxious and eager. You hear them used interchangeably all the time, even in the media (who should know better). Let’s make this crystal clear – anxious indicates anxiety; eager indicates excitement.

If your anxious, you have fear, trepidation, and angst. You would say, “I’m anxious about opening that door becasue there may be zombies behind there!” You should never say, “I’m anxious to meet you in person,” because unless they are the second coming of Al Capone, you’re hopefully eager to meet them.

Proper grammar aside, these words also have a place in your mindset. If you’re anxious for the day ahead, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You play the day scared, fearful of “zombies” that will ruin your day. Being anxious leads to poor self-talk, mistakes made under duress, and a victim mentality where everything is someone else’s fault.

If you’re eager for the day ahead, you embrace opportunity. You’ll be resilient when challenges come up; you’ll be more innovative and creative; you’ll seek and find solutions; and you’ll be way more fun to be around. Being eager is a discipline and a state of mind. While it sounds easy to do, it’s not because life and business can often be hard.

Read that last line again…

It’s not easy, but it can be done through discipline and perseverance. If you commit to being eager – even when it’s not convenient to be – you’ll win more in business and create a remarkable life for yourself. So in the words of that great American philosopher Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry, be happy mon…” Or in this case, be eager.

Need help going from anxious to eager for yourself or your employees? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective.

Quote of the Week:

“Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.”

~ Napoleon Bonaparte

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: What Are You Afraid Of?

January 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40For the better part of the last year, there seems to be a lot of fear and trepidation in this country. All you have to do is spend a few minutes on Facebook to get your fill of colorful responses to it.

The building of a wall on the Mexican border dominated the headlines last week as President Trump seeks to make good on his campaign promise. Fear of safety has been the rallying cry for those in favor, and the response against has been just as loud. As a history aficionado, I wonder what the response – had social media existed – would have sounded like in December 1941 when President Roosevelt ordered the internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese-Americans after the Pearl Harbor attack. Today we look back in horror to the actions of what is a now a very celebrated president. Just like the topic of today’s wall and other issues related to entering this country have been sparked by fear of security, those decisions made by President Roosevelt and the government were fueled by the same fear.

Fear is a powerful motivator. Although fear of certain things – getting too close to a flame for fear of being burned; fear of not insuring your home or business in case it’s destroyed – cause us to take actions that benefit us; many things we fear lead us to sit on the sidelines. We have all been guilty of it at one time or another in our lives, I’m sure. The question is now, what are you still afraid of and what is it holding you back from accomplishing.

The legendary actress Mary Tyler Moore passed away last week. For millions of women, she gave hope to taking control and betting on one’s self. The roles she played were contrary to the world’s view of a woman; and in real life she formed her own production company that spawned hundreds of popular television shows. Why is this important? Because regardless of gender, race, color of skin, or anything else, you control your own destiny. You direct each day, week, and year. The only thing stopping you from being bold is a fear of something. Identify what it is; exorcise fear from your thinking; lay your emotional and financial investment on yourself; and if you’re resilient, you may “just make it after all.” Because as some famous president who’s profile graces our dime stated nine years prior to those Pearl Harbor attacks, “the only thing we have to fear; is fear itself.”

Go be fearless.

Need help identifying and overcoming the fears and obstacles that hold you back? Give me a call or email and let’s talk.

Quote of the Week:

“You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.”

~ Mary Tyler Moore

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved