Extra Points: Re-Creating Yourself

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The word recreation is well known to all of us. Undoubtedly, recreation means a variety of things to you – vacationing, golfing, boating, hiking, playing music, or simply having fun with your favorite hobby. Recreation rightly is considered a good thing, and I’d like to add a very important aspect to it that might get overlooked…

The word “recreation” literally means “re-creating.” When you embark on recreation, you are endeavoring on re-creating yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Recreation doesn’t have to be formal or even long. My Saturday evening cigar and glass of wine after a day of catching up on work, mowing the lawn, and cleaning the kitchen was re-creating myself on all four of those levels in just about an hour.

One of the greatest “hidden crises” that occur to CEOs, business owners, and professionals is the misguided belief that working long and arduous hours are noble and necessary. At times, it is necessary; however gone unchecked without regular doses of recreation to re-create one’s self is dangerous. In order for you to be of most value to your company – especially as the CEO or President – you must have balance.

Entrepreneurs and executives work hard and take on a ton of stress, most of it self-imposed. In order to make the best decisions, lead teams, and actually enjoy one’s vocation, constant recreation is needed to maintain a healthy balance. Not doing so is negligent to the person, the company, the employees, and the family.

Make re-creating yourself a daily discipline, even if it’s on a small level. Recreation leads to innovation, creativity, a stronger purpose and better overall personal and professional health. I’m as guilty of letting this important concept slide. I’m making it a priority starting today, what about you?

Quote of the Week:

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”

~ Mark Twain

Happy Mothers Day a day later!

© 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: Going to Confession

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40On Good Friday, Barb and I attended church and then dashed into the quickly forming line to go to confession. For you that don’t know, confession during Lent is required before Easter of all practicing Catholics, and we take it down to the very last chance by going on Good Friday! I think it’s because I have less chance to mess up over just one day!

While in line, I use my handy Confession app on my mobile device to go through what’s called an “Examination of Conscience.” This private and candid deep dive into your conscience is an important exercise as part of the process to giving a thorough and good confession to the priest. I remember being a kid and thinking that I could “get away” with confessing the less egregious sins and let the others slip through the cracks of absolution unnoticed. It’s the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand, rather than face up to your biggest spiritual challenges. Now I make sure nothing gets missed!

The business translation of this process is important for any business professional – CEO, entrepreneur, or business professional. How often are you examining your business conscience? On other words, are you honestly reviewing your actions and activities related to what will make you more successful and improve the condition of others?

For example, your exam might include questions like: Are you consistently asking for referrals to accelerate your acquisition of new business? Are you taking all steps to assure the safety and security of your employees while they are at work? Are you investing time and resources into advancing your professional development in order to grow your business or career? Are you investing time in yourself to exercise and eat well in order to assure you’re operating at a peak level?

Your business examination of conscience should include the same candor that I described in my personal one preparing for confession. I’m sure there are some business leaders that would do what I did as a kid; let the most egregious “sins” slide and hope they vanish into thin air. Doing this has consequences that may be fatal to your business or your career.

The goal of confession is to unburden yourself and then go forth and try to be better. The same objective is in place for your business and career. Acknowledge the areas that need improvement in your business life, be honest with yourself, commit to improvement, and then go do your best. Then regularly do a “check-in” with a new examination to make sure you’re staying on track. By making this a habit, your business and your career will do nothing but get better and more rewarding.

Quote of the Week:

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

~ Vincent Van Gogh

© 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: When Silence Isn’t Golden

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Pope Francis’s homily on Palm Sunday included an exhortation to the youth of the world to “keep shouting.” Without referencing any particular event, but rather proclaiming a global message, Pope Francis exclaimed, “The temptation to silence youth has always existed…Dear young people, you have it in you to shout; It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders, some corrupt, keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?” It seems the pontiff is saying that silence isn’t always golden.

The message isn’t just for youth, but for us adults as well. We cannot keep silent when we see injustice in the workplace, whether it be discrimination, inequity in pay, or harassment. We can’t keep silent when we see someone struggling at work and we can help; when we see see opportunities to improve the condition of others and have it within our own voice or actions to accept that opportunity. How often are adults turning a blind eye to those in the workplace – both employees and co-workers – because it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable?

Over this past weekend, a client of mine didn’t remain silent. He witnessed a car in the road on fire and the driver too much in shock to leave. He pulled over, left his wife and young daughters in the car, and rushed to help. Between him and two other men, they became the first responders until the professionals arrived, and likely saved a life. Amazingly, there were other cars that didn’t stop to even offer any assistance; rather many to stop and take photos with their mobile phones of the scene probably to post on social media. How many of us walk by and don’t stop to help another human, but rather remain silent and keep walking because it’s too much trouble?

One last thought. This past week, a friend of mine named Charlie passed away. I’ve known Charlie for a long time and over the years, he’s emailed me personally in response to this very newsletter; always with a kind word, encouragement, and a bit of humor that was indicative of his joyful personality. I will miss Charlie a lot. Charlie never remained silent when it came to cultivating and deepening relationships with both family and friends. How many of us find ourselves “silently” too busy to send a brief note or make a call to people we really care about, hoping that sharing on social media is good enough? One thing I take away from my friendship with Charlie is that relationships are the responsibility of each of us and silence isn’t golden, but a steward of complacency.

Silence has it’s place. However in our lives – both personal and professional – we have a unique connection with our fellow humans. That connection allows for us to make our voice heard to improve the lives and conditions of others. Don’t allow fear or apathy silence your voice. Be ready to “shout” for a cause, a movement, or another human being. That’s part of the secret sauce in living an unleashed life.

Quote of the Week:

“Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

~ Dylan Thomas

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Olympic Lessons for Business & Life

20 Under 40 20_3My March 2018 column for the Kitsap Sun…

“Little minds are tamed by and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.” ~ Washington Irving (American writer)

There are many reasons why I was never more than an average athlete in my high school athletic career. After nearly 35 years, I think I’ve uncovered the most likely and topical for a business perspective.

While attending Oak Harbor High School, I played both basketball and golf. My best sport was golf and I lettered my junior and senior years on a very good and deep team of athletes. I was part of the five-man team that finished 9th in state my junior year. I continued to hone my skills over the summer by playing as much golf as possible. My senior year was personally better, although we fell just short of another trip to the state tournament. All that is to say that I had developed enough skills, experience, and knowledge of how to continue to improve performance, that I’m confident I could have played beyond high school. The biggest obstacle to continuing my path wasn’t on the golf course, however. The biggest hazard I had was the five inches between my ears!

In competition, I found it hard to be satisfied with anything other than my best. If you’ve ever played a sport, you know that playing your best every time is impossible, even for the greatest athletes in the world. I never found a way to consistently bounce back mentally or emotionally from poor (or even mediocre) competitive performances and live to fight another day. I never gave myself permission to simply honor the struggle and be happy with the joy of being part of the game.

As I watched the Olympics over the past two weeks, I observed that these world-class athletes from across the planet obviously differ from me in that mental discipline when it comes to athletics. I marveled as athletes who are used to winning (that’s how they ended up at the Games) would still be smiling after a mistake; would still wave to the crowd; and would genuinely be happy for someone that just knocked them off the medal stand.

I was most moved by a tweet from American skier Mikaela Shiffrin. After winning gold in one race, she didn’t perform her best in the next event that she was heavily favored in. The result was that she didn’t medal. In today’s virtual news world, the op-eds came pouring in from journalists and social media warriors alike. While there was some outpouring of support, there was also the usual negativity that has unfortunately become a standard that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Ms. Shiffrin – who turns all of 23 years old this month – responded publicly with a series of tweets regarding her self-assessment of the race. She concluded, “That (performance) is real. That is life. It’s amazing and terrifying and wonderful and brutal and exciting and nerve racking and beautiful. And honestly, I’m just so grateful to be a part of that.”

Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it?

It also sounds a lot like living the dream of entrepreneurship and owning a business. To quote her, entrepreneurship is “amazing, terrifying, wonderful, brutal, exciting, nerve racking, and beautiful.” Are you grateful to be a part of it?

Her summation more than implies that gratitude and the acceptance of all of that comes with being a part of our “game” is the crucial last piece of the puzzle! Being an entrepreneur is hard. It’s not for the faint of heart or those unwilling to get knocked down frequently. As the noted 19th century American writer Washington Irving opined, misfortune (crisis, adversity, rejection) happens to us all, and the great minds find a way to rise above and be resilient. That takes me back to the five-inch golf course in my head.

We all deal with crisis and adversity in every aspect of our business life, sometimes daily. And let’s be clear, every business owner and entrepreneur mixes business and pleasure. It’s like peanut butter and chocolate; they simply go together! In fact, the attempt to separate the two is not only fruitless, but also harmful. The reason is because we don’t have a personal life and a professional life; we have a life! By not allowing yourself to give all of yourself to both concurrently, one will suffer.

So how do we improve and build our mental toughness? We can start by taking a lesson from an Olympic champion and practicing the discipline of being grateful to just be a part of it.

I propose three simple steps that will help your life:

  1. Honor the Struggle. This isn’t supposed to be easy. In fact, if it were, you’d likely not have fun. Part of the fun in doing anything is the struggle, so don’t fight against it, honor it. You honor the struggle by accepting the effort and resilience needed to keep charging.
  2. Next Play. I learned a great lesson from Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. He wrote that there is always a “next play” after the failed one. If you don’t move on to focus on that next play, the bad one will only continue to be made worse. When this happens, it’s easy to fall into a malaise that’s terrible to climb out of.
  3. Create Your Own Team. Lone wolves in business and life suffer without a pack. We can’t be successful by ourselves. We all need family, friends, colleagues, partners, coaches and accountability partners to support, guide, cajole, and celebrate with us.

The Finish Line: By committing to these three steps, you’ll reach the medal stand in your business. But be warned, they aren’t easy. They are part of the struggle and there are multiple finish lines in our life, with always another race to run right around the corner. Now go for the gold!

 

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Your Business DNA

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40My kids bought me the Ancestry.com DNA kit for my birthday a few months ago. It was a great gift, as my father was quite the genealogist and I was eager to learn more about my actual heritage.

The results finally came in a few weeks ago. I have to admit, I was a little surprised. Leading the way at 43% was the conglomeration of England/Scotland/Wales. This wasn’t totally a shock because I knew from Dad that our last name was either English or Scottish. What did surprise me was the high percentage. With my mother being Colombian, I thought that exact number would fall more into the Iberian Peninsula (including Spain). The sum of the Iberian Peninsula and Native American (includes South America where I trust it’s almost fully from) was the second largest at 26%. The results were fascinating and I spent much of the rest of the afternoon looking through all the data they included. 

We all have individual DNA that leads back generations and likely hundreds of years. That DNA forms how we look, how our bodies function, and both strengths and vulnerabilities. Your business (and your individual career) also has it’s own DNA. The problem is that often, we don’t take the time to understand what it tells us.

Your business DNA has obvious “markers;” things like your services and products; your family business lineage; and your time in a community. Some other “markers” may not be as obvious. Consider what your DNA says about how you answer (or don’t answer) incoming calls; how quickly you respond (or don’t respond) to emails; the upkeep of your website; the hospitality and comfort of your front desk staff and area; and your vibrancy in the community or communities you operate in. Your DNA will tell all those around you – both clients and potential clients – what you’re really made of.

What’s Your DNA say about you?

Quote of the Week:

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

~ Confucius

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Act Your Age

Dad_DonWeedinMy dad once said to me in a private moment, “You know, I’m 75 years old and I feel like I’m 17 and saying, What the hell happened?” That was nearly 20 years ago and I was in my mid 30’s. Today at 53 years old, I can relate better. (P.S. Picture to your right is Dad at 17…his ideal age)

This past weekend, Barb and I attended the Ideal Life Day retreat held by my colleague and Shrimp Tank podcast co-host, Brad Berger. Brad led a session where one of the focal points was acting and feeling your ideal age throughout your life. During the exercise, we were asked to come up with the age we felt like we were at our optimum peak in mind, body, spirit, and health. I ended up being pretty to close to Dad’s memory at 19 years old. Brad then asked the participants to imagine what it would be like to act your optimum age today. In fact, Brad’s research indicates that we as humans are at our highest performance and productivity between the ages of 55 and 80. Heck, I’m just getting to my best years!

Benjamin Franklin is credited as proclaiming that “some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.” We all know people like that. We might even employ, work with, or are family and friends with people like that. In order to unleash your potential, you need to live like your 19 (or whatever your optimum age is) throughout your life. Here are three suggestions on how to accomplish this along with a few disciplines to keep you on track:

Don’t listen to what the world tells you about age. Legendary film and television producer Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Top Gun) just started working on his latest film and is one of the new owners of the soon to be expansion NHL team in Seattle. He’s 74 and not thinking about “retiring.” Plan on living 20 more years than you think you will. Now what do you want to do with your life?

Protect Your Mind and Body. The fastest way to age is to stop being active and to eat unlimited carbs, sugars, and processed foods full of chemicals, then slouch in your recliner watching reality television and scouring Facebook. While pharmaceutical companies may love you, your heart, vital organs, and brains will hate you and those aching, stiff bones that we all have been told come with age, will flare up.

Act Your “Age.” One of my heroes is a lady in my Rotary Club. Ardis is 93 years old but you’d swear she 30 years younger. She has been the driving force, voice, and face for our club being able to raise over $2M to build an 8-unit building for housing for victims of domestic violence. I’ve known Ardis for 15 years and her secret sauce is that she hangs out with people half her age (or younger), she’s active, she has a purpose, and she has a passion for life. She’s lived – and is still living – an Unleashed and “ideal” life. Visit Morrow Manor website

Here’s the deal. You control your attitude, your health, and your volition. Don’t conform to the age bias. If you’re reading this, you’re either at your peak performance and productivity age or you’re not even there yet. Start visualizing what you want to do when you “grow up” by acting your age.

Quote of the Week:

“Do not go gentle into that good night but rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

~ Dylan Thomas (20th century Welsh poet)

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Olympic Life Learning Opportunity

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40There are many reasons why I was never more than an average athlete in my high school athletic career. My best sport was golf and I was part of a team that finished 9th in state my junior year. While I had the physical skills to play beyond high school, the biggest obstacle was between my ears. I never found a way to consistently bounce back mentally or emotionally from poor (or even mediocre) competitive performances and live to fight another day.

As I’ve watched the Olympics over the past week, I’ve observed that these world-class athletes obviously differ from me in that mental discipline when it comes to athletics. I was most impressed with a tweet by American skier Mikaela Shiffrin over the weekend. After winning gold in one race, she didn’t perform well in the next event that she was heavily favored in, and didn’t medal. She responded publicly with a series of tweets, where she concluded, “That is real. That is life. It’s amazing and terrifying and wonderful and brutal and exciting and nerve racking and beautiful. And honestly, I’m just so grateful to be a part of that.”

Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it?

All that Ms. Shiffrin expressed is reflected in simply living life and building our businesses, careers, and relationships – It’s amazing and terrifying and wonderful and brutal and exciting and nerve racking and beautiful. The final piece is accepting all of that and then being genuinely grateful to be a part of it!

We all deal with crisis and adversity in every aspect of our life, sometimes daily. Why not join me in taking a lesson from an Olympic champion and practicing the discipline of being grateful to just be a part of it? It’s the quickest path to winning gold medals in your life.

Quote of the Week:

“Little minds are tamed by and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.”

~ Washington Irving (American writer)

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Can You Handle the Truth?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I’ve been closely watching the Seattle Seahawks search for a new offensive coordinator. It looks like that as I write this, they may have found one. One of the areas of focus is on finding a coach that will “challenge” and hold accountable the quarterback, Russell Wilson.

I read an article espousing that the very best quarterbacks like Joe Montana and Tom Brady, craved being pushed and challenged. The article quoted a coach that opined that mediocre quarterbacks want to be left alone; above average quarterbacks want to be told how to improve; and great quarterbacks want to be told the truth.

Isn’t that the truth about all of us in any position or career? Regardless of employee or CEO, everyone needs coaching. How coachable are your best “players?’ How coachable are you?

I’ve experienced people that have said they want help, but really want to be literally left alone because all they want is validation of their ideas. I’ve met people that say they want to be better, but don’t like to hear the truth because in forces them to change. The truth is what sets the great ones apart.

One final thought: I’m not suggesting that the great performers always accept blindly what a coach might say, but they at least consider and respect it. A coach is there to mentor, guide, and grow people based on their expertise and knowledge. The best “players” are able to take the truth and make adjustments. Your organizational and individual success will depend on how many great “players,” including you, are on the team.

Can you handle the truth?

Quote of the Week:

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get and your company grow and protect profitability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592.

Extra Points: The Present

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This holiday season always makes us think of presents. The act of exchanging gifts with family and friends starts ramping up around Halloween these days and goes all the way through Christmas. Today, I’d like to talk about a different kind of present and a different kind of gift.

Barb and I are fortunate to get regular photo updates of our granddaughter. One of the most recent shows her looking right into the camera and flashing a beautiful smile, which for her is a newfound and growing skill! I quickly turned it into the wallpaper for my lock screen on my phone, so I see it often. It dawned on me that infants like my granddaughter live totally in the “present.” And what a “gift” that is. She isn’t ruminating on past failures or calamities; nor is she obsessed with worries about the future and what might or never occur. She’s living completely in enjoying and making the most of her present. For that matter, so are both my dogs. Captain Jack and Bella almost always wear that same impish grin.

Somewhere along the way, we humans lose that gift and start focusing on the past and future. While utilizing the past for lessons learned and cherished events is good, dwelling and living in the past is not. While eager to find opportunity and enjoying the future is good; being filled with anxiety and fear is not.

Here’s my holiday gift to you (actually I’m keeping and sharing from my granddaughter): Live in the present more. The past holds many experiences both good and bad and nothing can change what happened. You can’t write the future in your head because it’s likely to turn out differently than you planned. Be cognizant of where you are today becasue it will soon be the past. We only come around this way once, so make sure your present is truly a gift to yourself and others.

Quote of the Week:

“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”

~ Harry S. Truman

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get and your company sprint to the finish line, call me. I have ideas on how you can finish strong and start fast! Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592.

Extra Points: The Impossible

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This past Saturday I boarded The Santa Train with my granddaughter and family on a 105-year old train in a rural gem in our area. As we traveled the rails back at a brisk 20 MPH, I wondered about what it was like traveling on a train even more than 100 years ago just to get someplace. I thought about soldiers heading out to war, businessmen on travel, and families off to visit families or move to a new place. I tried to put myself in their place and the thought of people traveling on airplanes, communicating instantly with anyone in the world on their watches, and dropping into a Starbucks for a caramel brûlée latte to begin a ride home in a vehicle that plays music and has heated seats.

Impossible to imagine.

I the started pondering the next 100 years. What would we deem impossible? Frankly when I was a kid growing up in the 1970s, the Internet, digital music, and video calls like FaceTime and Skype were impossible to imagine. The fact that this is only 40 years ago, what does the future hold? The impossible is what’s ahead. Sadly, too many people allow the impossible to dictate their lives.

Like I wrote in my book, Unleashed Leadership, people are apt to build “invisible fences” around their lives. Due to fear of rejection, fear of failure, and fear of what others might think, they choose to eschew trying for the impossible. As we have seen over the past hundred plus years, humans can create artificial intelligence, fly to the moon, and exterminate diseases like polio.

Nothing is impossible unless you just don’t try. To live unleashed, tear down that invisible fence. Captain Jack can’t be fenced in and neither should you.

Go be possible.

Quote of the Week:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get and your company sprint to the finish line, call me. I have ideas on how you can finish strong and start fast! Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592.