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
This Week’s Focus Point: Say Yes to the Dress
I’d seen portions of the reality television shows about wedding dress shopping. I decided to eschew all that “Intel” and approach it was a tabula rasa mentality. I figured that ignorance was the safest way.
The entire experience was a blast. Mindy found the dress she adored, and not one fight broke out. A television audience would have been disappointed. One thing that I found fascinating was that I was the only man in the store. In fact, according the the dress stylist, fathers never came to these. I was something of an outlier.
My guess is that many men have either been discouraged from attending by the female side of the entourage, or they feared being bored, frustrated, or getting in hot water. While the latter did cross my mind, I figured I’d take the risk, especially since I was encouraged to participate. I’m glad I did.
We are faced daily with opportunities where a decision must be made in moving forward or not. If you allow outdated norms, naysayers, past experiences, or fear guide you, there’s a great chance you’ll miss out on something special. As importantly, you will often get the chance to encourage someone else to be bold and take a risk that you think is worth taking. That source of inspiration may be just what they need to boldly move ahead.
Quote of the Week:
“Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”
~ Winston Churchill
The topic is How to Step Out of Your Shadow and Be Unleashed: Creating a bolder and more confident you to bolster your career and life.
My new book Unleashed Leadership is now available!
Let that sink in for a second.
Struggle and adversity are part of life; part of business. I counsel my clients that risk management is a myth because you can’t “manage” risk, you can only plan to be resilient. Crises will happen, it’s what you do with it that is important.
The social media platforms are filled with people that have chosen to “suffer.” They will post ambiguous statements meant to draw some sort of reaction from friends wondering what it means. You’ve undoubtedly worked with people that boorishly share their misfortune (always someone else’s fault). And you may have people in your life that seemingly thrive in self-pity and cynicism. These are your “volunteer sufferers.”
If you go into life knowing that every day offers an opportunity for both pain and contentment, then you’ve got a chance to enjoy a healthy existence. Bad things happen, yet they are rarely “personal,” many times are random and out of your control, and always offer opportunities for personal and professional growth. Encouraging and “sharing” suffering only makes one (and those around them) miserable. The alternative – acceptance, resilience, and positivity – will lead to many more “open gates” that you can bound unleashed through.
“Without struggle, there can be no progress.”
~ Frederick Douglass
Cool Stuff to Help You Build Your Business & Career
Learn More & Register Here
My new book Unleashed Leadership is now available!
Follow me on Periscope (free mobile app). My first LIVE and free Periscope event is on Groundhogs Day – February 2nd at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST. The topic is How to Step Out of Your Shadow and Be Unleashed: Creating a bolder and more confident you to bolster your career and life. More to come but start now by following me on Periscope @danweedin
The NFL playoffs are fascinating. The entire weekend was filled with drama, big plays, and stunning comebacks. In 3 of the 4 games, teams made improbable charges to go from sure loss to having a chance at the end. While 2 of those teams didn’t end up prevailing, the “never give up” attitude was certainly on display.
Today, we as a nation honor Martin Luther King Jr. This is a man that also exemplified the “never give up” attitude. For nearly a full decade, he fought for equality in the face of immense turmoil. In the end, it cost him his life. In truth, the “game” didn’t end there. The seeds he planted grew into change for a country that needed it.
The lesson for each of us? Be ever vigilant; be ever confident; and never give up. Be unleashed.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
My January column for the Kitsap Sun
The clock has passed into a new year amid the hangover of a bustling holiday season full of parties, gifts, revelations, and resolutions. Now it’s back to business with a fresh outlook filled with hope and expectation.
There’s a certain “back to reality” perception that obscures our emotions whenever January rolls around. It’s human nature. Everyone is now done wishing you a “Happy New Year” and loads of joy, prosperity, and success. The challenge is that now the hard work begins to convert those well-intentioned wishes into reality. My question for you is – are you buying or selling?
Nothing magical happens when time shifts from December 31 to January 1. The wish for “happy” results knows no set time or place. Your attitude, mindset, and level of discipline are what will result in consistent and sustained success. Those 3 factors determine whether you’re buying or selling on the concept and reality of a “Happy New Year.” Too many business people actually are “selling” on that concept.
Here are 5 signs on whether you are unwittingly bailing out – or “selling” – on a “Happy New Year:”
- You’ve invested nothing in personal growth and development. That means no investment of time or money for you or your people in growing your minds, your skills, or your habits.
- You choose not to review your practices, procedures, and activities. Just because you’ve always done it the same way doesn’t mean it’s the best option. Those that never look for a better way often fade into complacency.
- You fail to invest in marketing. Every company is reliant on acquiring new business. Failing to stay creative and bold in marketing results in stagnation and obsolescence.
- Company culture isn’t a priority. As much as “culture” has become a buzzword in business, there is still much evidence that it hasn’t caught on everywhere. Overlooking the importance of it can lead to dire consequences.
- Recruiting and hiring are done on an “as needed basis.” Hiring people out of desperation rarely works.
Any of these maladies look familiar? Whether you run a gigantic company or are the boss of just yourself, any of these factors will interfere with your desire to have a successful and prosperous year. At the very least, you won’t be maximizing what you can accomplish. Let’s fix these problems and swap to “buying” through a changed attitude, mindset, and discipline.
- Commit to professional growth by putting your money and time where your mouth is. Decide what you’re going to do to improve yourself and your team. Is it coaching and mentoring? Is it skills based training? Is it virtual workshops or attending conferences? Map out what you’re going to do this year and then find the time and finances for it. Pull out your calendar and schedule professional development now. It’s too easy to put off and then complain that you ran out of time. Professional growth is an attitude (priority), a mindset (always striving to learn more) and a discipline (actually doing it).
- Schedule time to review your practices. I just met in December with a new client that committed to this strategy. It takes vulnerability and humility, yet it’s worth the effort. It’s too easy to get caught in the “same old, same old.” This concept breathes a fresh perspective on your activities and uncovers areas that you can enhance or add for your benefit. Make sure you have an outside expert helping you or otherwise you get caught breathing your own exhaust. Make the most of your time spent and implement your new practices.
- Focus on building your brand. My professional mentor Alan Weiss has always said that, “If you don’t toot your own horn, there is no music.” You have value to offer through your products and services. You have the ability to improve the conditions and lives of others, but they need to know you exist. Don’t get caught in the snare of thinking that you can get by with your current base of clients or else one day you may find that your pipeline has run dry. Brand building requires consistency, patience, and discipline. It may be the most important business activity you perform.
- Create a fun environment. Employees invest a huge chunk of their lives in a company. If it’s dreary and dull, the results will be poor performance and high turnover. It doesn’t take much to exponentially improve a culture. Even adding a modicum of fun into the daily grind can enhance an entire company attitude. More on this topic next month.
- Always be recruiting. The worst thing that can happen to a company is to hire out of desperation. Recruiting must be a regular executive function. The focus should be on finding good people that add value and diversity to your business. Most skills can be taught; seek out individuals that enrich your company. Even if you have to hire without a spot in place, you build better bench strength and grow the quality of your people.
Bottom line: You are either buying or selling on your success and significance in 2016. Making a conscience effort to acknowledge that and prepare your attitude, mindset, and discipline to guide your efforts is the first step in making sure all those that wished you a “Happy New Year” will have been prophets.
Are you buying or selling?
Dan Weedin is a strategist, speaker, author and executive coach. He helps business leaders and executives to become stronger leaders, grow their businesses, and enrich their lives. He was inducted into the Million Dollar Consultant™ Hall of Fame in 2012. You can reach Dan at 360-697-1058; e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his web site at www.DanWeedin.com.
WAR is a fairly new baseball statistic invented out of the sabermetric phenomenon where the emphasis on metrics is accentuated. WAR stands for “Wins Above Replacement” and is an indication of how many wins a player is worth to his team over what is considered a “replacement player.” That definition is a player who is just called up from the minor leagues and is average at best. A good baseball player has a WAR of about 2-3 games. An All-Star player is worth about 5-6 wins for his team. For perspective, I saw a statistic last week when Ken Griffey Jr. was elected to the Hall of Fame, that his WAR was calculated at about 8-9 wins a year over an 11 year period.
What’s your WAR to your employer? In other words, are you just a “regular” employee that does the work, but offers no additional “wins” to the organization? Or rather, are you so valuable in your WAR category that you are considered an All-Star? If you’re the employer, the same question can be asked of you, and frankly may be more important. If you’re not adding tremendous value to your company and employees, how can you expect the same in return?
Final thought. While it’s not as easy to attach metrics in this area as it is in baseball, everyone knows based on the “eye test.” Whether you’re the boss or the employee, your value to the team is being measured. How good is your WAR?
“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day.”
~ Bob Feller, former Cleveland Indians pitcher and Baseball Hall of Famer
I recently watched a terrific show from the NFL network’s documentary series titled, A Football Life. The episode featured the life and NFL career of the late Ken “The Snake” Stabler. I remember vividly watching “Snake” tear apart the Seattle Seahawks and other teams during his fantastic 15-year career. What made Stabler stand out was his persona. Snake had charisma…he was known as a good old boy from Alabama that lived and played hard. He had swagger, bravado, and (most importantly) a cool factor. His former coach John Madden said of him after his death last summer – “In the big games, he was big. In the tough games, he was tough. In the hot games, when things got heated; he was the coolest guy on the field.” That’s why he was always known as a clutch player.
The very best in their crafts have the cool factor. They are able to stay calm in the midst of chaos and turmoil. When the conversations and emotions run hot, they are able to stay cool. Good decisions are made because the mind is able to slow down and be clear when everything else around them is seeming bedlam. They are clutch performers.
Kenny Stabler was able to keep his cool even under the intense pressure of big games and blitzing linebackers. How good are you at playing it cool when the heat gets turned up in your personal playing field? Do you succumb to the pressure around you or can you be as chill as “The Snake?”
What’s your cool factor? Are you a clutch performer? Make 2016 the year you resolve to consistently be both!
“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.”
~ Nikos Kazantzakis