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Dan Weedin
Human Resources

Crisis certainly reared its ugly head in 2012.

Savage hurricanes and storms battered the Eastern seaboard. Deadly shootings broke out in a school, movie theater, and shopping mall. Key executives resigned in disgrace and damaged reputations. The aftermath of a child abuse scandal rocked a major university. And in thousands of small businesses around the country, fires destroyed buildings; water damage ruined equipment; data was breached; property was stolen; power outages suspended operations, and employees lost their jobs. The latter cases go mostly unnoticed to the public; however, they impact untold numbers of lives.

When I first started coaching high school basketball, my coaching mentor told me that I could expect at least three crises a year at a minimum. How I responded to those crises would determine the success of the season. read more »

 

RiskI recently conducted a survey of small business owners on what challenges they foresaw in the coming year that could adversely affect their business. Here is a compilation of the most common results, along with suggestions on how to prepare.

While none of us has a crystal ball, we all have the ability to be prepared. In my experience over the past 7 years as a consultant to countless businesses, 90% of you…

  • Don’t have a written plan on how to effectively respond to a crisis of any kind
  • Don’t have a written plan on how to communicate to employees, customers, clients, community, investors, supply chain, or the media
     

I’ve always thought the Grinch got a bad rap.

Here’s a guy who was determined on ruining everyone’s holiday by stealing all their gifts and decorations, believing that they would all crumble in a heap of despair and agony. SPOILER ALERT — it didn’t work! The townspeople still rejoiced and in so doing, eventually turned the heart of the green goblin and everyone lived happily ever after.

Too bad that the same jubilant ending doesn’t always happen for us in business. Why? Because the Grinch trying to ruin our joy is really ourselves, manifested in our own business and careers.

The hard part is we are often in denial about this issue. We allow the stress and strain of money, time, family business friction, employee dilemmas, holiday parties, and unrealized goals to steal our joy during a time when we should be rejoicing. read more »

 

Fear not. This is not a political op-ed you are about to read. You’ve probably had enough of that by now!

As this column hits your mailbox, we are within days of finishing the 2012 election that started three years ago. If you’re like me you’ve cast your ballot and can’t wait for the political pugilism to end. However, there are still lessons to be learned from it, and we would be negligent if we didn’t take a little time to explore them.

First, let’s define what these “lessons” are, and what they are not. This has nothing to do with how either presidential candidate might or might not make a good leader. I fear we as a country are now better at attracting candidates (from both parties) with skills to campaign, rather than skills in governing or leading. You as a business leader need to be able to do both. That is, send a message, build a brand, create evangelists, and be a leader. read more »

 
Wealth And Estate Planning

Wealth creation. Wealth management. Wealth strategies.

These buzzwords have been popular over the years to entice people to start saving, investing, and managing money for retirement. While all noble objectives, perhaps we need to do a little better job of defining wealth. On the surface, wealth means money. If you are creating wealth, you are making money, right? If you are managing wealth, you are making that money work for you to make more money.

I don’t believe the definition of true wealth is money. I think it’s something more visionary, yet very important to one’s motivation to creating wealth. Here is my definition of true wealth… read more »

 

It’s September and we are heading down the backstretch of this political season. For business people, this means you are entering a danger zone.

Fear not, I am NOT the political pundit this month. Far from it. But, I am here to warn you of the dangers of “mouthing off” with a click of a “post.” The consequences could cost you business.

Let me preface by saying that I have no problem with business people supporting a candidate or a cause. You have every right to voice your opinion and advocate whatever positions you like. That doesn’t mean you should be a social media bully. read more »

 

When I think about tools, I am one of those unusual guys who don’t think of fixing things. I’m not a “tool guy.” I carry 14 “tools” in my bag… my golf bag. I equate this to business. Toolboxes are for fixing things. I believe business owners need to make things happen, just like on a golf course. And, like in the game of golf, sometimes when you try to make things happen, bad things are bound to occur. I have tools for those situations, too! For this special section on “Tools for your Business, ” I offer to you a golf bag full of 14 “clubs” that you can immediately use in your business. read more »

 

In June, I watched two celebrated sporting events — the French Open in professional tennis, and the U.S. Open in men’s professional golf. These two sports feature great individual athletic prowess. They also illustrate what is widely acknowledged and accepted in all sports, arts and entertainment. Superstars are well coached.

At the French Open, champions Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova receive constant coaching and support from their coaches. At every break in play and regularly from the sidelines, they get suggestions on how to improve both tactically and strategically. At the U.S. Open, every golfer from champion Webb Simpson to Tiger Woods, and to the amateurs competing, receive input from swing coaches, mental coaches, putting coaches and caddies. read more »

 

As Baby Boomers start the process of exiting the business world, they take with them a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge and smarts. Are you prepared to preserve your past so you don’t destroy your future?

I recently worked with a client who told me that over the next five years, 86 percent of their workforce would be eligible to retire. This is a startling number and caused this organization to pause and take note. The “veterans” hold incredible knowledge that can’t just be transferred via Dropbox or Evernote (if you don’t know what these are, it’s time to catch up). We worked on creating a leadership development program that will systematically transfer that experience-based knowledge through a professionally based mentoring model. Regardless of the size, scope, or industry of your business, you will benefit from instituting a thoughtful, intentional mentoring model in your business. read more »

 
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