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Persist, repeat...and learn how to handle tough situations

by Rick Baker
On Jan 5, 2016

You have intelligence.

You have self-control.

You have 2 of the 3 essential ingredients required to handle even the toughest situations. And, the toughest situations you experience all have one thing in common...People...at least 2 people - you, being one of them.

In addition to intelligence and self-control you need to have the correct mindset.

James Allen captured that correct mindset as follows:

"No situation can be difficult of itself; it is lack of insight into its intricacies and the want of wisdom in dealing with it, which give rise to the difficulty."

James Allen, 'Byways of Blessedness', (1904)

To handle tough situations you must have insight into the intricacies...

As the saying goes, "The devil is in the details". You remove those devils by mastering the details of situations. You excel at this when you excel at understanding people because the toughest challenges are always about people....the differences in people. To gain insight into the intricacies of people you start with yourself - gain self-knowledge. Then you learn about the differences in people. Understanding the differences in people will cause you to want to listen to others. And, the more you listen the more you will understand the differences in people. That's like adding tools to your tool kit. The more tools you have the more intricate work you will be able to perform. And, of key importance, the more confidence you will possess. That confidencewill serve you well when difficult situations arise. 

Wisdom: wisdom is gained when trials-and-errors are blended with thought and a desire to do better. Knowledge comes from books and personal observations. Wisdom comes from the addition of personal experiences. To handle tough situations one must first learn by experiencing them, making mistakes, and doing better next time. That's the School of Hard Knocks way. As an alternative to learning everything that way, one can anticipate tough situations. Then one can predetermine the best ways to handle those tough situations. That's what sales people are taught to do when they role play various aspects of the buying-and-selling process. Well-designed mental exercise can be practiced and confidence can be gained. Confidence is key. 

Handling Tough Situations:

  • your Intelligence
  • your Self-Control
  • your knowledge of self and other people
  • your wisdom from the School of Hard Knocks
  • your ability to anticipate Situations
  • your ability to think through best courses of action for those Situations
  • your self-Confidence


  1. for more thoughts see the Category called Business Contains Only 3 Things: People, Process, & Situations.
  2. for more thoughts on Confidence visit this link Confidence


Business Contains Only 3 Things | Values: Personal Values

Know People

by Rick Baker
On Dec 23, 2015
Father-to-Son Business Lesson #19
Below is a note sent by me to my son, over 5 years ago.
This note was #19 in a long series of father-to-son Business Lessons.
In this note, I was trying to present my thoughts about ‘knowing people’, as it relates to business and particularly to sales.
“We must work continuously to understand ourselves and to understand others. This is important for business success in any role. This is important for business success in a Sales role.

Responding in the same order you have written...

Centaurs: just like "perfect salesmen", they do not exist

Motivational Momentum: my philosophy is: "Only you can motivate you. Only me can motivate me. So, seek the motivation from within. If you wait for others to motivate you then you will be either disappointed or their slave."

Sales: for sales this is the most-important lesson I can offer…
Sales is not about products and product knowledge.
Sales is not about services.

The essence of sales is: the customer.

The essence of the customer is: people.

The essence of people: maybe it is 'emotions'? I think there is a good argument to support: the essence of people is emotions. Even if it is not the essence it is wrapped up in the same package as the essence....emotions, conscience, thought, wonder, etc.

Sales is about understanding people. What they fear and what they desire....

What makes them happy? They want that.
What do they fear? They want to avoid that.
What do they need? They want that.

The training for Sales is about knowing what makes people tick.

The training for Business is about knowing what makes people tick.

To learn sales - learn people.
To learn people - start with yourself.

What inspires you?

What do you fear?

What do you desire?

What do you need?

Those sorts of questions....

As you start to learn about yourself, and it will be a lifetime task, try to expand your knowledge of people by adding others....those you feel you can trust.

Study famous people who clearly understood people: Gandhi, for example.

Listen to motivational tapes: Covey's 7 Habits, etc

Business = Sales = People.

Get my point?”

First posted July 5th, 2011

Perhaps it is time to revisit Personal Values?

by Rick Baker
On Dec 3, 2015

During a conversation last Friday, we were discussing personal values and my friend said something like, “Well, they bring their values with them”.

This triggered a number of thoughts, which were important to me but not a good fit for the conversation last Friday. So, I promised [myself] I would write them down later…later is today.

Yes – people do bring their personal values with them. If we work at it then we can get a sense of other people’s values by observing those other people. After we have observed people we make decisions about their character.

According to experts, this assessment of character can happen very, very quickly. And, we do not need to rely on experts alone. We know this from firsthand experiences. Every once in a while we get immediate ‘bad vibes’, bad ‘gut feel’, when we meet someone. At the other extreme, we find other people ‘magnetic’. These positive and negative feelings contribute to our assessment of other people’s character. As we decide on character we make assumptions about the underlying personal values that create character.

Yes – people do bring their personal values with them.

But – we must understand more if we are to succeed in dealing with other people.

As we observe and make decisions about people’s character and personal valueswe should not lose track of:

  • Many people will not have taken the time to understand their own values/character
  • For those who have worked at it, their self-analysis will be skewed by their bias:
    • Often people look at themselves through rose-coloured glasses
    • People rarely wear those glasses when they observe other people
  • Few people get into open discussions of values and character
  • When the stakes are high, personal values can take a back seat to personal needs
  • Situations can cause personal values to take a back seat, particularly:
    • When a person is under extreme stress
    • When a person is subjected to a powerful yet dysfunctional leader
    • When a person is surrounded by ‘mob thinking’
  • Situations can help people use their personal values to create Value for other people
    • When people are encouraged to use their Strengths [talents, knowledge, skills]
    • When people are comfortable with a powerful Values-grounded leader
    • When people work in a harmonious environment, with success-orientation

Bottom line: Corporate Culture is a process under the leader’s control

First posted November 2, 2010


Business Contains Only 3 Things | Values: Personal Values

Breaking Bad...Habits

by Rick Baker
On Aug 11, 2015

First of all, this is not going to be about breaking bad habits. It's going to be about replacing bad habits. If you insist on breaking bad habits then I’d suggest you use good-old-fashioned interrogation tactics like tying them to a chair, depriving them of water and nourishment, shining bright lights in their eyes, and beating them into submission. But, breaking bad habits - that’s a topic for another day.

About replacing Bad Habits…

If you want to replace your bad habits then the first step is to understand everyone has habits. Then you must understand, one way or another, everyone fills up all the time in their lives. And, for the vast majority of people the time available to them [the time in their lives] is filled with habits – habits of thought and habits of action.  People's time is for the most part filled with either thoughts or actions...nothing more, nothing less.... just thoughts and actions. 

To the extent people’s thoughts and actions are aligned with their long-term goals the thoughts and actions are ‘good’. To the extent people’s thoughts and actions are not aligned with their long-term goals the thoughts and actions are ‘bad’. At least, that's our definition. 

Should you be thinking, right now, that some of your thoughts and actions have nothing to do with long-term goals then you must conclude those questionable thoughts and actions are ‘bad’, because chances are very high they are ‘bad’ [rather than ‘good’]. In those rare instances when you are trying something ‘new’ – when you are experimenting with new thoughts or actions – you should see those thoughts and actions as ‘new things’…’new things’ waiting to be categorized as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Regardless, you are primarily a creature of habits and most of your thoughts and actions are either ‘bad habits’ or ‘good habits’. For most people, ‘bad habits’ outmuscle ‘good habits’ and consume most of their owner’s time…for some reason, it is easier to slip into and to repeat habits when they are on the ‘bad’ side of our long-term goals.

Generally, ‘bad habits’ consume the vast majority of people’s time. That’s why the vast majority of people fail to achieve their claimed long-term goals.

For successful people, good habits occur for a sufficient amount of time to bring about the achievement of long-term goals.

When you consider your time, your thoughts, and your actions this way you can quickly see that success happens when people are able to keep their ‘bad habits’ under control and maximize the amount of time they spend doing ‘good habits’.

The key, as most self-help gurus confirm, is the learn how to replace your ‘bad thoughts’ with ‘good thoughts’.

The framework, is described above:

  • Set some long-term goals because, without them, you will have no ‘good habits’
  • Monitor your thoughts and classify them as either ‘good’ or bad’
  • Work at replacing your ‘bad thoughts’ with ‘good thoughts’. This will require much practice…more than learning to ride a bicycle…more than mastering piano playing…more than pumping up 18” biceps. After all, we are talking about your wonderfully-complex brain here.


Are You Superior to Circumstances?

by Rick Baker
On Jul 9, 2015

”Our main thinking habit is to analyse situations so that we can recognize standard situations and then apply standard answers.”

Edward de Bono

`The Six Value Medals`, (2005)


As you analyse Situations, do not limit yourself by assuming they are 'standard'...explore and see if there are important nuances that deviate from familiar patterns:

  • direct your attention toward the key parts of the Situation [the People, the place, the level of urgency, the 'props', the background noise, etc.]
  • compare those parts, looking for similarities - the parts that fit a pattern you recognize
  • compare those parts again, looking for differences - the parts that do not fit a pattern you recognize 
  • look for the parts that catch and pull at your attention...they can be the most-important aspects of the Situation
  • set logic aside and take some time to focus your attention on your gut feel
  • use your special insights to fully appreciate the value contained in the situation/circumstances

Strive to identify Situations that contain special circumstances…special circumstances that serve as catalysts for your unique talents and gifts. Be confident in your ability to either rise above problems and grasp hold of opportunities. Be confident in your ability to customize your exceptional contributions in reaction to the signals you [alone] receive as you analyse Situations.

And always remember…

”Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.”

Bruce Barton 

American Author & Politician (1886-1967)





”Circumstances - what are circumstances? I make circumstances.” Napoleon Bonaparte

When the going gets tough...[you must tell] the tough [People how to] get going.

by Rick Baker
On Mar 17, 2015

Talk's cheap. And, slogans like "When the going gets tough the tough get going" are at best mildly encouraging and at worst annoying.

While People generally want to succeed after the going gets tough, most People have never received 'use-able' advice on how to make that happen.

There are many strategies and systems for dealing with tough People and tough Situations [i.e., Situations involving, of course, People]. There are complex pictures and laborious processes for handling complaints, being assertive, and delivering crucial conversations. Most of these strategies and systems are too complicated, too convoluted, and far too 'artificial' for most people to embrace.


There is a better way...not just a better way, a better & simpler way...a way that is not contrived.

To cover challenges of tough People and tough Situations, Mark Weber taught me one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned...

This area of business - dealing with tough People and tough Situations - is such an important facet of business [and life]...it warrants its own Master Rule.

Business Contains Only 3 Things and why not Seek Simple?




Business Contains Only 3 Things | Master Rules | Seeking Simple! | Spirited Leaders

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