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CHANGING FOR THE BETTER: Good Habits, Bad Habits, & New Things - #1

by Rick Baker
On Jan 19, 2010
This is the first blog of a 10-blog series about Changing For The Better.
The Purpose: (1) to introduce the important role habits play in performance and (2) to provide some examples of ideas and 'tools' to help people create success-directed habits.
People only do 3 things: (1) Good Habits, (2) Bad Habits, and (3) New Things.
Some may argue that's an oversimplification…however, as yet, I have not felt the need to expand the list.
Good Habits contribute to our betterment.
Bad Habits do not.
New Things may or may not contribute to our betterment.
When we set goals defining what 'our betterment' means we generally wish to use our Good Habits, reduce our Bad Habits, and perhaps do some New Things.
When we do New Things we end up either turning them into Good Habits or Bad Habits or we stop doing them.
It makes sense to try doing New Things to create new Good Habits.
Often, and this is important to this blog series, we choose to do New Things in a conscious effort to remove Bad Habits and replace them with Good Habits.
New Things are often the only mechanisms that will help us to move from Bad Habits to Good Habits.
Enough theoretical stuff…at least for now.
Here's a video clip of how I picture Good Habits, Bad Habits, and New Things…
Some things to think about…
  • There's a 'thin line' between Good Habits and Bad Habits
  • One good way to move from Bad Habits to Good Habits is - Doing New Things
  • Doing New Things: the choices are essentially infinite
  • Doing New Things = Change
  • Doing New Things that lead to our betterment = Changing For The Better
Changing For The Better…that's what this 10-blog series is about. The next blog will talk about Habits and introduce some of the ways we can expand our Good Habits, effect Change, and achieve our goals.

7 Powerful Answers - #7

by Rick Baker
On Jan 12, 2010
This is blog #7 in an 8-blog series about Powerful Answers to 7 important business questions. The series is intended to be an introduction to strategic intuition and planning.
Preamble: In blog #3 of this Powerful Answers series I wrote, Business is about People and Process. And I wrote, People do only 3 things: good habits, bad habits, and new things. Considering the 3 things People do, business leaders want their People to do Good Habits and New Things to help the company accomplish its Vision , Mission, and Goals…and do those things in a manner aligned with the Corporate Culture.
This is a broad topic so I will limit this to two examples: the first is a tool designed to promote a Good Habit and the second is a written statement intended to guide how people should act and make decisions.
  • P=2S+O©, covered in earlier blogs, is a tool we designed to promote both Good Habits and ideas about New Things [P=2S+O blog]
  • At Spirited Investors, our Corporate Values are - Courage, Confidence, Conviction, & Creativity - were selected to promote Good Habits and New Things [Spirited's Corporate Statement]
Question 6: How do you prove your people do the RIGHT things EVERY day?
Powerful Answer:
'Let me show you. Here, on my BlackBerry . This web-link takes me to my Daily Vitals Journal. I can access this web-based journal from my BlackBerry, my desktop, my laptop, and my notebook. My Daily Vitals Journal keeps my actions organized and aimed at my goals. Everyone at our company has a Daily Vitals Journal, customized to help them achieve his/her goals.'
Postamble: John Medina* said people have about 5,000 thoughts per day. While listening to the audio CD, I did the quick math. Rounding it off I calculated that's about one thought every 10 seconds, every waking hour, every day. That little voice, which for most of us sounds just like our voice, is active all day long…perhaps, presenting a different thought about every 10 seconds. Even if that's half-right, that's an awful lot of distraction. No wonder we have trouble concentrating. No wonder things slip from our memories.
Processes and tools can help.
We recommend processes like Monthly Vital Signs, Weekly Vital Signs, and Daily Vital Signs and tools like the PlanBudget© and the web-based Daily Vitals Journal©.
Footnotes: John Medina, 'Brain Rules' www.brainrules.net
The next blog will consider Question 7:
How do you manage your CRITICAL risk factors every day?

7 Powerful Answers - #3

by Rick Baker
On Dec 29, 2009
This is blog #3 in an 8-blog series about Powerful Answers to 7 important business questions. The series is intended to be an introduction to strategic intuition and planning.
Preamble:   Business is about People and Process. Since People design the Process, when you boil it down business is about People. People do only 3 things: good habits, bad habits, and new things. There is a relationship between actions and strengths. I like the way Marcus Buckingham and Tom Rath [former Gallup folks] have written about strengths. While I know this doesn't do justice to what they have written, I summarize their message this way:
Strengths = innate talent themes + knowledge + skill
Contribution = strengths + the influence of personal value systems [attributes of character]
As business leaders, we should understand the Strengths our People possess and we should understand the Values or attributes of character we desire. These combine to become our corporate culture, whether planned or not planned.
Question 2: What HUMAN strengths will you use to build your business?
Powerful Answer:  an excerpt from Conestoga-Rovers & Associates website, www.craworld.com
'Mentoring - One area that is continually emphasized is the responsibility that all senior employees have to mentor junior staff. Mentoring is key to the continued success of CRA into the future.'
Postamble: Question 2 is around corporate culture. CRA provides other similarly powerful statements that touch human strengths. I selected the mentor statement because it struck one of my chords. It is refreshing to see a company culture committed to mentoring...communicating about it so clearly…and clearly telling people they are responsible. This empowers and emboldens.
Footnotes: references… a couple of fellows who have written about their Gallup strengths experiences
Marcus Buckingham - strengthstest.com/strengths-tests/go-put-your-strengths-to-work-access-code
Tom Rath - strengths.gallup.com/110440/About-StrengthsFinder-2.aspx  
The next blog will consider Question 3:
What do you do BETTER and DIFFERENT than anyone else?

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