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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Influencing Powerful People - #13

by Rick Baker
On Apr 20, 2019

This is the 13th and final Thought Post in a 'Baker's Dozen series', with Dirk Schlimm's wisdom being the main ingredient.

Here's the 13th quote taken from Dirk's book, 'Influencing Powerful People':

Be ready to discuss issues when the situation is favorable and postpone when the time is not right.

Intelligent people

  • anticipate situations,
  • prepare options for their responses to those anticipated situations, and
  • when the anticipated situations become reality, implement prepared and favourable responses.
Good and important examples of intelligent business people thinking before taking action include business processes known as corporate governance, risk management, marketing, sales, staffing, recruiting, etc.
 
All these processes gain advantage from planning the work before working the plan. Here's a link to an article titled, 'Plan Your Work & Work Your Plan'.
 
Dirk helps you understand how to plan and implement influence when you want to influence people who have influence over you.
 
When intelligent people go to the trouble of anticipating and planning responses to situations, they are motivated by desires to succeed and achieve goals. When intelligent people work for powerful/influential people, they do better when they know how to influence those powerful people in ways that result in success [for themselves and for the powerful people]. This is a key message, if not the key message, in Dirk's book. 
 
Many people whine and complain about the actions of powerful people. That's one choice. After reading Dirk's book, intelligent business people will know there is a far better choice. And, they will be able to use the ideas and wisdom Dirk has shared to anticipate powerful-boss situations, plan how to handle those situations and implement actions that bring success for all involved. 
 
That's the value Dirk provides in person and in his writing!
 
And, it is an exciting time. We are less than one week away from Dirk's visit to Waterloo Region.
 
If this CFFB Signature Event isn't already sold out, you still have time to make an amazing investment - as you buy a ticket. 

Tags:

Family Business and CFFB | Influencing | Leaders' Thoughts

Errors only become limitations when we choose to give them that power.

by Rick Baker
On Apr 14, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

We cannot practice when we don't know the what and how of task-details: we cannot teach when we don't know the what and how of task-details.

But, do not expect your teachers will be masters of work performance: knowing the what/how of tasks and doing work at the master level are 2 different things.

Mastery of tasks is rare; even the most skilled performers make errors; errors define near-term limits, however, near-term limits do not have to be long-term limiting.

Errors only become long-term limiting when we choose to give them that power.

Influencing Powerful People - #12

by Rick Baker
On Apr 13, 2019

Probably, most people should not work for powerful people. When I use the words powerful people, I mean people who:

  • hold positions of power over us, 
  • are driven to meet their goals [not ours], and 
  • put lots of pressure on us as we try to do work for them.
On top of this, powerful people tend to get things done, change their minds, discount others' abilities, be stubborn, be dismissive...etc.

In his book, 'Influencing Powerful People', Dirk Schlimm provides 16 major strategies and dozens of suggestions on how we can improve our ability to work with powerful people. 

He also advises, “Deciding not to work for or with a powerful person is not a sign of weakness but of wisdom.” 

That piece of advice triggered a memory - I once heard an educational guru speak words like, "People can behave in offensive ways, however, you do not have to be offended." The point was, some people behave in ways that others consider offensive. That's a choice they make. You have the ability to either be offended or not be offended by their behaviour. That's a choice you make.

I get that message and acknowledge it is accurate thinking and good advice. Here's an article I wrote on this topic a few years ago. 

While the advice is good, often, in real-life situations people cannot control their emotions and as a result they become offended when others behave offensively. Most people become offended when their powerful bosses behave offensively. The state of our emotions and our skills at self-control determine the outcome.

So, if we find ourselves getting anxious and stressed out because our bosses behave in ways that trigger our fears and bad emotional responses, we should remember Dirk's advice. 

“Deciding not to work for or with a powerful person is not a sign of weakness but of wisdom.” 

We can choose to not work for that boss.

This gives us at least 3 options:

  1. Choose to learn Dirk's strategies and tactics for changing how we behave so we do better when dealing with powerful people.
  2. Choose to follow Dirk's advice as captured in the above quote and stop working for the powerful boss.
  3. Choose to carry on as is and continue to have miserable work experiences.

Clearly, that last option is the poorest of the 3.

Tags:

Emotions & Feelings @ Work | Family Business and CFFB | Influencing | Leaders' Thoughts

Leaders do best when it is clear they have sacred rules, which we call “The Master Rules”.

by Rick Baker
On Apr 11, 2019

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Master Rules: these are rules set by the Leader and well-communicated by the Leader to all followers.

The Master Rules must not be bent. And, if they are broken then the consequences are clear and enforced. The Master Rules must capture the essence of the Leader’s Personal Values, mesh with the Leader’s Strengths, and serve as clear directions towards the Leader's Vivid Vision. 

Influencing Powerful People - #11

by Rick Baker
On Apr 6, 2019

Here's a Dirk Schlimm quote that goes beyond 'influencing powerful people':

“Use every opportunity to observe and learn. It is a lot less costly to learn from the mistakes of others than from your own!”

On the other hand...

When we make mistakes with powerful people they often respond with more-poignant lessons than less-powerful people. Most powerful people do not want to suffer fools. Powerful people raise the standard beyond 'fools'. Powerful people do not want to suffer normal folks and powerful people rarely suffer bright folks who don't add clear and immediate value. And, powerful people provide hard-knocks lessons to people who disagree with them...especially, if that disagreement is expressed in public. 

A family-business perspective -

In family businesses, often, parents hold positions of power over children. Often, parents are bosses and children report to parents. Also, parents possess other forms of power - expertise power [specialized talents, knowledge and skills], financial power [control of money and rewards], relationship power [with the 'old guard' at the company and long-term clients] , and many other types of power. And, frequently, parents have trouble letting go of their power.

Some could argue - in family businesses, there are less opportunities for following-generation people to observe and learn from other's mistakes. Some could argue the exact opposite. For example, I've met with younger brothers who have learned from older brothers' mistakes. These mistakes can create complications where children must choose between a parent and a sibling. That can tear families apart. 

Families who work together find themselves in a unique 'power situation'.  To thrive in that unique situation, people will benefit from 'influencing powerful people' education.

Good news - Dirk Schlimm is visiting CFFB on April 26th...less than 3 weeks from today!

Tags:

Family Business and CFFB | Influencing | Leaders' Thoughts

Influencing Powerful People - #10

by Rick Baker
On Mar 30, 2019

“Understand that powerful people think of others as their helpers first and foremost. Let them know that this is what you are there to do. However, don’t let the helper paradigm stifle your creativity and ambition to lead.”

Dirk Schlimm

'Influencing Powerful People', (2011)

"Powerful People" - they hold 'position power' over other people, the power bosses hold over subordinates. They hold other types of power...as examples, the power tied to having control of money and the power tied to a track record of setting goals, influencing results and meeting goals.

Powerful people exist in every successful business. 

Business founders hold special power. Business founders saw market needs, stepped up to address those needs and influenced others to join their businesses. If they succeeded in their business then their power was effective and put to good use. If they failed in business their power was, for one reason or another, ineffective. 

Sometimes we judge business leaders harshly because they don't treat us the way we want. Instead of shifting our 'mindset paradigm' to consider the opportunities that exist in the leader's view of our role, we refuse to align with the leader...sometimes, we resist subversively. When our mindsets are in resistance mode, we have allowed the leader's character and style to bring out the worst in us. With our mindsets focused on resistance, we choose to bury our curiosity. When we make that choice, we stifle our own attention to opportunities and we stifle our own creativity.

We must not blame powerful people for our choices; we must learn how to make and implement better choices when we deal with powerful people. In his book and his teaching, Dirk helps us learn how to make and implement better choices.

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