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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Your brand starts with your character and the culture you breed: your brand stalls or flourishes there.

by Rick Baker
On Jun 7, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

A brand isn't a cute visual.

A brand isn't a catchy logo or a slick tag line.

A brand cannot pretty up a flawed character or a troubling culture.

When testing new branding, take a step back and look at your personal character and your business culture. Do they pass the litmus test? Do they render an investment in 'branding' worthwhile? Or, do they neuter your branding expenditures?

Tags:

Master Rules | Personalities @ Work | Thought Tweets | Values: Personal Values

Optimists pave the paths so pessimists can rule the world

by Rick Baker
On May 16, 2017

Now isn't that a fine piece of ‘mob thinking’...debatable, yet mostly true, and too often rather disappointing. 

Optimists stand out. Their curiosity leads to the creativity of new things that help take the world toward their vision of a better future. Then pessimists figure out how to use those optimist creations to rule that better world, often to serve their self-focused views and needs. 

Optimists favour freedom in its various forms, especially freedom laced around curiosity and creativity

Pessimists favour discipline, rules, and controls.

The common ground where optimists and pessimists can stand together and self-actualize together is – Growth....all entrepreneurial leaders love to build and grow things.

A key to success: find the growth that aligns with both the pessimists’ good habits and the optimists’ interests in new things

Conflict at our offices: is it a foe or a friend?

by Rick Baker
On May 8, 2017

I have experienced some synchronicity around this topic...I have witnessed several unrelated instances...some people have complained about the interpersonal damages done by office conflict while others have applauded the value office conflicts have injected into innovative and creative processes. 

Business empires have been built around office conflicts and 'crucial conversations'. In some cases the empires are bestselling books, must-do and how-to manuals aimed at teaching people how to diffuse, reduce, remove office conflicts. At the other end of the spectrum, we have a touted genius-of-our-time and an empire formed around the legacy of a partially-eaten apple. 

And, interpersonal conflicts create huge challenges in family businesses: parent-child rifts, sibling rivalry, family distrusts. When these entrenchments exist it is easy to determine the cause/fault. It always rests with the other guy! 

On the other hand, according to some experts, strongly-expressed differences of opinion lead to creative breakthroughs. Thick-skinned people locking horns in boardrooms and other meeting rooms...generating many diverse ideas...reaching a single decision...enjoying consensus...working in unison...achieving desired goals. 

Radically different views about Office Conflicts!

What's your personal comfort zone?

Your comfort zone: that's the key area...

What's your personal comfort zone?

  1. How far are you prepared to stretch your comfort zone to accommodate other people's viewpoints? 
  2. How open are you to accept different styles of communication when other people express their viewpoints?
  3. How clearly do you communicate your personal values and rules?

Put another way:

  1. Are you open to 'possibilities and 'new things'?
  2. Are you open to different personalities and communication styles?
  3. Do you know and share these important aspects of your character...telling stories to explain why you are the way you are?
As the ancient Greek maxim goes - "Know Thyself".

When you know yourself and know how to share important aspects of yourself with others you have the opportunity to be part of teams that excel at communication.
 
Internally - These successful teams may operate in friendly ways or in not-so-friendly ways.
Externally - These successful teams will present a unified front.
From Your Perspective - These successful teams will be inspiring, productive and gratifying.

Don't delegate any task you cannot do yourself...except software engineering.

by Rick Baker
On Apr 25, 2017

Clint Eastwood taught those villains, "A man must know his limitations."

Similarly, a man must understand he is at risk when he delegates beyond his limitations.

Yes, I known this also applies to women, however, Clint Eastwood didn't shoot women...at least I don't recall seeing him shoot women or instructing them on limitations.

OK - people, both women and men, must know their limitations and they must understand they should think about the risks before they delegate work that exceeds their capabilities.

So, one Master Rule is – Don’t delegate a task you cannot do yourself.

From time to time, leaders need to do the dirty jobs. [The jobs everyone can do but nobody enjoys doing.] If leaders choose to delegate all the dirty jobs then they will surely alienate some people….perhaps, most followers.

At the other end of the spectrum, leaders get into trouble when they delegate tasks that are beyond their capability. As examples - troubles follow when the time required for tasks is underestimated, when the complexity of tasks is underestimated, and when the resources required for tasks are underestimated. The best way to know the time, complexity, and resources of tasks is firsthand experience doing the tasks.

So, one Master Rule is – Don’t delegate a task you cannot do yourself.

…unless, of course, those tasks are software engineering!

Tags:

Delegation & Decisions | Hero Worship | Humour | Master Rules

While leaders must set Rules, they must also empower managers to be innovative as they pursue goals.

by Rick Baker
On Apr 21, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Few companies have that sort of culture...so - they must change if they wish to survive and thrive.

Tags:

Creativity, Invention & Innovation | Master Rules | Thought Tweets | Values: Personal Values

Do Unto Yourself Before You Do Unto Others

by Rick Baker
On Apr 18, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Do unto others as you would have them do to unto you

[The Golden Rule...the foundation of major religions]

***

Don't do unto others what you wouldn't want them to do unto you

[a restatement that aligns with a Spirited definition of Integrity]

***

Do Unto Yourself Before You Do Unto Others

[a restatement that adds even tougher limits...and thickens the skin]

***

He who carries the gold makes the rules

[as if that's not enough of them - another Golden Rule]

***

Constructive Criticism - make sure you can take a self-injection of that oxymoron

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Copyright © 2012. W.F.C (Rick) Baker. All Rights Reserved.