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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Striving, Driving, & Relating

by Rick Baker
On May 19, 2011
What are your talents?
Most of us have a fuzzy answer to that question.
How do you define the major categories of talents?
Most of us have a fuzzy answer to that question.
Isn’t that interesting!
Stop the next business person you see. It doesn’t matter who the person is. Could be someone you know. Could be a stranger. Regardless, stop that next business person. Ask that next business person:
Are talents an important thing…YES or NO?
I am guessing the person will answer, “YES”.
Ask a bunch of people that same question.
Again, I am guessing the vast majority of them will answer, “YES”.
“YES, talents are an important thing.”
If I am wrong then the rest of this Thought Post is wasted effort…please do not read the rest of it.
If you are still reading...
Ask that next business person the following question:
What talents do you rely on when you do your job?
Listen carefully to the answer.
Doesn’t the answer sound fuzzy!
I am re-reading ‘First, Break All The Rules – What The World’s Greatest Mangers Do Differently’ [Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman, 1999, by the Gallup Organization]. Their observation is accurate. People do not have a clear understanding of their talents. And, as Gallup concluded in 1999, people often provide answers that mix up talents and weaknesses… people claim their talents is also their weaknesses. Often, the talent they mention is not a talent…rather, it is a skill. Or, instead of a skill or a talent, people claim a piece of specialized knowledge is their talent.
The fuzziness expands if you ask about the major categories of talents, let alone how to structure a business team to make the best use of people’s talents. [that is, people’s amazingly-diverse talents]
Isn’t that interesting!


STRENGTHS: People-Focused for Success

Sales Tweet #217

by Rick Baker
On May 17, 2011
Sales Tweet #217 When you recognize your strengths, click with people, and can lead change….you can sell.
The Thinking Behind the Sales Tweet
These 3 things are the talents of leaders and successful entrepreneurs. Successful leaders and successful entrepreneurs have much in common with successful sales people.


STRENGTHS: People-Focused for Success | Thought Tweets

Sales Tweet #214

by Rick Baker
On May 12, 2011
Sales Tweet #214 Don’t make a career out of weaknesses….sounds simple enough…but…
The Thinking Behind the Sales Tweet
…but…do you know your Strengths? Do you really know your Strengths? If so – how do you know you know them? If so – what actions are you taking to make sure you employ them at work? Have you spent as much time on this as you did learning how to spell? Have you spent as much time on this as you did learning how to do math?


STRENGTHS: People-Focused for Success | Thought Tweets

Stop And Think

by Rick Baker
On May 3, 2011
I notice ‘Stop And Think’ is a common thread in self-help literature.
On the other hand, maybe I notice it because I am predisposed to finding it?
I notice an array of Stop And Think recommendations:
  • Stop And Think before you act…an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
  • Stop And Think before you react…social skills and conflict resolution education
  • Stop And Think and Grow Rich1…“what Man can conceive and believe Man can achieve
One piece of Stop And Think advice really catches my attention:
Stop And Think about how you feel
 That is the most powerful piece of Stop And Think advice.
It is most powerful because, with practice, it can be done very quickly, it can yield immediate rewards, and it can solidify long-term success.
Stop And Think about how you feel can be done quickly…
It is as easy as taking a few seconds to make a mental note as you face situations and activities.
Stop And Think about how you feel can yield immediate rewards, with practice

You can learn to adjust your feelings and behaviour.
You can replace Bad Habits with Good Habits.
You can be more comfortable in situations.
You can do better at many tasks.
Stop And Think about how you feel can solidify long-term success…
You can uncover the nuances of your unique Strengths. That’s a major key to success.
You can develop a more pleasing personality. That’s another major key.
You can hone your decision-making skills. That’s another major key.
You can find it easier to set life goals. That’s another major key.
You can enjoy your work. That’s another major key.
Stop And Think About How You Feel
Success Simplified
  1. Napoleon Hill, ‘Think and Grow Rich’ www.naphill.org

Sales Tweet #191

by Rick Baker
On Apr 11, 2011
Sales Tweet #191 You must recognize your Strengths.
The Thinking Behind the Sales Tweet
I see this as the 1st key to success. Know your Strengths. And, I like the way StrengthsFinder defines Strengths: Strengths = Natural Talents + Knowledge + Skills. This straightforward definition allows us to zero in on the things required to build Strengths. And, StrengthsFinder provides a good way to get started at this very-worthwhile work. www.strengthsfinder.com


STRENGTHS: People-Focused for Success | Thought Tweets

Entrepreneurs must know about people strengths

by Rick Baker
On Mar 29, 2011
Some time ago I was hired to help a sales person overcome a sales slump. The fellow had many years of sales experience and success. He had joined a new company and sales were not being made as planned. When I asked how he felt about his situation he said he did not believe he could succeed in his current role. I asked why he stayed in the job. He said he felt obligated to the company that had hired him.
I talked with the company executives. They also felt the salesperson would not succeed. I asked why they kept the salesperson. They said they felt the salesperson just might change and succeed. They wanted to give him a full chance.
Some weeks later, the sales person was fired.
That is a story I have witnessed or been involved directly in many, many times during my career. Sometimes it was a sales person, sometimes it was a Controller, sometimes it was a President…but…the story was essentially the same:
  • A person was struggling in a business role
  • That person knew success was highly unlikely
  • The person’s boss knew the person was struggling
  • The person’s boss believed the person probably would not succeed
  • Somebody thought the person might change
  • Later, maybe in a week or maybe years later, the person was fired
After witnessing that story many times I asked myself, Why?
Over time, the answers became clear.
One answer is:
To excel as an entrepreneur you must know about people strengths.
You must know
  • Your own strengths
  • Other people’s strengths
  • How to best use as much of those strengths as possible
That sounds simple enough, but in practice it is not simple.
I read a lot of self-help literature.
A couple years ago, I read a series of books inspired by the Gallup group, good work called StrengthsFinder.  
StrengthsFinder is a system designed to help people identify their talents and build their strengths. You can buy the books and take an on-line assessment. I did that.
Then I introduced as many business people as I could to the StrengthsFinder concept. StrengthsFinder may or may not identify your exact themes of talent. However, based on the numerous assessments I have seen it is directionally correct.
StrengthsFinder is one tool for self-knowledge…there are many other tools.
The point I am trying to make is I have learned people’s strengths are a key to entrepreneurial success. And, you can educate yourself on how to go about understanding your strengths. When a team of people works at learning each person’s individual strengths there is a much greater likelihood goals will be achieved.
When work aligns with peoples’ strengths people can be passionate about the work. Passion can focus the work. Passion can reduce stress.
These are good things, worth working on.


Entrepreneur Thinking | STRENGTHS: People-Focused for Success

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