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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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What matters is what you're going to do next.

by Rick Baker
On Mar 2, 2017

It doesn't matter what you've done or what you know or even who you know.

What matters is what you're going to do next and, of more importance, whether or not people are positively influenced by what you do next.

Sure, from time to time, it's fun to reminisce about the glory days. On the other hand, the glory days are not here again until you make it so. And as you make it so you may not be able to do it the same way it happened the last time.

As Dylan taught us - the times they are a-changin'.  

You will need to adapt and accommodate to the current situations.

As Darwin taught us - "Survival goes not to the strongest or the most intelligent but to the one who is most adaptable to change."  

Yes, it is true, what you know is important to a degree.

Better stated, what you know contains potential value. Specialized knowledge is of particular value. The extent of the value of your knowledge is determined by your ability to identify opportunities and do constructive things to convert those opportunities into positive changes [desired by other people].

Your future success boils down to how you intend to put your strengths - that is, how you intend to put your talents, knowledge, and skills - to good use in the future.

Your future success depends on whether or not you can positively influence other people to help you achieve the goals you envision.

Your future success depends on what you're going to do next: positive change happens one action-step at a time.

In support of self-consciousness

by Rick Baker
On Feb 27, 2017

In our lexicon self-consciousness has a weakness connotation.

We have been conditioned to think of 'self-conscious' people as timid people, people who cower under negative self-images.

Let's give this another think.

Better still, let's replace it all with constructive thought.

Self-consciousness is a good thing:

  • It means the person is giving some thought to self...it’s an acknowledgement that thinking about self is an important thing to do.
  • It means the person is aware of self...it’s a foundation upon which self-control can grow.
  • It means the person is growing knowledge of self…it’s the vital step toward self-improvement.

Like all other skills self-awareness, self-control, self-knowledge and self-improvement require guidance and relentless practise. And practise leads to mastery of skills when its guidance-system is housed in an educated, open and self-conscious mind. So, self-consciousness leads to strength in thought and action. Conversely, strength cannot exist when self-consciousness is absent.

Never should we assume self-conscious thought and awareness is only directed toward the negatives. For each of us, self is the essential ingredient. We ought to be conscious of that. And, we ought to wrap that consciousness in constructive mindsets, allowing as little room as possible for negativity.

We face an awesome choice – we can choose to accept self-conscious thought as the recipe for finding our most-positive things…like our talent, our courage, our confidence, our conviction, & our curiosity.

How to make sure your confidence does not threaten your followers.

by Rick Baker
On Feb 16, 2017

Some followers are intimidated by Leader's self-confidence.

Here are some Spirited suggestions, to help you make sure you do not come across that way: 

  • Be authentic…it is OK to be on the reserved side of centre if that is your character…it is OK to be on the boisterous side if that is your character
  • Be committed to working on self-improvement…i.e., raising his or her own self-confidence when that is required, as it will be from time to time
  • Focus on strengths: personal strengths and the strengths possessed by others
  • As Dale Carnegie taught,  be "hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise".
  • Make full and appropriate use of humour…some leaders have just a little of it and will need to remind themselves of the importance of putting it to good use…other leaders have heavy doses of it and they will need to remind themselves to never let it go too far…self-humour is best…humour at the expense of others is an absolute no-no
  • Listen…resurrect that art if it has become lost
  • Master your emotions…and keep them under control [most of the time]
  • Live with Integrity…as defined here

Two human abilities rise above all others: intelligence and self-control.

by Rick Baker
On Jan 3, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Every human being possesses the seeds of intelligence and self-control at birth. To a certain degree, and the degree varies from person to person, we develop these two abilities over time. The amount of intelligence and self-control we develop determines the extent we are able to express our strengths. 

Tags:

STRENGTHS: People-Focused for Success | Thought Tweets

Driving on the Talent Track

by Rick Baker
On Dec 30, 2016

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Talent as: “a special ability that allows someone to do something well”.

To get on the Talent Track, it is important to understand Talents are not what we do well. Talents are closely linked to why we do things well.

Talents are the 'substances' that define us and make us unique.

As Simon Sinek might say – "Talents are about our Why rather than our How or our What."

We all have the ability to deliver treasures. We just need to find the ways to free up our treasures. Our Talents are our keys. Only when we understand our Talents do we know how to use our keys to unlock our treasures.

When we take the time to investigate and understand our unique set of Talents we gain several advantages.

As examples, when we thoroughly understand our Talents we improve our ability to:

  • clarify and express our personal Values & the Rules that are most sacred to us,
  • ability to clarify and express our Vision...Purpose...Mission [if you like to use that word], and
  • define meaningful Goals

And there's one more extremely important thing: when we thoroughly understand other people's Talents we improve our ability to understand what makes them tick...and that allows us to drive on the Talent Track.

 

15 Ways to Influence Thinking & Inspire Action

by Rick Baker
On Dec 22, 2016

Vision inspires

Leadership has a few essential ingredients. For example, the leader must possess a level of intelligence and the leader must possess a character that appeals to followers. Another essential ingredient is Vision. Good-to-great leaders hold a long-lasting, vivid image of what they want in their minds and they communicate that message to their followers. Some good-to-great leaders have an innate gift of communication. Other good-to-great leaders learn the art of communication.

Values fuel the right actions

Everyone lives by a set of personal Values, whether or not they are expressed verbally. The greatest of leaders naturally live by their Values in a most consistent manner. And they have a habit of painting verbal pictures around their Values. Good-to-great leaders' thoughts and actions and communications are consistent. This clarity around Values sends a consistent message to followers. The message energizes followers. In this way, the leaders' Values fuel everything.

Goals provide direction

Good-to-great leaders set long-term goals and they set short-term goals...they know the importance of little milestone steps that guide positive actions toward the long-term goal. Good-to-great leaders know the linkage between good habits and long-term goals. Good habits help people achieve their long-term goals whereas bad habits do not. Short-term goals provide the opportunity for testing, doing, failing, learning, and adjusting the next sets of short-term goals and actions. 

Intent doesn't go without saying

Good-to-great leaders, when compared to average people/leaders, somehow, do a better job of understanding other people. So, somehow, they do a better job of choosing people whose intentions are more aligned to fit on common ground...rallying around a cause. Some good-to-great leaders possess natural gifts of empathy. Other good-to-great leaders figure out how to read other people and they start the process by sharing discussion of Intentions. When in doubt, they ask.

Stories get remembered

Great leaders are great communicators. They are attuned to their life-experiences and how some of those life-experiences serve as excellent examples that can be shared with other people, followers and others who could be followers in the future. Great leaders create powerful, magnetic stories around these pertinent life-experiences. They practice delivering these stories. Then they use every opportunity to present and repeat the stories...to anyone and everyone who will listen.

Take Immediate Steps to Improve Communication

When communication gets off track, straying from the desired direction, good leaders work to improve communication so it returns to the right track. Good leaders do not let interpersonal conflicts fester. They know success relies on a level of harmony between followers. So, when dysfunction is evident they address it. Good leaders communicate to ensure their followers' harmony and focus.

Design Tools to Help People

Tools serve people...making their lives easier, making their lives more productive, adding quality to their lives...assisting them as they build. Good leaders know the power inherent in tools. Good leaders ensure their people have access to good tools. And, to maximize opportunities for performance good leaders ensure their people have customized tools...creative, customized tools.

Focus on Solutions

Leaders see solutions. Solutions and solution-thinking are around the essence of leadership. Good leaders connect with followers who are like minded about solutions. Some followers are naturally solution-oriented, others need to learn that problems are the routes to solutions, growth, and opportunities. Leaders do 2 things to promote solution-orientation: they lead by example...and...they teach.

Seek Simple 

When people go about business things can get complicated and that can happen quickly. Good leaders know the difference between simple, complicated, and complex. Good leaders conserve their energy, saving it for the complicated and complex things. One strategy that ensures energy is conserved so it can be put to best use is Seeking Simple...separating wheat from chaff...helping followers do the same.

Understand Business Contains Only 3 Things: People, Process, & Situations

"People, Processes, & Situations" is an example of seeking simple.  Good leaders know success is all about people...so good leaders invest time connecting with, serving, mentoring, and strengthening good people. Good leaders ensure processes [including tools] serve people, helping people convert actions into results. Good leaders know situations have a most-powerful effect on behaviour, so they plan for and construct situations.

Understand People Do Only 3 Things: Good Habits, Bad Habits, & New Things

Good Habits are things people think and do that help them achieve long-term desires and goals. Bad Habits are things that people think and do that do not help them achieve long-term desires and goals. Good leaders use these simple definitions to inject clarity into their lives. Then good leaders work at reducing their performance of Bad Habits and expanding their performance of Good Habits. And, good leaders test New Things...relentlessly seeking more Good Habits.

Take Talent To Task

Good leaders are fascinated by people's talents. When people's talents show a capability of aligning with the trust of the leader's goals, good leaders ensure the talented person has access to (1) opportunities to put the talent to productive use, (2) specialized knowledge to complement the talent, and (3) time to practice skills to hone the talent into a personal strength. Then good leaders don't leave things to chance - they help people connect personal strengths to important tasks. 

Don’t force change…construct it with comfort

Good leaders know change is constructive only when people are comfortable. And personal and business growth happens when people learn how to expand their comfort zones. Knowing these things, good leaders consider people's comfort/stress levels and design change in increments that help expand comfort zones without triggering the destructive consequences that naturally happen when people are forced into discomfort zones. Good leaders also know this correct approach to change 'dominoes' as confidence escalates.

Repeat clearly, "I do have time!"

Good leaders know the importance of leading by example. So, they know if they say "I don't have time" or "I'm too busy" their followers will pick up on that, think the same way, talk the same way, and act accordingly...spreading the lack-of-abundance mindset to one and all. Knowing this, good leaders remove the "I don't have time" & "I'm too busy" bad habit from their thoughts and words. They replace the bad habit with good habits: as examples, they apply the 80/20 Rule and they practice abundance thought and solution talk.

Change character for the better

All great leaders changed their character. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln performed one of the greatest self-transformations. When he was a young man he had the habit of openly criticizing other people. In 1842 Lincoln publicly criticized Illinois state employee James Shields. Shields took exception to the criticism and challenged Lincoln to a duel. The 2 men faced one another with weapons in hands. Fortunately their seconds intervened. Lincoln used the incident as a life-lesson and he chose to change his character for the better...rarely criticizing others. Lincoln's change of character took him from the dueling field to the White House. 

 

 

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