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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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An ounce of predilection is worth a pound of objection.

by Rick Baker
On Apr 1, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Human beings are biased creatures. Our minds are geared to recognize patterns and, sometimes, our minds jump to conclusions. As one example, this happens when we accurately identify a piece of information but conclude, inaccurately, it is part of a certain pattern. In common words, we call that "jumping to conclusions."

When we jump to conclusions we use one piece of information to reach an inaccurate conclusion. 

This was a real benefit in prehistoric times...jumping to conclusions saved lives.

In business, often, jumping to conclusions is more problem than benefit.

Sometimes, when we jump to conclusions, we also try to foist our inaccurate conclusions on others. If we happen to be a leader who does this then an ounce of our jumping to conclusions can offset a pound of followers' objections...and this, over time, kills followers' spirit.

[That's the reality of position power.]

Tags:

Delegation & Decisions | Thinking as in Think and Grow Rich | Thought Tweets

Crossing the transition line in a close-knit group

by Rick Baker
On Mar 27, 2017

Every time I take on a new succession-planning project I stop and think about the best ways to share what I have learned. While some may approach succession as if it lends itself to a pre-planned set of procedures, I don't view it that way.  Succession is one of those extremely personal things, and by 'personal' I mean succession is wrapped up in the needs of more than one person. And, we have to face the fact – people’s needs can be multi-faceted, nuanced and complex. 

I found myself comparing success to sports. I concluded it would definitely fall in the zone of some sort of endurance competition…an endurance competition involving a team…perhaps, an amazing race. As I was thinking along that direction I thought of bicycle racing teams like the Tour de France. A big problem with that analogy is only one person gets to win the bicycle race.  In successful succession projects all the players on the team have to win. Another big problem is, if it's done right succession planning really isn’t a race at all. It isn't a contest that lends itself to stopwatches or time-clocks. In fact, when it is run against time-clocks succession falls short of full success, creating at best some winners but also some losers.

After spending some time thinking about the various sports analogies, I decided there is no real-life sport that can be used to explain business succession. The closest I could do was to create a new sport which would go like this: 

  • there's only one team playing it, so external competition is not a key factor – on the other hand, internal communication is a critical factor; 
  • every player on the team takes turn piggybacking other players, carrying them from time to time for various distances, exerting strength to offset others’ weaknesses;
  • all of the players must cross the transition line as a close-knit group, within arms-length of one another; and,
  • the final requirement is after the transition line has been passed everyone on the team feels good about themselves and each of the other players on the team.

Doesn’t that sound like an interesting sport...a wonderful thing to experience!

Character reigns supreme

by Rick Baker
On Mar 21, 2017

I heard today that assessments aimed at finding high-calibre personnel are no longer considering intelligence and talent but are now concentrating all attention on character.

While I expect this is an exaggeration of the current state of recruiting practices, I think it is wrong to underestimate the value of intelligence and talent. And, I believe the use of character assessment alone is a very troubling way to go about determining people’s wherewithal.  

Intelligence, Talents & Character: it seems to me all three of these things are critical to success. I can't imagine any meaningful achievement that does not contain portions of all of these attributes.  

Intelligence is multifaceted and can work in mysterious ways.  Regardless, it's hard to imagine anything being built without a significant level of intelligence. Intelligence correlates the success…in all endeavours.

Talents are the fundamental pieces required for mastery of task and the construction of all meaningful things. When people use their talents at work they take steps to fulfill their ultimate potential. The more they use their talents the greater their opportunity to succeed.

Character is the overriding quality that inspires thought, promotes trust, and influences action. Character is a construct of personal values, personal rules & morals, and a number of other facets, including self-control and power of will. Character is about authenticity and trueness, consistency and doing the right things. 

Clearly, character is an essential ingredient. It is easy to accept that character is the key ingredient. But, that should not confuse the facts around the importance of intelligence and talent

Battles require people; people require battles.

by Rick Baker
On Mar 13, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

We all have heard it takes two to tango. Tango requires people...two. Battles require people...at least one.

Battles are a fact of human nature. The question is: Do you back into battles or do you pick them well? Is logic in action when you select your battles? Does self-control determine your battles and how you fight them? Do your battles align with your strengths? 

Negative feelings by their very nature tend to alienate and isolate us. Then they go about wasting much energy.

by Rick Baker
On Mar 12, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Feelings are mind states where egos are at work justifying their appetites.

While the voices of ego are little, they are incessant. Barrages of little voices fight to serve and satisfy the huge appetites of egos. Egos, their appetites, and their little but incessant voices are not to be ignored.

Mistakes become demons only when they know we haven't learned their lessons.

by Rick Baker
On Mar 4, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

We give life to our mistakes when we allow them to get the better of us. As we worry about them, we give them power...the power of demons. When we learn the lessons they are trying to teach us, our mistakes no longer possess the power of demons. Objective thought is the key to learning lessons from our mistakes. Objective thought does its best work when our emotions are under our control. 

 

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