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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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You don't settle for just learning when the seas are calm; you choose to learn when all Hell’s breakin’ loose out there.

by Rick Baker
On May 20, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

We are well into that Future Shocked world.

Some say it's a scary place.

Some see amazing opportunities.

Regardless, all of us have but one Earth-life to live...might as well participate in the learning experience.


 

The best solutions wear simple clothes.

by Rick Baker
On May 18, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Fancy clothes do not ensure value within.

The greater the need for fancy clothing for solutions the less the value within.

Some ancient wisdom....Ockham's Razor

 

Tags:

Seeking Simple! | Solutions & Opportunities | Thought Tweets | Wisdom: Surviving the Test of Time

We benefit when someone or something makes us do what we can.

by Rick Baker
On May 9, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Even the great Ralph Waldo Emerson needed that sort of help. Emerson said, "What I most need is somebody to make me do what I can." 

People Only Do 3 Things: Good HabitsBad Habits, & New Things

When we want to develop better habits we need an injection of accountability; we benefit when someone or something makes us do what we can.

Don’t be Passionate about Shorthand Abstractions…they have no Integrity

by Rick Baker
On Jan 12, 2017

Over the last few years, I have written and talked about the communication problems that happen when business leaders use words like Passion and Integrity to lead/encourage/inspire people to be the best they can be at work. The words Passion and Integrity are laced with double entendre and have been overused and misused to the point of obfuscation. Put another way, these two words have been clichéed to the brink of uselessness. Their use has evolved and become mostly bad habit.

Like many of the words and phrases we exchange with one another, the words Passion and Integrity are shorthand abstractions. You can also think of these two words as troubled memes. The words Passion and Integrity have been passed down the generations and passed around the tables for so long and by so many that intent and meaning have been bastardized as happens in ‘telephone games’. 

Business leaders should exercise care when they communicate, especially when they use shorthand abstractions that are likely to touch sensitive territories including personal values, morals, emotions and powerful feelings. 

Why should leaders take greater care when we use shorthand abstractions?

Here’s some thoughts from Tor Norretranders’ –

“That is also the point with abstractions. We want them to be shorthand for a lot of information that was digested in the process leading to the use of the abstraction but not present when we use it. Such abstractions have depth. We love them. Other abstractions have no depth. They are shallow, just used to impress the other guy. They do not help us. We hate them.”

Article – ‘Depth’ by Tor Norretranders, Science Author. An excerpt from John Brockman’s edge.org inspired book ‘This Will Make You Smarter’, (2012)


PS: Yes - interesting use of the shorthand abstractions ‘love’ and ‘hate’ in the quote above. That goes right to the heart and brain of my message here.

PPS: Yes - much of what we communicate has the forms of both shorthand abstraction and bad habit. That's why we provide definitions of words and explanations: this is one way to help people understand what we are trying to communicate. 

 

Discern, then Do - and make a Difference

by Rick Baker
On Dec 21, 2016

Nike says, "Just Do It!"

While that may lead to better health, more energy and more fun it sure creates inefficiencies when it happens at work.

The tech gurus used to say, "Fail quick, fail often" and maybe they still say that. While that may promote curiosity, experimentation and learning it also can create havoc in the typical workplace.

Putting these sorts of slogans/advice together we have experienced a groundswell of advice promoting action without sufficient consideration of the appropriateness of that action.

In the old days, business consultants presented "Ready, Aim, Fire" analogies to help business people understand the need for thinking before doing...paraphrased, "Ready, Aim, Do". That advice was meaningful, specifically because it included the concept of 'aiming', which of course brings to mind pictures of 'aiming at targets'.

Business targets and goals are important. If in doubt, just ask any business consultant…or your boss…or your CEO. Targets and goals help us clarify where we want to go.  With the end-point in mind we can figure out how we want to get there. Specifically, we can figure out what needs to be done to get there.  Similarly, we can figure out what we don't want to do because we recognize some actions will not help us get to our goals.

While that all sounds simple enough, most people in business don't do it.

Most people do not test their actions against their goals.

Put another way, the 80/20 Rule applies: most business people spend most of their time (perhaps 80%) doing things that do not take them toward their goals.

Here are two practical tools that can be used to improve your “Ready, Aim, Fire”:

 

Personal Organization Tool #1

To be accurate, Pareto inspired tools like the one above. He recognized that in many situations 20% of the 'causes' generate 80% of the 'effects/results/outcomes'. The key message here is: when it comes to doing things, be discerning so you increase the likelihood your performance of work will deliver the results you desire.

 

 

Personal Organization Tool #2:

 

Stephen R. Covey understood tasks had 2 major dimensions: Importance and Urgency. He designed a simple matrix/grid to help people be more discerning when performing work tasks.

More details to follow...

‘Belief’ brings peace of mind, confidence & success

by Rick Baker
On Oct 13, 2016

Have you noticed when you truly believe something will happen you become calmer and have a greater clarity of focus?

Have you noticed when you truly believe something will happen your worries melt away and/or are replaced by feelings of certainty and confidence?

For example, consider situations where you have been confused…situations where you face many options and are trying to make an important decision.  In these situations, you consider and weigh some options. You deliberate. You decide. And, sometimes your thinking produces an incredibly clear decision, backed by not just decisiveness but also a belief that the actions to follow will result in achievement of the desired goal.

Of course, this does not happen with all of your decisions. However, it does happen for some. And, when you fully believe in the outcome - would you not agree - the successful result is almost guaranteed?  When your decisions are backed by strong belief, your confidence is bolstered, you have greater peace of mind, your actions are definite, and success inevitably follows.

Belief is the prime ingredient, the catalyst for results.

Stated another way…

"Belief is the thermostat that regulates what we accomplish in life."

David J Schwartz, 'The Magic of Thinking BIG' (1959…2015 audio book)

***

Belief enables us to accomplish:

  • Success – achievement of our goals
  • Confidence – an essential trait of character
  • Peace of Mind – which allows us to enjoy our successes, learn from our errors, and accept other people’s frailties

***

Napoleon Hill said...

What the mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve.

[What a wonderful thought to keep top of mind...always!]

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