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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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When we want a person to succeed at doing a work-task

by Rick Baker
On Oct 31, 2014

When we want a person to succeed at doing a work-task we must consider 3 things:

1.    The Task [the thoughts and action steps required for success]

2.    The Person’s Strengths [Innate Talent + Specialized Knowledge + Practiced Skill] at performing the Task.

3.    The Person’s Frame of Mind [good mood?, bad mood?, what emotions/feelings? - does the person enjoy the Task?]

If the person accurately understands the task, has the strength required to perform the task, and has a positive attitude about doing the task then the task will be done right.

If any of these 3 pieces are missing then there is a high likelihood the task will not be performed well.

The keys to helping people succeed at work tasks are (1) assuming as little as possible and (2) helping as much as possible when people illustrate they are struggling to get over a hurdle. To help a person get over a hurdle the leader needs to be able to accurately identify the hurdle. Does the hurdle rest in the person or in the task?

It is easier to remove the hurdles in tasks. So, leaders should remove as many of those hurdles as possible…establishing clear processes and testing those processes with many people to prove the task is doable.

Why we should think about work-tasks before delegating them

by Rick Baker
On Oct 29, 2014

When leaders and managers spend time thinking about work-tasks before they delegate them to people they gain advantage over those who choose not to invest the time.

They gain advantage for 3 main reasons:

  1. They improve their ability to match people's talents to work-tasks,
  2. They improve their ability to communicate about work-tasks, and 
  3. They make fewer delegation errors.
It helps to answer questions like these before tasks are delegated...
  • Is it a routine task or a not-routine task?
  • Is there a system/process for doing the task?
  • Is that system/process in writing?
  • Has that system been well communicated to all involved and affected?

If the leader or manager does not understand both those things then the leader is taking a chance – taking a risk – when people are assigned to perform tasks.

To make this point more graphically - It is risky to assume bright people can perform simple tasks.

Another graphic point – When a task is not performed well there are only a few reasons why it is not performed well.

Seeking Simple, let’s create a short list of the reasons why a task is not performed well:

1.    The task is impossible, so nobody could do it

2.    The task is possible but not clearly defined/described, so people may do the wrong thing

3.    The task is possible but the person doesn’t understand it: the person isn’t capable of understanding the way the task was defined/described; the person, for one reason or another, didn’t listen…the communication failed

4.    The task is possible & the person understands it  but lacks the talent to perform it

5.    The task is possible & the person understands it  but lacks the knowledge to perform it

6.    The task is possible & the person understands it  but lacks the skill [practice/experience] to perform it

7.    The task is possible & the person is capable of doing it but chooses not to do it: the person chooses to spend the time doing something else; multi-tasking - the person does something deemed more important and runs out of time; the person doesn't like the task; the person is prone to procrastinate; the person doesn’t like the boss or the company - sabotage

Yes – even the short list contains many possibilities. That’s the challenge of managing and leading people. Many things can go wrong according to Murphy they do go wrong.

So - leaders and managers need systems/processes for sorting through the possibilities to determine why things went wrong.


Delegation & Decisions | Leaders' Thoughts | STRENGTHS: People-Focused for Success

With a fanfare of keen sense of judgment, unleash creativity.

by Rick Baker
On Jul 30, 2014

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Keen Sense Of Justice - in his 1937 classic 'Think and Grow Rich', Napoleon Hill taught this leadership attribute. 

Somehow, our business leaders often miss this essential attribute. 

Perhaps, many business leaders see themselves as just too busy to spend time on considering their need to make people-decisions that confirm a keen sense of justice? 

Well then - just bear in mind the most successful people have more time.

Justice and judgment...related words...they're all about good decisions.

Magic happens when creativity meets good decisions.



Delegation & Decisions | Thought Tweets

Delegation is like walking a tightrope: a slip-up can bring you down and failure to step gets you nowhere.

by Rick Baker
On Jul 1, 2014

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Take Delegation seriously. It is really important to do it and to allow yourself and your people to learn from errors.


Delegation & Decisions | Humour | Thought Tweets

Delegation - Asking for Help

by Rick Baker
On Jun 4, 2014

Delegation is a communication within a spectrum ranging from asking for help to telling people what to do. In most situations it's best to approach delegation as an activity that is asking for help. People take to helping far more than they take to being told what to do. So when you're delegating keep in mind you are really only asking people to help you.

What's the best way to do that?

What's the best way to ask people to help you?

What special methods of asking for help yield the most consistent and constructive results?


Delegation & Decisions | Questions?: The Art of Asking Good Questions

Thought Tweet #993

by Rick Baker
On May 7, 2014

Thought Tweet #993 When the status quo is getting you down, take your finger off the limbo switch!


The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Don't bend over backwards, holding on to the status quo.


Change: Creating Positive Change | Delegation & Decisions | Humour | Thought Tweets

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