Rick Baker Thought Posts
Left Menu Space Holder

About the author

Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

E-mail me Send mail
Follow me LinkedIn Twitter



<<  February 2023  >>

View posts in large calendar

Recent Comments

Comment RSS

About Perfectionists

by Rick Baker
On Mar 3, 2014

Wouldn’t it be interesting if perfectionists would allow us to walk step-by-step with them as they perform their perfectionist role.

When they are being the perfectionist - do they think much, or are they simply compelled to do...and do...and do?

When perfectionists think, is their thinking confined to ruts where thoughts keep repeating while actions are stalled?

When perfectionists think, what are they thinking? Are their thoughts like those of non-perfectionists except more textured or broader in scope? Or are perfectionists' thoughts nonsensical or scattered or bizarre? 

To what extent are perfectionists’ thoughts being dragged along by feelings of need or worry or criticism? Are perfectionists' thoughts always dragged along by negative feelings? Or, are perfectionists' thoughts sometimes laced with positive feelings...or mania?

To what degree are perfectionists driven to create? Is perfectionist-behaviour aligned with building value or is it simply driven by an extra-strong interest in doing things right?

Perhaps an in-depth understanding of perfectionists’ mindsets and thought processes would put us in a much better position to help them…assuming they need, want, and are ready to accept our help.


Is perfectionism in business a dysfunction by its very name?

Is perfectionism a dysfunction that a leader simply cannot ignore...a signal that corrective action is a must?

In business, doing things right is a good thing. Like everything in business, there are costs associated with doing things right...at the least, there are the costs of time spent. And, perfectionists overspend their time. Others know this. That's likely how the label 'perfectionist' came about in the first place. So, perfectionists are inclined to spend too much time on things as they work to do those things the right way. That sounds conflicted.

Where does perfectionism end and indecision start?

Or - do these 2 things overlap?

Or - is perfectionism an exaggerated form of indecision...one destined to to thwart both good decisions and delegation? 

Questioned another way...

Is perfectionism the antidote for decisiveness?

If so, as we work at doing things right in business, can indecision help us achieve better results?


Thought Tweet #920

by Rick Baker
On Jan 24, 2014

Thought Tweet #920 In general, Canadian business leaders do not invest enough time designing ways to delegate effectively.

The Thinking  Behind The Tweet

In general, Canadian business leaders do not invest enough time designing clear work-process and they invest even less time - often, no time - designing ways to delegate effectively.

So, our business leaders have less ability to influence people.

We observe this lack of influence when we assess leaders' talents.



Delegation & Decisions | Influencing | Leaders' Thoughts | Thought Tweets

Bringing Process to People & Bringing People to Process - Part 3

by Rick Baker
On Jan 17, 2014

Link to Part 1


Bringing People to Process - What does that mean?

We can lead a horse to water but we can't make it drink.

We can lead a person to work but we can't make them do it right.

Horses have to want to drink before they drink.

People have to want to do work right before they do work right.

The Key Message: When People want to do work right, their businesses excel.

So, let's focus on helping people want to do work right. Let's not just delegate work to them, let's make sure the work to be delegated makes sense and let's make sure the delegation is performed in a most-influencing way.

The work to be delegated - that's the ingredients.

Influence - that's the key secret spice, the flavouring for success.

To do a better job of Bringing People to Process, we need better preparation. To prepare, we need to learn about people so we have a good working knowledge of WHY people become motivated and HOW we can assist them in becoming motivated. After we know these things we need to adjust our delegation processes. We also need to adjust the tools we use to communicate work-process.

Here's a 'prime example': Taking Talent to Task...i.e., to fit the context of this 3-Part series of Thought Posts, re-word that - Bring Talent to Task

NOTE: There is a very special relationship between Talents/Strengths and motivation/ability to perform Tasks well. That's why Bringing Talent to Task is a 'prime example' of how to improve your business performance.

We Bring Talent to Task when we:

  1. Know individuals' Talents & Strengths,
  2. Know the details of the work we want done [the nature of the work-process, the details of the Tasks, and the specifics of the required actions],
  3. Know how to delegate in ways that influence and cause people to feel accountable, &
  4. Perform the delegation successfully.


Anyone can bring process to people. The best leaders know it takes thought, commitment, and effort to excel at process design, including communication design and especially delegation design.

Anyone can bring people to process. The best leaders know the keys to success are individuals' self-motivation and how leaders influence people in ways that inspire the right actions to generate the right results.

Bringing Process to People & Bringing People to Process - Part 2

by Rick Baker
On Jan 16, 2014

Link to Part 1


Bringing Process to People - What does that mean?

There's a spectrum of answers to that question. The spectrum ranges from Delegation to dumping. Since dumping just creates a pile of garbage we will focus on delegation. Delegation is about assigning and transferring authority from one person to another. So, delegation is the decision-making engine of business.

Delegation is a business Process performed by People. To be more specific, delegation is the Process of assigning and transferring decision-making Processes to People. People can do this Process directly [face-to-face] or indirectly [using tools ranging from memos to phones to email, etc.].

While that's a laborious description...based on how poorly many business people handle delegation it is of value to try new tactics to cause them to give the process of delegation more thought.

There's more to Bringing Process to People.

In summary, there are 2 ways business Processes meet business People:

  1. Delegation - introduced above
  2. Tools - created by people to assist work performance and to assist delegation
In business, tools range:
  • from monitors to metal lathes
  • from wrenches to robots
  • from software solutions to 'STRENGTHSFINDER' assessments
  • from French curves to Facebook
  • from 1-Page Tools to a truck for two men
About Delegation & Tools
When business people delegate they are Bringing Process to People in two different forms:
  1. They are Bringing Future-Work Process to People - setting expectations and transferring responsibility & accountability. 
  2. They are Bringing Delegation-Communication Process to People - possibly consistent with setting expectations and transferring responsibility & accountability or possibly not consistent with those objectives.
In general, Canadian business people do not invest enough time designing clear work-process and they invest even less time - often, no time - designing ways to delegate effectively. We Canadians need to remedy these shortfalls so we are better able to influence people, inspire action, and grow business wealth. Delegation is a good place to start applying our remedies. After all, Delegation is the Decision-Making Engine of Business.

If we want our business people to excel, we need to prove we care about keeping our decision-making engines humming. 

We can use a range of tools to help keep our engines humming.

1-Page Tools are particularly helpful because they can be customized to fit specific needs and each individual's learning style. 

...to be cont'd

Bringing Process to People & Bringing People to Process - Part 1

by Rick Baker
On Jan 14, 2014

Process - What does that mean?

Processes are sequences of tasks, performed by People or machines.

The sequences of tasks can be simple. For example, a Process might have 4 task-steps which are performed in series...in a defined chronological order...the next task starts after the current task is completed. Think of making cookies from a box of pre-mixed ingredients: that's a simple Process.

The sequences of tasks can also be complicated or complex. For example, sending a man to the moon and back involves numerous task-steps sometimes happening in simple sequences, sometimes happening simultaneously [co-existing], and sometimes causing real-time adjustments to other tasks [interactive co-existence].

Processes can be easy or most-challenging.

Processes happen in either planned or unplanned ways.

And, Business Contains Only 3 Things: People, Process, & Situations.

People - What do they mean?

Now, isn't that a loaded question?


On the one hand, People are easy to define: they are folks just like you and me. 

On the other hand, each of us is unique.

While certain Processes are easy to define using words like simple, complicated, and complex, it is dangerous to assume such descriptions or definitions can be used with reliability when the topic is People. The word 'assume' was underlined to highlight the difference between assume and conclude.

With that done...

While certain Processes are easy to define using words like simple, complicated, and complex, it can be very helpful to conclude such descriptions or definitions can be used with reliability when the topic is People.

However, before concluding things about other People it is essential to know:

  1. WHY it is wrong to assume but often helpful to conclude,
  2. WHY you must conclude if you are to be successful at influencing people, &
  3. HOW to go about assessing whether or not concluding fits the specific person and situation.
All of this is around the essence of Bringing Process to People & Bringing People to Process.

You've heard the saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."

That's a piece of wisdom, which has survived the test of time.
How about - 

Success with horses has a lot to do with how you lead them to the water!

...to be cont'd

Thought Tweet #889

by Rick Baker
On Dec 12, 2013

Thought Tweet #889 When you are beating your head against an unbudging brick wall, don't make your next decision another bad one.

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Common sense sends strong suggestions to direct our thoughts. We just need to allow them to sink in and register. 


Delegation & Decisions | Thought Tweets

Copyright © 2012. W.F.C (Rick) Baker. All Rights Reserved.