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About business development Excellence…

by Rick Baker
On Jun 14, 2011
A dozen things you better know
1. You better know your Chief Desire
Whether you have a vivid lifelong Vision or a keen interest in accomplishing something important during the next few months, know what you want. Write down what you want in as simple and clear terms as possible. Napoleon Hill used the terms ‘Definite Purpose’ and ‘Definite Chief Aim’ to describe ‘what you want’. He stressed the importance of definiteness of purpose. To get through the toughest times, which you will no doubt encounter…you must make a habit of stoking the flame of your Chief Desire.
Key Resources:
  • Napoleon Hill, ‘Think and Grow Rich
  • Spirited Leaders Academy Workshops #1 & #2
2. You better know how to apply your Strengths to work
Some activities invigorate you so much you shine and time flies when you perform them. You perform at your best when you do these activities. These signal your strengths and your personal strengths are your key to business development success.
Key Resources:
  • Tom Rath – ‘StrengthsFinder 2.0
  • Spirited Leaders Workshop on Strengths
3. You better know how to manage your Weaknesses for work
You find some activities grating. They drain your enthusiasm. Even if you perform them well you will never excel at them and they will never cause business development excellence. Learn how to manage your work so your weaknesses have minimal impact.
Key Resources:
  • Marcus Buckingham, ‘GO Put Your Strengths To Work
  • Spirited Leaders Workshop on Strengths
4. You better know how to make Connections With People
Business is about PEOPLE. To do business you must connect with people. Your good reputation is an essential ingredient. If you are a natural connector then you have a tremendous advantage. If you are not a natural connector then you will need help from ‘matchmakers’ who illustrate strength in making valuable, timely business connections.
Key Resources:
  • Malcolm Gladwell, ‘The Tipping Point
  • Spirited Leaders Workshop on Connecting
5. You better know how to Click With People
You must learn how to obtain what you desire while satisfying the needs of other people or, at the very least, not violating the needs of other people. Excellence happens under an environment of aligned, harmonious effort. Work on expanding your pleasing personality. Ask great questions. That’s so important it must be repeated: Ask great questions!
Key Resources:
  • Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman, ‘Click
  • Spirited Leaders Workshop on Connecting
6. You better know how to Lead Change
People only do 3 things: Good Habits, Bad Habits, & New Things. And, ‘Constructive Criticism’ is an oxymoron. Remember those two simple facts when you work to cause Clients to feel good about having a long term relationship with you…and remember those two simple facts when you want to help other people to become your Clients.
Key Resources:
  • Dr. Jonathan Haidt, ‘Happiness Hypothesis
  • Chip Heath and Dan Heath, ‘Made to Stick’ & ‘Switch
  • Spirited Leaders Academy Workshop #2
7. You better know your business development Hedgehog & More*
* Hedgehog, Differential Advantage or Unique Selling Proposition, & Value Propositions
Stand out! Work at a business that can provide simple clear answers to tough questions like:
  • What do you excel at doing?
  • How are you different from your competitors?
  • How are your products & services different from your competitors’?
  • Why should I buy from you?
Key Resources:
8. You better know your business Target Markets
Do not limit your target market thinking to demographics. That just scratches the surface. Always remember people place the orders. Always remember people’s buying habits are heavily influenced by emotions and justified [later] with logic. Watch what they do. Observe with a clear and open mind. Seek the roots of behaviour patterns.
Key Resources:
  • Jeffrey Gitomer, ‘Sales Bible
  • Guy Kawasaki, ‘Reality Check
  • Spirited Leaders Academy Workshop #3
9. You better know your Business Development Pillars
Today, your business development must be supported by several marketing & sales pillars. You need a pillar of social media presence. You need at least one pillar of promotion. You need a pillar of cold calling. You need more than that. And, all your pillars must be pointed in the same direction…your marketing & sales actions must be integrated…your marketing & sales pillars must complement and enhance each other.
Key Resources:
10. You better know your business ‘Master Rules’
4 strategic things set the stage for your ‘Master Rules’. Those 4 things are your business’ shared Values, Vivid Vision, key success factors, and key failure factors. ‘Master Rules’ are the link that bonds your strategic thoughts to your practical actions. So, ‘Master Rules’ must be clear and simple. And, ‘Master Rules’ must be repeated. ‘Master Rules’ must also be few in number…this ensures boundaries are set on actions without stifling creativity.
Key Resources:
11. You better know your business Goals
S.M.A.R.T. Goals worked well in prior generations ago and they worked well a decade or two ago. Now, Goals must be more textured. When you set goals, it is essential to anticipate people reactions…specifically, you must understand in advance the emotional reactions your goals are likely trigger. This applies to the emotional reactions of your people, your clients, your suppliers, etc. You can do this by adding an ACRE of considerations when you set SMART goals:
A Action
C Conversion
R Repercussion
E Emotions
Key Resources:
12. You better know what you must Measure and Measure what you must know
Performance Tracking & Key Performance Indicators: these are pure gold when you have the discipline to establish them and make them Good Habits. This is one area in business where zero tolerance is the best policy: if it’s worth doing then it’s worth measuring. Conversely, if it isn’t worth measuring then why would you bother doing it?
Key Resources:
  • Douglas W. Hubbard, ‘How To Measure Anything
  • Brent Peterson and Gaylan Nielson, ‘Fake Work
  • https://rickbaker.ca/post/2010/01/19/CHANGING-FOR-THE-BETTER-Good-Habits-Bad-Habits-New-Things.aspx
  • Spirited Leaders Academy Workshop #6
13. You better know exactly how Your Role contributes to your business
There are 3 Steps:
  • Ensure role clarity…role descriptions, etc
  • Ensure reward clarity…goals, performance, & rewards
  • Perform an iterative process: test Your Role against every one of the first 12 Things You Better Know. Do this step now. And do this step at least once per year.
Key Resources:

Not Key Success Factors – Key Success Rules

by Rick Baker
On Apr 28, 2011
Spirited Leaders conducts a series of 6 workshops, designed to share our key thoughts about 6 areas where Leadership skill results in ‘big ROI’.
The 6 areas are:
  1. Leader’s Values
  2. Leader’s Vision
  3. Ideal Clients
  4. Key Success Rules [formerly, Key Success Factors or Critical Success Factors]
  5. Goals
  6. Performance Measurement
As we revisited our plan for Workshop #4, we decided to replace the words ‘Key Success Factors’ with the words ‘Key Success Rules’.
Some might view this as a small change, ie, a slight tweaking of the wording.
Others might view this as a major alteration of the thrust and requirements of strategic planning.
We understand both viewpoints.
Here is why we made the change to ‘Key Success Rules’ it and why this change warrants some attention:
  • The word ‘factor’ is nebulous. The word ‘rule’ is not...or, at least, it is much less nebulous. We do better when we use clear words during the strategic planning process. Clear words lead to better communication. Clear words lead to more interest in communication.
  • ‘Rules’ are needed in business. We do not need to mince words about rules. We need to state rules clearly. The sports and games we enjoy so much teach us important lessons about rules. For example, if we can accept and maybe even enjoy the rules of the sports and games we play then we can certainly be comfortable accepting rules when we go to work. Rules set boundaries for fair play. Rules give direction to accurate thinking.
  • In the business planning process, Key Success Rules [formerly called Key Success Factors] connect strategy to action. Here, we mean the Leader’s Vision, Values, and most-desired Clients are the main pieces of strategic thought. Something is required to serve as the bridge from those strategic thoughts to the actions needed to bring about the desired outcomes/results. Key Success Rules are that bridge.
Summing this up…
When we view Key Success Rules as the bridge between strategic thought and practical action we construct a clear connection. Key action-tests are clear. And the planning process is a quicker and more-enjoyable experience. In addition, Key Success Rules promote accurate thinking about the important operational details to follow.


INSPIRE PEOPLE - GROW PROFITS! | Master Rules | Spirited Leaders | Values: Personal Values

no carrots, no sticks…no donkeys

by Rick Baker
On Mar 2, 2011
After attending Daniel Pink’s recent presentation, as I walked across the parking lot to my car that phrase found its way into my thoughts – no carrots, no sticks…no donkeys.
That was one of two major ‘take-aways’ I received from spending a half a morning with Dan Pink.
Why no carrots, no sticks…no donkeys?
Dan Pink made a compelling argument: we must alter how we deal with people if we want them to be motivated at work. In times gone by people were motivated to work under a combination of carrots & sticks…much as carrots & sticks had succeeded with donkeys.
As Dan Pink stated at one point…people are not donkeys.
Today, our people no longer perform much rudimentary work. Our people perform an increasing amount of conceptual work. And – this trend will continue to grow.
Now that conceptual work is the norm:
  • To ensure future success, we must alter our approach to motivation.
  • We must pay people enough to remove money from the table. Actually, we should pay people a little more than enough. People must feel they are being treated fairly. After that, money generates at best a diminishing return.
  • After money is off the table, our people we will be motivated by 3 things:
    • Autonomy
    • Mastery
    • Purpose
Here’s a link to learn more about Autonomy, Mastery, & Purpose.
I mentioned above, for me, Dan Pink provided 2 major ‘take-aways’.
Here’s the 2nd one…
Throughout but particularly near the end of his presentation, Daniel Pink engaged the audience in discussion. He asked and he answered questions. At one point, after answering a question he paused for a moment, looked at the fellow who had asked the question, and said “talk to me…you look sceptical…talk to me more”. The fellow did talk more and he and Dan Pink shared more thoughts.
I was really taken by “talk to me…you look sceptical…talk to me more”.
Dan Pink is an excellent public speaker. It is clear he truly cares about the people in his audience. And, he wants to help them.
What a great example of how to deliver value to your audience.
P.S.: Communitech deserves a big round of applause for bringing Daniel Pink to our community.


Criticism: Constructive Criticism is an Oxymoron | INSPIRE PEOPLE - GROW PROFITS!

Empowering people for great decisions

by Rick Baker
On Jan 12, 2011
Of course, good leaders want to:
  • Do a good job at delegating authority for decision making
  • Empower people so they are motivated to expand their decision making
Here are a couple of important considerations:
  • Delegation must be consistent…people need to be told the rules and the extent of their authorities
  • Delegation must be communicated…it is not enough to say “Our people are empowered to make decisions”. It is important to ensure people understand how and when their authorities should be exercised. It is important to ensure people understand your decisions can be questioned…’within bounds’.
How should we go about setting up Decision-Making authorities so people are empowered?
Leaders - here is simple way to approach this: consider the people who directly report to you then have those people perform the same exercise for the people reporting to them.
According to Brian Tracythere are 3 types of decisions:
  • Command Decisions: decisions made by the Leader alone
  • Consultative Decisions: decisions made by the Leader after the Leader has consulted with his/her direct reports [and other folks, as required]
  • Consensus Decisions: decisions where the Leader delegates the decision-making authority to his/her Leadership team…i.e., like the others, the Leader gets a single vote
As mentioned above, communication is important. The first step is informing everyone you think it makes sense to follow Brian Tracy’s advice and use 3 types of decisions. After that, start by saying, “This is a consultative decision” or “This is a consensus decision” or “This is a command decision”. This probably will not be required because people will understand the decision type by the way you introduce the decision. On the other hand, there is no harm in making sure by saying things like “I would like to consult you about this” or “Can we come to group consensus about this” or “I have made the following decision’. When in doubt – over-communicate.
About Command Decisions: I have told people I have a 10-3-1 Guideline:
  • For every 10 [command] decisions I make I expect about 3 will be questioned
  • For every 10 [command] decisions I make I expect about 1 to be strongly resisted
It seems to me 10-3-1 is about the right ratio. When I make command decisions I will make mistakes…hopefully, I do not err more than 3 times out of 10 decisions. If I do then I shouldn’t be the boss. Occasionally I will make a glaring mistake…hopefully; I do not do that more than 1 time out of 10 decisions. My communication of the 10-3-1 ratio is an effort to ensure everyone is comfortable questioning my decisions…’within bounds’.
According to Dale Carnegie...
"When Theodore Roosevelt was in the White House, he confessed that if he could be right 75 percent of the time, he would reach the highest measure of his expectation.
Roosevelt's 75%... that supports the selection of 3 in 10-3-1...or, at least, it suggests having 3 of 10 decisions questioned is in the right ballpark.
Link to Brian Tracy www.briantracy.com


Delegation & Decisions | INSPIRE PEOPLE - GROW PROFITS! | Seeking Simple!

The Value of Good Behaviour

by Rick Baker
On Dec 23, 2010
As we work to add sales revenue and control operating costs, we will do better when we also work to improve people’s behaviour.
The more clearly we understand the basics of human nature the bigger our bottom line.
Some months ago, one of our Thought Posts touched on the economic Value of Trust.
This Thought Post provides a similar message about appropriate [or better] behaviour.
Positive & constructive behaviours generate profit.
It sounds simple enough…if people respect one another and their actions illustrate consideration then the workplace will be harmonious. And, harmony is one key to achievement1. Harmony is particularly important at the Leadership Team level, where leading-by-example originates.
Key message: the business Leader and the Leadership Team must define the behaviour they desire. They must build a Culture for good behaviour2. They must illustrate that behaviour as they go about their day-to-day work3. They must reward others for behaving properly.
Another way of looking at this…
Bad behaviour is expensive and incivility damages businesses.
Major corporations are beginning to recognize this fact and they are taking action to ensure ‘good behaviour’4.
Smaller businesses can make quick changes and realize immediate bottom-line gains.
PS: we could have called this Thought Post The Cost of Bad Behaviour [like the book at Footnote 4, below]. We remember the results of our marketing test: in our geography positive messages yield twice the results of negative messages5...so; we called this Thought Post The Value of Good Behaviour.
  1. Napoleon Hill wrote much about the need for harmony at the leadership team level.
  2. Spirited Leaders has a philosophy called V-C-C-V
  3. This aligns with the Spirited Leaders definition of Integrity
  4. Here’s a link to a book on this topic [check Chapter 12 for some ‘program’ Solutions implemented by major companies]
  5. I have some good news for you



Sales Tweet #109

by Rick Baker
On Dec 16, 2010
Sales Tweet #109 Discipline/manage yourself if you wish to persuade/lead/manage others.
The Thinking Behind the Sales Tweet
Do what I say not what I do does not cut it. Probably, most of us can remember incidents when we were children and adults in positions of authority gave us instructions that they themselves did not follow. To the extent that happened, we learned to resist instructions that came to us as do what I say not what I do. As we gained experience and confidence our resistance to these inconsistent demands increased. Now, we have much trouble following instructions from people who do not lead by example. And, we distrust those who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.



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