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Mini-Message - Spirited Leaders Motto

by Rick Baker
On Jan 26, 2011


Spirited Leaders

Leaders & Vivid Vision - #1

by Rick Baker
On Jan 25, 2011
"Success is Clearly in View" - The Leader's vision must be vivid and shared*.
Many, many years ago a military leader led his army into a crucial battle. His army was greatly outnumbered. His army faced an enemy on its homeland…a skilled enemy, an enemy determined to protect its home and people. The leader’s army was tired from fighting years of campaigns in foreign lands. His forces were demoralized by the loud celebrations screaming from the enemy’s huge encampment.
The leader’s commanders approached him, expressing their grave concerns and their fears about the utter defeat they most-certainly faced.
The leader agreed with every concern his commanders expressed.
Yet, the leader assured his commanders they would triumph.
The leader envisioned victory.
The leader only envisioned victory.
The commanders asked the leader how he could have such confidence of victory when he knew his army was outmatched in every critical area.
The leader responded – we will win because we have one thing our enemy does not have…we have me.
According to the records of history – that is how Alexander the Great inspired his commanders and his army to conquer even the most-challenging parts of the world 23 centuries ago.
Now, that story may be fact or it may be legend.
Regardless, it remains as a defining picture of a leader who set the standard for military excellence.
Alexander the Great led with Vision and he led by example.
Today, such ego-heavy leadership would be frowned upon.
However, we can benefit from understanding the following about Alexander the Great
  • He had a Vision – conquering the known world
  • He clearly communicated that Vision – his commanders and his troops knew exactly what he envisioned
  • He led by example – his horse charging ahead, compelling his army to keep up
  1. "Success is Clearly in View" - The Leader's vision must be vivid and shared.  That’s the title of the 2nd workshop in our 6-workshop Leaders’ Academy series.


Hero Worship | Spirited Leaders | Vision: The Leader's Vivid Vision

Values & Personal Values – our definition

by Rick Baker
On Jan 18, 2011
At Spirited Leaders, values and personal values mean the same thing.
Values & Personal Values
  • the qualities, standards, and principles a person desires, admires, and aspires to
  • the driving forces, which influence a person’s thoughts and actions
  • the driving forces, which influence the character a person presents to other people
We believe the business Leader’s personal values are not just the driving force for the Leader, but also the main driving force for the business.
Businesses have a chance to excel when:
  1. the Leader has ‘admirable’ Values
  2. the Leader is able to clearly state those Values
  3. the leadership team discusses, understands and embraces the Leader’s Values
  4. the personal Values of the members of the leadership team mesh with and complement the Leader’s Values…this combination of personal Values becomes the basis of the business Culture…Culture Statements are communicated repeatedly, set in writing, and posted for all to see
  5. the leadership team works to ensure all employees at the business discuss, understand, and embrace the business Culture
All of this is captured in our V-C-C-V Philosophy [see links below]
Values → Culture → Communication → Value
That is, Values fuel the delivery of Value…and delivery of Value fuels business success and profitability.


Definitions - Spirited Words Defined | Spirited Leaders | Values: Personal Values

“The Driving Force” - The Leader’s personal Values fuel everything

by Rick Baker
On Jan 11, 2011
Why do personal Values fuel everything?
As an introduction, here are a few answers:
  1. Decision-Making is simplified when values are clear and known. When decision-making is simplified, that creates efficiency…and efficiency means lower costs, higher gross margins, and higher profit.
  2. Trust can be built quickly. Deals are easier to do when the parties each knows the other’s ‘good values’. Trust promotes prompt and fair deals, so more opportunities are realized. Trust helps us build long-term relationships…an efficient and effective way to grow business.
  3. A group of people who share common ‘good values’ and work together toward shared goals have an opportunity to achieve excellence & accomplish great things.
3 examples to introduce why personal Values fuel everything
Decision-Making is simplified
“It is not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
Roy Disney, Film Writer & Producer [nephew of Walt Disney]
“Values provide perspective in the best of times and the worst”
Charles Garfield, Business-Leadership Author
Building trust becomes easier & quicker
“Earnings can be pliable as putty when a charlatan heads the company reporting them.”
Warren Buffet, Investment Entrepreneur
"Trust is equal parts character and competence... You can look at any leadership failure, and it's always a failure of one or the other."
Stephen M. R. Covey, Author & CEO
Higher likelihood of accomplishing excellent things
“Authentic values are those by which a life can be lived, which can form a people that produce great deeds and thoughts.”
Alan Bloom, Philosopher
“Executives will have to invest more and more on issues such as culture, values, ethos and intangibles. Instead of being managers, they need to be cultivators and storytellers to capture minds.”
Leif Edvinsson, Intellectual Capital pioneer


Entrepreneur Thinking | Spirited Leaders | Values: Personal Values

7 Powerful Answers - #1

by Rick Baker
On Dec 22, 2009
We found 7 fundamental building blocks linked to 7 business questions awaiting 7 Powerful Answers.
This is the first in a series of 8 blogs, exploring the 7 fundamental building blocks…and 7 Powerful Answers.
As a starting point, Spirited poses 7 business questions:
  1. What will your business look like when you are finished building it?
  2. What HUMAN strengths will you use to build your business?
  3. What do you do BETTER and DIFFERENT than anyone else?
  4. Who REALLY CARES about what you do best?
  5. How do you PLAN to connect with those people who care?
  6. How do you prove your people do the RIGHT things EVERY day?
  7. How do you manage your CRITICAL risk factors every day?
In the blog-series I will describe our thinking behind the 7 Questions and share thoughts about 7 Powerful Answers.
I am going to use a presentation format adapted from a sales book I wrote a few years ago.
The format will look like this:
            Preamble:  where I will talk about the things that caused us to create each question.
            Question: the seven business questions will be presented in the same order as above
            Powerful Answer: where an example will be presented
            Postamble: where I will provide some thoughts about the Powerful Answer
            Footnotes: references and tools will be provided
If you would like to share your Powerful Answer to any of the 7 Questions then please send it via email to me. I will include it in the applicable blog. Please let me know if you would like your name mentioned with your Powerful Answer.
The next blog will consider Question 1:
What will your business look like when you are finished building it?


Entrepreneur Thinking | Spirited Leaders

Courage - The Key Business Value

by Rick Baker
On May 10, 2008

Courage is our company’s Key Value.

In summary, we have chosen Courage for our Key Value because:

  1. Courage enables Self-Knowledge and

  2. When it is backed by Courage, Self-Knowledge can be the foundation of most, if not all, other major values, traits, qualities, and attributes that contribute to character.

If our personal value systems are like dominoes then Courage must be the first domino of desirable character. When it comes to personal character, no other domino can take the place of Courage.


Dominoes fall in sequence…






That domino sequence was simplified…in practice, it would be a more complicated sequence:






Here I mean ‘Self-Education’ in its broadest sense. It includes other dominoes like introspection and [if we want it to] autosuggestion [self-talk]. The main point is, when Courage is present Self-Confidence can grow. If we remove Courage then Self-Confidence cannot grow. Courage enables Self-Confidence. With dedication, Self-Confidence can be self-taught. Coaches can help us understand the dominoes but they cannot give them to us. We have to create our own dominoes and we have to use them regularly.

The process of developing Self-Confidence only works if it is backed by Courage.



Self-Confidence is a ‘great enabler’.


Courage is the ‘great enabler’. 




We may have different views about the routes the dominoes of personal character take.

But, we should agree Courage enables some very-positive things…




























Considering all these dominoes linked to Courage, it is easy to see...

Courage enables positive Change  



Footnote:  In his 1937 classic, ‘Think and Grow Rich’, Napoleon Hill selected ‘Unwavering Courage” as the #1 attribute of Leadership. 


Marketing | Spirited Leaders | Values: Personal Values

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