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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Inspire People - Influence Action - Grow Wealth!

by Rick Baker
On Feb 20, 2015

In business, as in other endeavours, the essence of leadership is positive Influence.

At its core, positive Influence is about inspiring people to take positive actions...where 'positive actions' means mean actions directed toward desired long-term goals.

In addition to the ability to inspire positive actions, a leader must have a pleasing personality (or at the very least an acceptable personality) in order to inspire other people to be motivated in positive ways...i.e., be motivated to take actions aimed at desired & shared goals. 

Inspiring People and Influencing them to take positive Actions toward desired & shared Goals...toward a shared & vivid Vision.

  • this is the way to grow personal wealth through business
  • this is the work of business Leaders


Courage, Confidence, & Succeeding at Business

by Rick Baker
On May 22, 2014

If you wish to excel at business, you must have a better than average amount of courage and self-confidence. These states of mind, these habits of character, are the building blocks that support thoughts and actions required to succeed. 

Spirited Leaders definitions:

  • Courage is the state of mind that gives you the ability to think and act productively in the face of difficult and fearful situations.
  • Confidence is the state of mind where you know you can handle the situation at hand and perhaps even excel in it. 

Courage & Confidence are the best states of mind for:

  • Tackling problems
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • Adjusting in reaction to changes
Of most importance, Courage & Confidence not only help you accept and handle setbacks ranging from light criticism to major failure...Courage & Confidence open your mind to learning from these 2 facts-of-life. When you learn from criticism - when you have what Spirited Leaders call thick skin & thin skull - you obtain the benefits of other people's perspectives not available to the vast majority of people [because their skin is thin and their skulls are thick]. When you learn from failures and defeats [both yours and others'] you improve and grow. 

With Courage & Confidence you have a heightened ability to be 'present'. You accept the situation [rather than agonize over it, link it to past problems or transform it into worries about the future].

With Courage & Confidence you accept other people [rather than try to change them]. As Covey taught, you have the ability to seek first to understand [rather than jump to conclusions, paint others with negative brushes, etc.].

Courage & Confidence are the great enablers.

Courage & Confidence are worth the effort it will take you to plant and grow them.

Intrinsic, Extrinsic, & Leadership

by Rick Baker
On Mar 17, 2014

When our internal drives influence our thoughts and actions...that's Intrinsic Influence.

When external forces work to influence our thoughts and actions...that's Extrinsic Influence.

When internal drives and external forces align to influence our thoughts and actions...that's Motivation at its best.

When we exert external forces in an effort to influence others' thoughts and actions...that's manipulation.

When we work to align our external forces with other people's internal drives to influence others' thoughts and actions...either consciously or unconsciously...that's Leadership.


Internal - Intrinsic

External - Extrinsic

Both = Influence = Leadership




Definitions - Spirited Words Defined | Influencing | Spirited Leaders

A Spirited Leaders scenario - #5

by Rick Baker
On Sep 1, 2013

You are a small-business owner.

You have a business partner, maybe more than one.

There are times when you get along with your partner. There are times when you and your partner don't interact much. And, there are times when you and your partner do not get along.

All of this is normal.

Or, is it?

It depends on how you feel about the relationship you have with your partner.

On balance:

  • do you feel things are absolutely excellent between you and your partner?
  • do you feel things are touch and go once in a while but quite OK most of the time?
  • do you feel stressed, knowing things are not right between you and your partner?
  • do you feel your working relationship with your partner is trending downhill?

The last 2 bullet points are symptoms of what we call ‘Partners In Dispute’.

When the relationship between business partners becomes strained and that strain doesn't go away quickly it can set the pattern for Partners In Dispute.

There are numerous causes:

  • disagreement about money issues, including personal pay and expenses
  • conflicting interpersonal styles, with at least one appearing dysfunction
  • disagreement about risk, changes, and plans for the future

Those are just a few examples. While the causes are different the situations are similar. When Partners In Dispute is present the situations are:

  • stressed and strained, emotions run high
  • disagreements are unresolved, they tend to linger for long periods of time and they tend to affect and complicate decisions
  • communication falls off the tracks, often adding to the stress level of not only the partners but also the employees who work for them

When you are deep into Partners In Dispute, you can feel cornered and perhaps even helpless. You may spend considerable time talking about the problem: talking with your spouse; talking with your friends; sometimes even talking with employees (who are caught up in the dispute; talking with advisors such as accountants and sometimes lawyers, etc.

You may have spent a lot of time talking with many people.

Yet, your Partners In Dispute problem did not go away. It simmered and cooled down for periods. However, it jumped back into full force as problems arose or opinions on actions differed.

The good news...

There are quick and simple ways to identify the root problems behind Partners In Dispute. Stress levels can be reduced quickly. And, often, Partners In Dispute situations can be remedied.

We know this because we have done this and we have helped others do it.


Spirited Leaders

A Spirited Leaders scenario - #4

by Rick Baker
On Aug 25, 2013

Is your leadership team meeting your expectations?

If it is – Congratulations - keep up the good work!

If it is not – we can help.

We know the small-business challenges:

  • lack of time: everyone talks about being too busy to handle current work let alone something new
  • lack of accountability: deadlines pass and goals are not achieved
  • communication difficulties: there’s lots of talk…and too much of it is confused and negative
  • lack of customer connection: something is getting lost between good intentions and delivery…and client satisfaction could be much better

We have small-business solutions:

  • simple tools and straightforward methods, designed to improve the way leaders communicate with one another, make decisions, and take the actions that deliver results
  • mentoring and group guidance, designed to support, educate, and energize leaders and the people on their leadership teams

We offer new approaches to problem-solving. We specialize in solving people problems and process problems. We do this by concentrating on:

Talents – People generally only have a vague understanding of their talents. A couple of quick 1-on-1 sessions can identify Talents and create the Talent-Opportunity-Knowledge-Skills pattern that is proven to improve both motivation and performance of tasks.

Communication – There are 4 key communication areas:

  1. General Communication: for accountability and results
  2. Idea & Innovation Communication: to promote changes for the better
  3. Resolving Disputes: clarifying interests and expectations
  4. Client Communications: from marketing to getting profitable deals done

We offer support in these 4 communication areas.


Communication: Improving Communication | Spirited Leaders

A Spirited Leaders scenario - #3

by Rick Baker
On Aug 18, 2013

Small business owners are the driving force supporting our Canadian economy.

That has been the case for some time. It has been taken for granted.

We can no longer afford to take small business owners for granted. The small business sector has experienced and will continue to experience new, complex challenges. Here are a few examples of special, complex problems:

  • increased human resource demands, backed by government rules and regulations
  • fast-paced technology changes, supported by more-complicated product & service options
  • rapid expansion of methods to connect with customers, with growing customer demands

These new, complex challenges require special attention because they go beyond the comfort zone of many small business leaders. Put another way, small business leaders are exposed to a growing list of new processes and new situations, many of which are outside their areas of experience and expertise.

What is a small business owner to do?

  • Hunker down and protect territory?
  • Make radical changes and keep up with the times?
  • Do some combination of these things? [But, what combination?]

And, how should a small business owner go about making this decision?

It makes sense they should seek help from:

  • someone who has both entrepreneurial experience and big-company experience
  • someone who has experience mentoring small business leaders
  • someone who has developed simple tools, designed to help people make decisions in situations of high risk and uncertainty
  • someone who helps leadership teams understand what it takes to get it done…then mentors them while they develop the required skills

That is what we offer small business leaders.


Spirited Leaders

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