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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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The Dysfunction Of Our Times - #1: Business People Who Don't Take Their Payment Obligations Seriously

by Rick Baker
On Jun 6, 2013

In times gone by, I used to talk about 3 Sacred Things in Business. And, out of the 3 things, #2 was: "Customers Pay Me".


Customers Pay Me

A deal is a dealThat’s the starting point. We are only as good as our word.

There’s nothing wrong with a hard-negotiated deal, as long as you don’t make it the ‘norm’. When that becomes the 'norm' - well, that’s no fun and that's not fair.

Regardless, once a deal is done – a deal is a deal.

The most insulting thing my customer can do to me is not pay me. When the customer fails to pay me, the customer is telling me what they think my work is worth - nothing. That not only violates a deal is a deal it also is just plain wrong. My work is worth much more than nothing. And, I will not sit back and allow anyone to argue, through actions, the contrary. It is offensive. Of course, having thick skin I will not take real offense…however, I will take immediate action to make sure it does not happen or, if that fails, it only happens once. Or, better still, and this has been the reality more than 99% of the time – I will take action to make sure the attempt to avoid paying me fails.

To clarify my thoughts...and recognizing they are laced with my biases and my experience-filters:

  • I do not think the above words are the screams of a sensitive big ego. This is not a what's-mine-is-mine issue. It is about personal Values and Integrity. It's about doing the right thing. And, it's about doing my part to promote better business practices. 
  • I will not jump to conclusions or act haphazardly, ignoring questions like, "Why would a normal, reasonable person fail to pay me?" [I used to do that in my younger years and I have learned that's not fair to anyone, including myself.]


As a Business Leader...

Do you instruct your people how to deal with payments?

Does your organization treat suppliers with the same level of consideration expected from clients?


PS: When Sales reps allow customers to renege on deals or fail to pay, I see weakness where there should be strength, conviction, and a high level of self-worth. If weakness exists then I try to illustrate a better way. 

PPS: Similarly, I think 'stretching accounts payable' is a dysfunctional and entirely inappropriate way of dealing with suppliers. 

At the Core of Spirited Leaders' Philosophy

by Rick Baker
On Jan 28, 2013


Links to articles about these 3 keys to business success...

Seeking Simple

Building On Strengths

Adding Creativity


Seeking Simple! | Spirited Leaders | STRENGTHS: People-Focused for Success

Thought Tweet #500

by Rick Baker
On Jun 15, 2012

Thought Tweet #500 "It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent."

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

In celebration of the 500th Thought Tweet...a wonderful Vincent Van Gogh quote.


Hero Worship | Spirited Leaders | Thought Tweets

Thought Tweet #489

by Rick Baker
On May 31, 2012

Thought Tweet #489 Physical proximity can spark & ignite inspiration; physical proximity can cause the release of creative excellence.


The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Many most-excellent things have been created when people were inspired by others. Observing how, in reaction to others, some people achieve extremes in creative excellence provides insight into this phenomenon. The story of Beethoven's creation of 'Moonlight Sonata', whether the story is embellished or not, provides an explanation of the thinking behind this tweet. [For the Beethoven story see page 169 of Orison Swett Marden's 1911 classic 'Pushing To The Front'.]


Hero Worship | INSPIRE PEOPLE - GROW PROFITS! | Spirited Leaders | Thought Tweets

Spirited Definitions

by Rick Baker
On Feb 21, 2012

Action: things people do, and there are only 3 types - Good Habits, Bad Habits, or New Things

Change: the arrival of New Things

Client: a person who receives value from you and pays you for that value

Commander's Intent: (1) the commander's stated vision which defines the purpose of an operation, the end state [Sanjay Mishra] and (2)the unmistakable core of the message [Chip Heath & Dan Heath]

Confidence: what you feel and think when you believe you have what it takes to excel, do well, or at least handle the task and situation at hand.

Conversion: the measurement that confirms the rate of success of an intentional Action [the cause] performed to accomplish a desired result [the effect]

Courage: self-inflicted mental and moral strength to act in the face of fear, difficulty, and criticism; the ‘Great Enabler

Creativity [in business]: using Intuition and imagination to deliver value to Clients

Definite Purpose: the business Leader’s Vision, implemented in accordance with the business Leader’s Personal Values/Master Rules & directed at satisfying Ideal Clients’ needs

Ego is the part of the Mind that causes us to do what feels good to us or looks good to others

Emotions: Paul Ekman’s 7 characteristics:

  1. Signals: Emotions are mental states, most of which exhibit consistent visible cues.
  2. Automatic Appraisal: Emotions occur automatically and very fast...1/4 second.
  3. Lack of Awareness: Consciousness plays little role if any...most emotions are opaque to consciousness and thought. Nature did not want us to be able to consciously control emotions. However, thoughts can re-trigger emotions.
  4. Not Unique to Humans: Other animals exhibit the same emotions as humans. There is no human emotion that cannot be seen in at least one other animal.
  5. Short Duration: Emotions can last for extremely short periods (seconds) or longer, but they never last longer than a day. (longer-lasting ‘states of mind’ are defined as moods)
  6. Conscious Awareness of Emotions is a Skill: using special exercises, it can be developed. We can become skilled at self-monitoring, being present, and self-regulating. We need to explore the motivation and intent behind our emotions. Knowledge and skill around motivation and intent will help us understand and control our emotions.
  7. Emotions can get us into trouble..."I lost my head". In fact, Ekman thinks emotions do present-day humans little, if any, good. Emotions, all of them, are vestiges of evolution.

Entrepreneur: 3 forces drive Entrepreneurs:

  1. Entrepreneurs have this burning feeling inside them…a Need To Achieve something. I describe it as "a wanting".
  2. Entrepreneurs have a desire to create and Build Things Of Value.
  3. Entrepreneurs have a need to Be Recognized As Different – a different type of contributor.
These are defining internal forces driving An Entrepreneur.
In addition, An Entrepreneur is a business leader who:
  1. Recognizes, uses, & develops People Strengths…first in self and then in others,
  2. Clicks with other People [has self-control & a pleasing-enough personality], and
  3. Is ready, willing, and able to lead change…first in self and then in others.

Essence: the singular attribute that makes a person, place or thing what it fundamentally is, which it has by necessity and without which it loses its identity.

Focus: to control one’s attention and thoughts then actions to align with goals [this definition developed with Lorie Saxby PhD]

Genius:  a person who possesses the ability to get beyond his/her emotions, regardless of his/her character, and the ability to remove/minimize mental noise, with the result the genius’ mind is free to fully concentrate under the guidance of a focused purpose.

Goal: a desired result: 

  • That is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bounded [SMART] and
  • That has considered the tangible and intangible Action, Conversion, Repercussion, and Emotion required for its attainment.

Habits: thoughts, feelings, and actions that are repeated

Habits [Bad]: do not contribute to our betterment and do not take us toward our Goals

Habits [Good]: contribute to our betterment and take us toward our Goals

Imagination: the source of creative power: creating images in the mind, picturing things in your mind's eye

Initiate: to commence thought or action aligned with goals [this definition developed with Lorie Saxby PhD]

Innovation [in Business]: arranging old concepts, ideas, or plans into new combinations to solve customers’ problems or satisfy customers’ needs

Inspire: to exert an animating, enlivening influence on; to encourage, impel & motivate; to excite and impart motion; to bolster Focused Action


  • When you know your Personal Values and
  • When you can express your Personal Values in writing [showing how you think the think] and
  • When you can talk with others about your Personal Values [talk the talk] and
  • When your Actions are consistent with your Personal Values [walk the walk] and
  • When you acknowledge your think-talk-walk errors and strive to not repeat them

…then you have Integrity.

Intuition: William Duggan’s 3 types

  1. Ordinary Intuition is a feeling, a gut instinct
  2. Expert Intuition is snap judgments, when you instantly recognize something familiar
  3. Strategic Intuition is not a vague feeling, like ordinary intuition. It is slow, clear thought which works in new Situations

Justice: giving and receiving of equal values [James Allen]

Knowledge: information and understanding related to interacting with people, or the details of your business and industry sector, or the details of your role

Leaders: People who possess deep & Vivid Vision and use it to help other People experience improved lives

Manipulation is when you get a person to do something for your good [Zig Ziglar]

Master Rules: 5 to 7 simple, clear, top-down rules that reflect the core values of the business leader

Mind: the personal Essence, which uses energy and information beyond that of the organs of thought and feeling

Monitor: to observe the thoughts and actions of self and others in responses to self [this definition developed with Lorie Saxby PhD]

Motivation is when you inspire a person to do something for their own good [Zig Ziglar]

Networking is meeting new people and re-meeting people in a business or social context with the purpose of delivering and receiving value [this definition developed with LinkedIn Friends]

New Things:  anything a person does that is not a Good Habit or a Bad Habit

Organize: to think about systematic, integrated actions required to achieve Goals [this definition developed with Lorie Saxby PhD]

Plan: to formulate, set, and commit to Goals [this definition developed with Lorie Saxby PhD]

Positive Attitude or Positive Mental Attitude means enjoying a predominance of positive Emotions and having a predominance of positive thoughts, which align with personal Goals...and it means having the ability to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts.

Process: an arrangement of circumstances that makes things happen in certain ways [based on edward de Bono's definition of 'System', which is a synonym of Process]

Regulate: to bring Integrity and order to the thoughts and actions of self [this definition developed with Lorie Saxby PhD]

Repercussion: the positive or negative result that follows an Action

Shift: to intentionally replace one thought or action with another [this definition developed with Lorie Saxby PhD]

Situations: a snapshot of an instant in business life…the people, the ‘props’, and the immediate environment

Skill: learned and practiced competence of thought or Action; a Good Habit

Strength: consistent near-perfect performance of an activity...with passion

Strength = Talent + Knowledge + Skill [Marcus Buckingham]

Talent: any recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behaviour that can be productively applied [Marcus Buckingham]

Thick Skin: a state of Mind containing an optimal balance between Ego [which is kept under control] and Confidence [which is kept high, but not too high]

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

Vision: holding the Mind's-eye picture of the thing you desire, seeing beyond the things that are and conceiving and idealizing what can be, and communicating the desire you idealize to other People


Definitions - Spirited Words Defined | Spirited Leaders

Inspire People - Grow Profits!

by Rick Baker
On Jan 25, 2012

Two Facts:

  1. When it comes to doing business, inspired People generate better results.
  2. Business Leaders can inspire their People.
Another even-more-important Fact:
  • You can expand your ability to inspire the People who follow your Leadership.
 This is an accurate statement, regardless of how well you inspired your People in the past.
The keys are:
  1. Accepting the fact People will need your injection of Inspiration: they need and want that from their Leader.
  2. Working at it: taking specific inspiration-actions designed to accomplish specific inspiration-results.
Wise folks have taught this throughout the ages.
Here is one example: about people who are struggling, in 1926, Robert Collier1 wrote:
"For men and women like them do not need "Charity" - nor even sympathy. What they do need is Inspiration - and Opportunity - the kind of Inspiration that makes a man go out and create his own Opportunity."
Everyone struggles from time to time.
The People who follow your Leadership will struggle from time to time.
So - from time to time, your People will need an injection of Inspiration.
As a Leader, you can assume or hope somebody else will deliver that injection of Inspiration. Or, you can embrace it as part of your role.
Spirited Leaders will choose to embrace it.
There are many ways...1-Page Tools are really helpful.
Spirited Leader's Definition of INSPIRE2:
  • to exert an animating, enlivening influence on
  • to encourage, impel, & motivate...to excite and impart motion, to bolster focused Action

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