"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


[The following extended article has been written by thinkologist Dudley Lynch.

In it, he has shared his personal insights behind the working mechanism of the 'Asset Report: The Book of You', which he has systematically created as an unique personal assessment tool, unlike many conventional instrumentalities.

When I had my personal evaluation done by Dudley Lynch several years ago, & upon receiving the 100-page report from him, it was the first time in my entire life that I had been described in such rich astonishing details - as a powerful individual, intended on becoming all I could be.

In a nut shell, the report became my personal leadership guide for pushing further the envelope of my personal future, & also for providing me with a repertoire of skills & strategies to confront reality & evaluate options in a fast-changing world.

As a result of knowing myself better, I became more versatile in scanning the horizon with soft focus, reading the signals smartly, adapting quickly to unxpected changes, & integrate information skillfully for timely personal decision making to grasp viable opportunities out there than ever before.

Best of all, the self-understanding of what had made me tick also helped bring my natural advantages & personal strengths to the surface of becoming different, in the marketable sense.

I dare to say in no uncertain terms, what I am today is essentially the physical manifestation of living the real, total story about me, & about what I am really capable of, as embodied in my 'Asset Report'. By the way, I am a Task Commander.]

As an entrepreneur, you are going to be reminded time and again that many people aren’t very skilled at recognizing ability. Specifically, your abilities. What can you do? Be clear at all times about exactly who you are. Then, be ready to spell it out ability by ability for anyone who needs to know.

The unrecognized-abilities problem plagued three-time Super Bowl winning coach Bill Walsh right up to the spectacular finish of his professional coaching career.

“I was forty-five before I even had an interview for a head coaching job in the NFL,” says the man who would eventually transform pro football as an offensive wizard. And that interview didn’t get him a job. Nobody wanted anything to do with the Walsh ideas that were later destined to get him labeled as a football genius.

The Bengals interviewed him, and rejected him. Then the Jets.

And the Rams.

Until the 49ers put an end to his apprenticeship of 21 years as pro assistant, college and semi-pro coach with a head NFL job, Walsh was saddled again and again with this professional put-down: “Good technician. Not a head coach.”

The home-based entrepreneur is destined to notice this kind of unfair and inaccurate dismissal time and again. Competent enough. But works out of the house. Or, Talented pair. But it’s multi-level marketing. Or, Passionate person. But doesn’t have the track record. And getting decision-makers and action-takers to recognize your special talents and skills is only the beginning.

Much of your success as a Power of One will depend on how adroit you are at recognizing ability when you see it—or when you don’t! Then finding exactly how to fit your own or someone else’s special gifts—or less-than-obvious weaknesses—into your winning formula.

Be forewarned: turning yourself into an abilities expert doesn’t even show up on many entrepreneurial coaches’ list of essential skills. And I can understand most of the reasons.

In admitting that there are some things you may not do well, you risk being seen as a negative, anti-can-do-type thinker. But that’s simply not so. You are being a realistic thinker—and that’s something very different, and smart.

Some persons take umbrage, too, at believing you can learn to size up in a heartbeat how another person thinks. New Age audiences—and some positive-thinking groups, too—condemn the idea because they say it pigeon-holes people.

My reply: Nothing is more manipulative and calloused than refusing to recognize another person’s clues to what will help them feel more at ease, be better understood, be more productive.

Not paying close, organized attention to how people think—yourself and others—is an invitation to trouble. Here are risks:

- You don’t know how to tell people what you are—or can be—really good at.

- You don’t know if this (whatever it happens to be) is the right thing for you?

- You don’t know what parts of you are going ignored—to your detriment.

- You don’t know what you need to make you truly happy and productive.

- You don’t know how to optimize yourself.

- You don’t know how you will react under stress.

- You don’t know what is liable to blindside you.

- You don’t know who to partner with.

- You don’t know the full range of your negotiating strengths and weaknesses.

- You don’t know what there is about yourself that turns other people on—and turns them off.

- You don’t know what psychological games you are most vulnerable to.

- You don’t know the best methods and routes to changing yourself—for developing new thinking skills and strengths.

- You can’t tell if your purpose in life is in sync with how you think most of time.

The idea that each person has a special set of personal thinking skills that equips him or her to do certain things well and not others is much rarer in business than you might think. A more likely assumption is that “one size fits all.”

When temp agencies test for typing skills, the answer they want is “60 words per minute” (or, better yet, 85!). But how long is that person willing to sit still and type? If you have the insights you need into how that person thinks, you can probably make a judgment that’s so accurate and on-target that it’s scary.

Why aren’t these important thinking skills sets more obvious to us? My answer: they get covered up by all kinds of things. The behaviors your parents rewarded and encouraged in you, and those they didn’t. Things you tried once—and failed at. Things you’ve trained yourself to do, without really thinking about whether it is you. Things you’ve never tried because no one ask you to or thought you could.

The available experts don’t always help that much, either. There are so many kinds of motivational and growth-technique consultants trying to tell you how to think and what to think about. So many models and viewpoints, often in conflict.

So much so that, by the time we grow to be adults, it can be very confusing to ourselves and others to understand exactly how we do think.

I’ve spent nearly 30 years studying the thinking skills sets that people in business use. Before turning to my findings, let me say that I appreciate that we are each, in our own way, uniquely original creatures. It is a quality that I celebrate and respect.

But I also know that underneath each of our distinctive personas we share common thinking systems. I call them “home bases.”

For example, depending on their thinking home base, different people react differently to information. Do you gravitate toward what you don’t know? Or prefer to focus on what you do know? Do you go immediately with what fits? Or postpone knowing so you can come up with more complex answers.

Are you more comfortable preserving the past? Or do you lean more toward the future? Do you build community? Or do you ignore community to get better results from the parts?

My home base model looks for clues to how you personally handle these kinds of issues.

The bases—eight in all—aren’t everything about a person but they give a focus and a tone to nearly everything a person thinks, feels and does.

Your home base describes what you can be expected to do with who you are. The result: when you know your home base, you get a mirror unlike perhaps any into which you’ve peered before. Your home base can become a wonderfully instructive guide to your future growth as well as help you deal with many of the current practicalities facing you in your business.

If you recognize the home base someone else is operating from, you know much of what you need to know about whether partnering with them is a good idea, or is a potential disaster.

Whether you can do business on a handshake or need a detailed contract and a lawyer. Whether your prospect needs more space, more information, a push or a hug to close a deal, or whether there is likely a deal there at all. Whether someone is a good candidate for home entrepreneurship or probably should get a job. Whether they are likely to let things fall through, or can be depended on to follow through.

“Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; the proper study of mankind is man [and woman],” opined Alexander Pope.

That’s generally the idea behind the home bases model: knowing yourself, knowing others and making better business and life decisions using your potent new knowledge.

Look closely and I think you’ll discover that one of these fundamental thinking positions or bases serves as the bedrock for how nearly everyone you’ll ever encounter—yourself included—goes about their business:

The Mobilizer

You can feel it the moment you arrive in the presence of these individuals. The energy. The can-do spirit and attitude. The commitment, the determination. My real estate salesperson has it. Buying a home with his help was both a revelation and an education. For him, nearly everything is negotiable, or so it seems.

When he meets an obstacle, he instantly repositions his thinking to view it as an opportunity or an alternative—or several. Nothing is written in concrete.

When you need quick results, it is good to have a Mobilizer’s abilities on hand.

The Mobilizer needs to make sure that others appreciate that he or she:

- Is swift to size up possibilities.

- Can remove bottlenecks quickly.

- Enjoys deal-making.

- Can focus intensely on goals.

- Uses hands-on approaches.

- Can often get results when others can’t.

Of course, most Mobilizers occasionally crash, too. (What millionaire entrepreneur can’t tell you a story or two about first having gone bankrupt?)

If you are a Mobilizer or must deal with them frequently, a good thing to work on is recognizing when to back off, let go, chill out. Otherwise, there may be blood in the water—yours.

The Trailblazer

Have you ever sat in a meeting that was going nowhere? Serious issues remained but the ideas had turned stale.

The suddenly, out of the blue, someone threw out a possibility that was pure electricity. It was so different, so novel and unexpected and yet so, so . . . right, appropriate, useful.

Welcome to the abilities of the Trailblazer. These are idea people, through and through.

If you are a Trailblazer, you need to understand—and to make sure that others are aware—that you have these abilities:

- Likes to create new possibilities.

- Thinks a lot about the future.

- Seeks variety and novelty.

- Targets “being all he or she can be.”

- Is intrigued by life’s mysteries.

- Often takes on unpopular causes.

If dealing with others who are Trailblazers, it’s wise to be aware that can’t always count on these individuals when it comes to the details—seeing the new product through to roll-out, making sales, paying the bills, collecting debts. So probably you shouldn’t.

If this is your home base, it may be a good idea to partner with a Mr. or Ms. Right whose thinking abilities are more structured. You be the idea person; depend on your partner to keep things on schedule.

One additional tip: Credit card companies love variety-seeking Trailblazers, so be careful with the plastic!

The Task Commander

When I tested the professional staff at the largest personnel recruiter in my city, virtually everyone used the abilities of the Task Commander.

“I want to hire more people like them,” the firm’s owner told me. “I have this system, and if my people will use this system, they’ll make us all rich. The system works.”

Task Commanders usually do have a system in mind—have it down pat, in fact. And use it effectively to finish the project on time, on budget, on quota. To deliver consistently.

If you operate from this home base, you need to make sure that others are aware of these abilities:

- Is a take-charge, go-to player.

- Gets consistent results—on deadline.

- Is good at follow through.

- Will make tough decisions.

- Targets what works.

- Makes resources go a long way.

As you probably suspect, the Task Commander’s vulnerability is trying to do to much. Or continuing to use “the system” when the need and time have arrived to do things differently.

At such times, it’s a useful idea to perhaps show a little more humility. Listen this time, instead of barking orders, as usual. Gear down, instead of gearing up.

The Ideals Crafter

It was years before I fully understood why my friend had walked away from a thriving career as a scientist for Texas Instruments. First, I had to develop a real appreciation for the depth and passion of his idealism—that is, I had to truly understand his thinking home base.

Today, my friend is a licensed therapist. Also, he spends a lot of time—for free—counseling ex-prison inmates, building houses for the poor, volunteering at his church. But using the abilities of the Ideals Crafter doesn’t mean you prefer poverty over prosperity. My friend is also an astute investor (he started with all that TI stock).

If you are an Ideals Crafter, it is important that you make sure others notice and value these abilities in you:

- Excellent at relationships.

- Good change agent.

- Service-minded.

- “People” problem-solver.

- Can be very intuitive.

- Is principle-based.

A surprising number of individuals who go into home businesses excel at the Ideals Crafter’s abilities. And almost immediately, they get into trouble. In the marketplace, reality isn’t always gentle with idealism.

Often, my advice is this: create a hybrid life and work style. Draw on abilities elsewhere in the home-base thinking model. Then use the proceeds, contacts and influence you gain to further your ideals. It’s a powerful combo for the person who “wills” it to happen.

The Evaluator

When observing the abilities of an Evaluator, I sometimes think of the little boy and his Grandpa.

“Gramps, why don’t you get a hearing aid?” the child asks.

“Don’t need one, son,” Gramps replies. “I hear more now than I can understand.”

I felt that way recently while in a room filled with attorneys. At first I was intrigued by these lawyers’ extraordinary appetites for information and detail. Question after endless question. Answer upon answer. But eventually, I wanted to shout, “Enough, already.” My own mind boggled from information overload.

Of course, that’s the way we want our lawyers to think. And our surgeons. Our airplane pilots. And maybe closer to home, our bookkeeper and our computer consultant!

If you are an Evaluator, you can benefit from helping others to see these abilities in you:

- Can meet exacting standards.

- Good at organizing information.

- Holds out for quality.

- Very logical, will follow through.

- Is a sponge for data, for details.

- Responsive to schedules, deadlines.

If the user of the Evaluator home base has an Achilles’ heel, it is the danger of becoming too pessimistic. After all, it nearly always requires less effort to be negative than positive.

If I sense that an Evaluator client is taking the easy way out, I sometimes share this Chinese proverb: “Person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt person doing it.”

The Early Resolver

Remember the TV commercial where people fall silent and the announcer intones, “When E.F. Hutton speaks, everyone listens”?

There is a thinking home base like that, too. I call it the Early Resolver because that’s what its users do: think up quality solutions or approaches to difficult problems quicker than the rest of us.

One Colorado company I know about has taken the time to identify employees who are Early Resolvers and put them on special problem-solving teams by themselves.

No matter how difficult the problem, they get only one day to come up with a workable solution. The leader of this team told me that the company’s return on investment in Early Resolver teams runs from 10-to-1 to 50-to-1. “One team saved us $29 million in a single day’s work,” he reports.

If you realize that you are an Early Resolver, it is wise to help others appreciate these abilities:

- Can quickly apply new knowledge.

- Listens closely to others.

- Has a knack for spotting patterns, trends.

- At home with complex issues, situations.

- Likes to experiment with new approaches.

- Good with people; also with technology.

If you are lucky enough to have an Early Resolver around, it’s a good idea to listen up when they speak up. If this is your own home base, you’ll want to guard against the “assumptions”:

Assuming that if you can do something, anyone else can do it. Assuming that if someone says they will do something, that they will do it. Assuming that when you speak out and get put down, there is no value to your idea.

The Gatekeeper

Former IBM chairman John Akers knew about Vince Lombardi’ s quote: “Winning is not the most important thing; it’s the only thing.”

But he said he much preferred another Lombardi quote. “He expected his players, he once said, to have three kinds of loyalty: to God, to their families, and to the Green Bay Packers, in that order.”

Loyalty may be out of fashion these days, but it’s not out of order. Show me any company, organization, group or family that is proud of itself, is healthy and cohesive, and I’ll point out some people in their midst who are operating from a thinking home base I call the Gatekeeper.

If this is home for you, here are abilities about yourself you need to publicize:

- Creates good reasons to be loyal.

- Can turn people on to their traditions and history.

- Good at explaining the right thing to do.

- Willing to defend important values.

- Genuinely cares about people.

- Can be a patient mentor and teacher.

My instincts tell me that the ranks of the home entrepreneur are bulging with Gatekeepers.

People fiercely loyal to what they believe—and to others they believe in.

One word of caution only: vigilance. Not everyone who asks for your loyalty deserves it. Not everyone who promises you theirs will give it. And you can’t be loyal to everyone and everything to same degree. To paraphrase Henry Clay: “Loyalty is no substitute for judgment.”

The Instinct Player

My wife, Sherry, is an Instinct Player (when you factor in my own Early Resolver home base, it makes for a lively mix at our house!).

Recently, we put our house up for sale—a very unusual house, a Shar Pei in a neighborhood of Spaniels. And we quickly turned up a hot prospect … but one, it turned out, who couldn’t make up his mind. Days passed. More visits, more inspections, more questions, more indecisiveness.

Finally, I said, “Enough is enough. I don’t want to mess with him anymore.”

“We’ve got this house sold,” she reassured me. “This man is frightened. Scared out of his wits by paying this kind of money for this kind of property. I want to talk to him.” She did—for almost an hour. And he signed a contract the next day.

I’ve long since quit asking her questions about how she knows certain things—like what’s going on inside a person. If I do ask, she usually answers, “I don’t know, I just know.”

If you share the Instinct Player’s home base with her, you have these abilities to showcase:

- Can cut straight to the core issue.

- Able to point out fundamental things others are missing.

- A contagious, energizing playfulness.

- Likes immediate, total involvement.

- Enjoys seeing what can be made of a mess.

- Will roll up his or her sleeves and go to work.

“Above all, try something,” said FDR.

That’s the core ability of the Instinct Player: Having an innate, sometimes uncanny sense of what might work and then trying it.

The greatest danger of this way of thinking is that sometimes you can run the skein out too far. It is good to step back occasionally and tote up the costs. Take stock of where you are. And where, as an Instinct Player, you’d really like to go.

The descriptions I’ve provided here are merely the tip of the iceberg of what we’ve learned over the years about the thinking home bases.

In the next few days, put this information to the test. See if one of the bases seems to mirror you more than all the others.

When there is only you—a home-based entrepreneur—to make it all work, there is much value in being able to size up people, opportunities, circumstances, options, and odds in a hurry by using yourself as the primary yardstick.

You owe it to yourself to be able to say, if it is true, “I know who I am and what I do best, and this isn’t a good fit for me.”

Or, to a prospective partner if necessary, “Please don’t take it personally, but I would be oil to your water; we’re not meant to be mixed.” Or, when you’ve eyeballed an opportunity and found it doesn’t feel right, to say to yourself, “I won’t stay the distance on this, so why waste time and energy now?”

Of course, there will be all those times when the answer is Yes! This is Me!

It may be because you can feel your heart and soul and mind endorsing an opportunity to the fullest. But it may also be because you have taken time to size yourself up.

You have become closely acquainted with your thinking skills, preferences and expectations. You know better than ever how to help people appreciate that you have abilities that can take you from twinkle star to superstar.

To me, this is the real value of knowing where your thinking calls home.

[More information about Dudley Lynch, his established consulting practice (dedicated to brain training & life change), all his books & resources (on accelerated self-growth), & more specifically, the 'Asset Report', can be found at his corporate website.

If you have been a follower of my weblog, you will know instantly that I am truly a raving fan of his great work.]

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