This is the third in the sequence of learning some of the 10 Star Secrets in Confidence of Henrik Fisker. Here we will look at secrets 6-9. Fisker’s practices can give us all some insight into the practices of a Star Performer. Read our two previous Coach’s Corners to see Star Secrets 1-5.

#6. Taking Initiative

Fisher believes in putting his “gut feeling” into practice and making decisions from it. After getting the “gut feeling,” he assesses the risks and goes for it if appropriate. He feels this is an important part of being a leader. Fisker actualizes what leadership guru Warren Bennis, in his portrait of leadership traits, called “a bias toward action” (1997). Fisker wants to take action and likes that quality in his direct reports. Taking initiative is the hallmark of a Star Performer in the confidence competency.

#7. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Fisker believes that leaders should be aware of their “weak side.” He defines this as “things you could do, but don’t like to do.” Preferring to generate power from his strengths, he chooses to have others assume the tasks he likes the least so that he can focus on what he is good at. He knows that when he does what he likes, he remains energized, creative, and competent.

#8. Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes

Fisker believes you have to be honest with yourself and admit mistakes, so you can learn more and move on. He tells the story of getting a ticket for going 112 mph in London, where any speed over 70 means the loss of your license. Aston Martin wanted to hire a lawyer for him, but Fisker decided to represent himself before the judge. Fisker admitted he had made a mistake and confessed that he was speeding because he was simply too busy. He added that he had already altered his schedule to fewer appointments as a way to admit his initiative to change. He took responsibility for the ticket, stated what he had learned, and was allowed to keep his license after paying a small fine.

#9. Reinforce People

Fisker believes it is important to read your people and keep them motivated. He does this by being genuinely engaging with them, by asking questions to find out more about how they think and what they do. Fisker then acknowledges and supports their efforts.

Actions:

  1. Are you regularly taking initiatives for the future and have a bias for action?
  2. Do you know your strengths and weaknesses and what gives you the most energy? Take the EI Star Profile on this site to get a better understanding of your EI strengths.
  3. The key learning statements of Stars are: I made a mistake, I don’t know, and I need help. How often are you saying these to help your team continue to learn and improve?
  4. Fisker Practiced the 3:1 positive to negative ratio before it became popular as a way to help his people stay motivated. What is your ratio today with your people?