Six Skills That are Timeless…Period.
A repost of a blog post from 2016.
I wrote a blog post on career success back in 2016! I’m re-posting it seven years later. Yikes, how time zooms by so quickly.
The title is a bit aggressive, but I think “Timeless” still applies today. Please enjoy this republished article.
Thanks for reading Embrace Any Future! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”
— Allen Ginsberg
During a weekend in February 2016, while catching up on emails and LinkedIn messages, I felt privileged to receive a question from a rising leader about the courses and tools that promote success. There is no definitive answer to this, but there were certain pillars I have found to be instrumental in shaping my mental framework at the time.
First off, let’s be clear: this is a journey, and some would argue that with our environment continuously changing, nothing can be considered definitive. That’s one perspective. In my opinion, some skills are timeless; it is our application of them that changes over time. Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote that morning.
“Regarding your question, I appreciate your confidence in me to ask. With that said, here are my thoughts.
Your question is a smart one: what combination of efforts will produce the results you are looking for?
While I believe the question is intelligent, it is also complex as it relates to where you are in your journey and what attributes you already possess, which ones you’re honing, etc., and what your ultimate goals are. I cannot single out any one item as the key to success, but I do think there are some key pillars that I have found incredibly helpful in my journey:
Relationships — Having a deep set of business relationships where others share important information with you and where you feel comfortable sharing information with them is critical. Having a wide array in your network is also important as you cannot do anything, and I mean really ANYTHING, without the help of others.
Asset Allocator — Having a keen sense of the business and competitors (traditional and non-traditional) is critical. Also, understanding the business financials is important as you are trying to create value, which is impossible to do without understanding where the business is. Being a disciplined asset allocator is a must! And I am not just talking about real hard dollars but also soft dollars such as time and your team’s efforts. This was not really focused on in school, or it wasn’t when I was there, and it is absolutely a game changer in the business world.
Life Long Learning — Constantly focusing on learning new topics, expanding your knowledge on subjects, and having a unique point of view is very important. Creativity comes from really pushing yourself to learn more and stretch what you already know to a new place unseen by others.
Technology — Leaning into technology, tools, and talent that are focused in this area is critical in this day and age. The jobs that will be displaced first are those of knowledge workers (like my type of role), so I am looking to displace it faster by mechanizing the work, eliminating the work if it does not create enormous value so that I can then focus on new areas of innovation where I can utilize my creativity and the technology tools to create something that has not been done in my space.
Influencer — To get new things into the marketplace, you have to sell the idea and sell yourself. Expect folks, at first, to look at you funny—if they do, then you are probably onto something uncommon, and that is a good thing.
Be Flexible — This is all hard stuff, so expect setbacks, delays, and unexpected obstacles. It is not the problems that will stop your success; it is your mindset and spirit and whether you have enough emotional energy to get back up and figure out a new way to achieve the goal.
If you excel in all these areas, you will create a tremendous amount of value, far greater than what you are getting paid for, and you will also be more marketable and more attractive to others, and that is what will make you even more competitive in the marketplace.”
Have you enjoyed the article?
Consider sharing with your mentees, discussing during a mentor circle, or sharing with your early-rising leaders. Start early and keep compounding.
Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.