“Once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.”
― Malcolm Gladwell
In his book The Global Achievement Gap, Tony Wagner, co-director of the Change Leadership Group, Harvard School of Education,described seven key skills for getting a new job. Among those seven areas are four skills that might be something that everyone whether a new job seeker or a veteran can bring to the table of employment.
In the new world of work, workers need to have in their tool box of experience and knowledge the following:
1. Agility and adaptability
2. Collaboration and leadership
3. Critical thinking and problem solving – to ask the right questions
4. Initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit
What does it mean to be adaptable and agile? We know that the speed of change is creating more and more tension in the workforce and those who have difficulty modifying their work habits will be less and less satisfied in their work environment. Being agile means moving quickly and not getting stuck in the past.
The collaborator, the team worker is going to be better equipped in a fast paced world. Learning critical leadership skills, as in how to motivate from within, will be essential as more and more work is done globally. Leading with the heart, from a perspective of empathy, understanding and humility will be part of the foundation of powerful leadership.
Having the ability to solve complex problems though rapid iteration and learning from failure (something most people are adverse to trying) is a critical asset to have. Learning and achievement come from our ability to be resilient when we fail. We learn more through failure than we do from success, if we take the lessons we learned and apply them in our new attempts.
Taking initiative and action are essential to increasing overall momentum. Applying energy each and every day towards the generation of new outcomes is a valuable skill to have. It is a skill that can be developed. The entrepreneurial mindset is about creating new opportunities or grasping opportunity quickly and testing the value of that idea now.
We live in a world that “waiting” is no longer acceptable. We live in the “instant” and holding back instead of acting will have a greater price than taking action and learning. Learn quickly to grow exponentially.
Mastering today’s world will take adaptability, agility, collaboration,leadership, critical thinking, problem solving and taking initiative. Start developing your skills in these areas and become the person that people want to hire.
Learn more about Tony Wagner’s desire to reshape our education system.