Are the skills that got you here what you need to move forward?
4 November 2022
Are the skills that got you where you are now the skills you need to move forward?
For most of us, probably not. Maybe the skills we need for tomorrow’s challenges are built on skills we already have, or maybe the skills we need are some sort of derivative of what we can already do. But many problems are new to us, and so we will need new skills to successfully solve them.
How can you figure out what skills you need? That’s a fair next question to follow the first one.
The answer to it lies in the problems that thwart being successful – usually the most frustrating problems are the ones that we need to solve, because the easier problems we already have skills for.
What problems are you facing that need to be solved? To figure out the skills and tasks you need to solve them is usually revealed from a series of “why’s.”
The answers a series of “why’s” are either things that you can control, or things that you can’t. Put that second pile of answers at the end of your driveway and set it on fire. There’s nothing you can do about them. Unless you’re connected to a country’s leadership and can influence tax policy, there’s not much you can do about tariffs in a product segment.
For the problems that you can control (or influence), a path to revealing the needed skills to solve them might go like this:
Problem: reports are late and it’s difficult to make a financial decision
Why are the reports late? (Communication between departments is slow.)
Why is communication slow? (Employees don’t understand why they need to communicate quickly.)
Why don’t employees know they need to communicate quickly? (Employees don’t understand the urgency.)
Why don’t employees understand how urgent communication is? (They don’t know the process.) Do I have the skills and experience to develop, explain, and revise a policy, then communicate and shepherd its implementation? Could I achieve this if I had help and learned more?
Almost always, learning new skills helps solve the problems that are most challenging, especially for those of us who started and are now leading a business.
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