- being sent on courses
- just learning ‘productivity tips’
- not shaping the thinking of others
- and simply standing still
…will leave you falling behind in your career faster than you think.’
There are four skills beyond those directly required to do your job, that I believe will make the biggest impact on your career or business when you develop them consistently.
They’re neglected by many, but the high-performers in most fields – those getting the promotions, the pay rises, the rewarding opportunities and the clients they want – have usually acquired these skills and are enjoying the rewards.
The Big Four Skills or ‘force multipliers’ that will amplify your results and strengthen your position and value in your business or career (or life in general for that matter) are:
The King of all skills. How to learn the right things (the stuff that actually matters to you in your unique circumstances) in the right ways. And how to help others you collaborate with learn effectively too. (Hint: you don’t do that by just teaching them.)
Most people could dramatically improve how they self-direct their learning. They could make better choices about what, why and how they learn. Get this skill under your belt and learning the other three skills becomes a piece of cake. And you earn yourself a short-cut to improving at anything you choose. It’s a learnable skill.
Tip: if other people are generally determining what you should learn next, it’s a sign you’re not learning as effectively as you could be.
2. Effective application
Putting what you learn into action in the right ways at the right times to maximise impact.
This is not just ‘productivity’. Most people think they’re being productive by just re-organising how they do the same old things in the same old way (in fact that’s what most ‘productivity courses’ tend to reinforce.)
No, the focus should be on applying newly learned ideas to break old patterns of behaviour. It’s about finding a better way. It’s about practicing, trying, failing, and growing. It’s what’s required to survive and thrive into the future. If you can’t apply what you learn effectively, you’re increasingly vulnerable (and possibly replaceable).
This is about making what you learn count to get a ROI. (Think how many ideas you forget or fail to apply when reading a book. You often like what you read and have good intentions, but it often stops there.) You can learn systems, tools and approaches to help you apply effectively (doing the right things) and efficiently (doing those things right), and habitually.
Tip: if you spend more time trying to get more productive around tasks you’ve always done than you do building new approaches into your workflow, the wheels could fall off sooner than you think.
You sell. Whether you acknowledge it or not.
You sold yourself into your current role. And your previous. And you’ll need to sell yourself into your next position. In fact, whatever position you’re in, you’ll need to sell again and again, every day.
But you probably don’t associate yourself with being a sales person. You may even despise the thought.
Everything changes when you acknowledge that you sell and decide to get better at doing so. You’ll either sell products, services, your ideas and desires, or sometimes you’re just selling yourself. You need to in order to survive. And you need to sell to get ahead in life and enjoy rewarding relationships with other people. Learning to sell intelligently, honestly, and with tust, confidence and dignity is one of the highest value and best-paid skills you’ll ever acquire in your life. You should start learning it now.
Selling in conversation is a vital skill. But using the same principals to sell, market and connect value online is also vital.
Tip: if you hate sales but haven’t worked out why convincing others to make potentially high-value, but uncertain decisions is so important, you’ll probably find yourself living someone else’s agenda in life.
4.Positioning yourself intelligently
Your positioning determines everything. Every hope, dream, desire, every feeling of confidence or fear and every problem or challenge you face is relative to how you’ve positioned yourself and how you’re perceived.
You can stay in the position you’re in, and let the minds of others determine what to make of you. Or you can strengthen your position and purposefully position yourself differently in the minds of others.
You can change the importance of the things you have to face, learn and do, and the people you need to interact with, almost overnight by changing your position and your positioning in the minds of others.
You can play a different game, one you’re likely to win. Or change your positioning in your current game. You can build information around you to communicate who you are, what you stand for, who you can best help, and how your uniqueness makes you particularly valuable to them. And then, when you engage with the right people, more than half the battle is already won.
What position are you currently in, in your career or in your business, and what position should you be in?
How do others (that matter to you) see you? How would you like them to see you?
Strategic positioning is something you can learn. Every time I have re-positioned myself in my business and in my life, everything has become much easier, more enjoyable and more successful.
Tip: if you’re finding it hard (for too long now) to happily and productively create and connect value to people you enjoy adding value to, you’re probably not in the right position, or you’re not positioning yourself intelligently with your desires.
Learn them JUST ENOUGH
That’s the big four skills!
They tie together tightly. Increase any one of them and the other three improve too.
And part of learning fast requires knowing to what level you need to learn something. Well, for each of these, the answer is ‘just enough’ for your unique purposes. You’ll need to determine what that is.
Position yourself purposefully, learn and execute effectively, and win people, allies, partners, and customers over as you advance.
One way to start learning these immediately, in a drip-fed fashion, over time is to sign up to my free weekly posts. Read them. Think about them. And decide and write down how you’ll apply them to your specific challenges ahead.
Other high-impact skills you’ll need for the future
With the big four under your belt, (they really will give you the highest returns for your time and effort but you WILL have to put some time and effort in to embrace and learn them – but you’ll have my support!) it also pays to build a plan to learn the following important career, business and life skills (again, ‘just enough’ so that they’re working for you in the way you benefit from):
- thinking (creative, lateral, analytical, critical – each one is learnable)
- coding (your role, whatever it is, is increasingly likely to require that you can code at some level)
- leadership (everyone leads sometimes)
- problem solving
- how to fight AI robots who’ve turned against us (let’s hope this always remains just a joke)
Over time, I’ll start sharing some resources to help with these. (I do and have run courses on thinking, problem-solving, leadership and communication if you’re interested). Note, the goal of this site and my work, in general, is to get the most impactful ideas to you. 80% of what you learn won’t have much impact. 20% will. If you sign up to my posts, overtime, I’ll strive to get that 20% to you.
As well as my weekly posts, there will be plenty of ebooks, tools and further resources coming soon…