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The Three Skills You Must Master to have an Amazing Career

As I put pen to paper I realise just how passionate I am about this topic: about people having amazing careers.
i-like-this-job-only-marginally-more-than-i-like-being-homelessPerhaps it is because I spent my twenties bouncing between semi-satisfying jobs wondering if my desire to ‘find my passion’ was just a little bit silly. Was I the only one I wondered? Sometimes I was frustrated; sometimes discouraged. A few times the quest seemed hopeless. And so did I.
Having now found a calling that feels deeply right, I now find it painful when I work with people who have clearly settled into a career that is less than their vision for themselves. It is almost a physical pain I feel. It is a feeling of empathy.
My personal journey, perhaps paradoxically, has taught me that having an amazing career actually requires more than passion. It requires skills. Some experts even argue that skills actually precede passion.
What I would like to share with you are what I believe are the three most important skills for all leaders and aspiring leaders. Even if you haven’t yet found a career path that deeply fulfils you, now might be the time to pre-arm yourself with the capabilities that will allow you to fully unleash your potential when the time is right.
We’ve built a training company on teaching these skills.  You can build your career on them.


The Levers of Leadership

In order to achieve results as a leader you must:

  • DECIDE: decide what needs to be done
  • ACT: do your part
  • INFLUENCE: get others to do their part

We believe it is this simple. At People of Influence we call these three skills the Levers of LeadershipTM. But what do they mean? Let’s dig a little deeper.


DECIDE: decide what needs to be done

BRain .jpg
This skill is all about being able to answer the following question:

What is the best path forward?

This question becomes more important the more senior you become as your decisions affect more and more people. Your frame of reference changes from yourself as an individual, to your team, to your business unit and finally, to your organisation.
Some of the capabilities required to excel in this area include:

  • Strategic thinking (big picture, longer-term, outside-in thinking)
  • High stakes decision making (thinking that is more operational in nature)
  • Innovative thinking (using tools like design thinking and similar to find new paths forward)

ACT: do your part

clock 2
This skill is all about being able to answer the following question:

How do I best use my limited resources of time, energy and emotion for maximum impact?

It is shocking how many high performers and senior leaders have not mastered this skill! This represents massive untapped potential.
Some of the capabilities required to excel in this area include:

  • Productivity (getting more done in less time)
  • Resilience (getting more done with less stress)

INFLUENCE: get others to do their part

michelle-rushton--ph
This skill is all about being able to answer the following question:

How do I get other people to do what I want them to do?

This is the most mysterious of all the skills! Some people just seem to have an amazing ability with people don’t they? The good news is this skill can be learned.
Some of the capabilities required to excel in this area include:

  • Influencing with Authority (influencing people who report to you as a leader)
  • Influencing without Authority (influencing people with whom you have no hierarchical authority)
  • Presenting and facilitating (influencing groups of people)

What Next?

So that’s it. The three skills we must master to have amazing careers.
As you plan your own professional development (which I hope you do because no one else will!) think of the Levers of LeadershipTM as a sort of blueprint to guide your plans.  And even if you haven’t yet found that purpose and passion in your career, it doesn’t mean you can’t be readying yourself with important skills. If you have found your calling, then look out world!
Either way, it’s time to get to work…on yourself. Your amazing career is waiting.
 
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Posted to Uncategorized on 6th February 2015

2 thoughts on “The Three Skills You Must Master to have an Amazing Career

  1. Nat says:

    Great advice and timely…Im about to embark on a whole new career direction, starting my own business which relates to what I get excited about.

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