A young man told me he was about to enter the seminary. A friend shared that he wanted to re-imagine his career as a teacher instead of as a software engineer. Both people wanted something different for their futures. Both had vision.
Neither knew the "skills" that would be needed in order to thrive- one as a future priest and the other as a future teacher.
Grad school tells us a lot about theory and history and "best practices" but little about skills. I'm not tooting my horn, but I have a lot of graduate degrees and each has been a blessing in a different way. What each has lacked, unfortunately, has been a healthy dose of the practical skills needed for the profession I'm in.
How about you? Have you become excellent because of OJT ("on the job training") or because someone taught you the skills needed to be great?
This post begins a four-part series called The Four Skills Every Executive Needs to Practice. You'll find only practical tips for being great at work. The skills are as follows:
- Manage your email daily.
- Run effective meetings.
- Synthesize large volumes of information.
- Control your calendar.
You may be looking at these skills and say to yourself, "Why do I need a four part series on these?" Quite simply, the answer is this- we need to learn these skills because no one person, no grad school program or self help initiative, is wrapping them up in one package.
Worse yet, countless potential executives aren't learning these things on their climb up the corporate ladder. The result is the next generation of leaders who will be sorely lacking in the "blocking and tackling" of servant leadership.
That's where this blog comes in handy.
I hope that you enjoy the series and upcoming podcast with the same title.