Scan down this list:

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate each skill in terms of your mastery of that skill (1 being low skilled, 10 being highly skilled).

Tally up the results and you have your development plan over the coming year.

Why is this important?

Because the 4th Industrial Revolution is upon us and these are the skills you’ll need if you want to thrive in the new world of work.

“The fourth industrial revolution is currently being called the cyber-physical convergence. There is nobody who can clearly see what is going to emerge from this revolution, but we have a good guess at what skills are going to be required.”

You’ll also need to bone up on the skills that teach you how to think, be creative, be open-minded about what’s going on around you, and you’ll need to have an increased level of self-awareness that will allow you to know what you need to know and do to succeed.

And that last part, to me, is key: knowing what you need to know and do to succeed.

Without that, it’s hard to go forward.

Also read Heather McGowan’s piece: The Hard Truth About Lost Jobs: It’s Not About Immigration

*some say the revolution has already begun…times ticking
*skills source: Future of Jobs Report, World Economic Forum

There are many good descriptions of leadership out there. I like this one from Simon Sinek:

“Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.”

I like it because it distills the essence of what it is to be a leader. I would add a third element to his description to make it more complete and that is:

…the ability to get people to do things they would not otherwise do.

Yes, I’m re-reading Seth Godin‘s book – Purple Cow. When I first got on the Internet, it was easy to get noticed because there simply weren’t that many people on it compared to today.

Now the game is saturated with players.

How do you get noticed? How do you get people’s attention and hold their attention long enough to start a genuine conversation?

Notice I said genuine conversation. Not the surface stuff you mostly get as the other person jockeys for position waiting for the part where they get to tell you all about them and what they do and why you should buy from them.

Of course, the trend these days is to go mass media with our message. So we make posts that speak to many not to one hoping that the old adage, “if you flood the social streams with your content, they will come buy your stuff,” will hold true.

Personally, I like Seth’s philosophy of connecting with the few.

The few who love what you do and what you stand for so much that they freely tell their friends, family, and colleagues about you.

It’s how ideas spread. I tell a friend. That friend tells a couple of friends. And so on and so on. We trust our friends more than we do clever marketing and click-bait.

How do you get your customers and clients to tell their business and social networks about you? Because we all know, word of mouth is the best form of advertising and promotion.

Well, instead of focusing on the many, focus on the one or two. Wow their socks off so that they become an advocate/disciple/evangelist for you.

I’m trying hard to refrain from going on a rant here – a rant about how people don’t have time to form personal relationships. I won’t though.

Instead, I’ll leave you with the words from the late great Dicky Fox:

“The key to this business is personal relationships.”


If you don’t have time, make time if you want to win at what you do.

How to focus on what’s important, not just what’s urgent.

I have to admit, I struggle with this. I’m of the personality type that works on projects in short bursts. I put in the minimum amount of effort planning things, preferring instead to work with loose notes and outlines. To do the ‘ready, fire, aim’ thing. And so what ends up happening is, I put off important things until they become urgent. I kind of get off on the buzz of urgency, especially for big deadlines. The whole ‘flying by the seat of my pants’ thing is practically a mantra for me.

It’s natural to want to get deadline-driven tasks squared away and off your mental to-do list. A paradox many people face is that our most meaningful tasks are less likely to have deadlines than tasks that are relatively unimportant. – hbr

Drowning in urgency, I tell myself never again. Next time I will make a detailed plan and follow it.

It never quite goes down like that.

The trick, though, is learning to work within your given preference. For example, while I’m not a big fan of multitasking, I do, however, like to have multiple projects on the go so that when my mind goes stale on one project, I can switch to another project in process and see it with fresh eyes.

This way I am able to focus on a project until I can’t focus on it, then I switch to another of my project in progress.

Bottomline, find a way that works for you, then execute.

You may even want to try this.

As learning professionals, I believe our role is to act in the interest of learning.

Sometimes that’s fun. Sometimes that’s difficult. Oftentimes is a blend of both.  If you think about what we do as learning professionals i.e. physically change the neurological connections in people’s brains – that’s a difficult task, but that’s how real learning happens.

Your learners are likely to want you to make learning easy. You know to read a few handouts, look at some slides, play a few games, half listen to you talk, then fill out a quick smiley sheet and go.

But sometimes we need to make their brains work hard and sweat. Get them to engage in deep discussions where they have to articulate their understanding, challenge other’s views and be willing to have their views challenged.

I know it’s a whole lot easier to just sit and listen. But that’s simply not enough.

To serve learning, we have to push our learners to go deeper.

A deeper level of learning requires a commitment to put in the effort to change those neurological connections which are the gateway to real learning.

Our role then, as learning professionals, is to facilitate active and collaborative learning, provide learning activities and experiences (not just content) and a safe space for the conditions of deeper learning to occur.  And we need to be on hand to act as facilitator, guide, mentor, and coach.

A tall order, for sure, but one, if you’re like me, to passionately embrace.

General Ann Dunwoody served 37 years in the U.S. Army. She was the first woman in U.S. Military history to achieve a four-star officer rank. She’s now joined the board of Automattic. In an interview with Matt Mullenweg, she shared some insights on global leadership.

I loved what she had to say on leadership:

Matt: We’re excited to have you onboard, General Dunwoody. It’s interesting — at Automattic we like to point out that we’re all over the globe (over 740 employees in more than 60 countries) but you oversaw 69,000 military and civilians across 140 countries! Were there any big leadership lessons from managing operations across such a wide range of distances, timezones, and cultures?

Gen. Dunwoody: That’s a great question. When I started out as a young officer in the Army, the leadership philosophy that was espoused back then was “Leadership by walking around.” When you’re in charge of a platoon, a company or even a battalion or Brigade that is not globally dispersed this philosophy is very sound. When you’re running a global organization with 69,000 folks in 140 countries, you have to leverage technology to keep real-time communications flowing and keep leaders updated. I would host (with the leadership) a global video teleconference every Wednesday connecting every organization from Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Europe, etc. and sites — hundreds across the United States. Our headquarters would provide an operational update and then we go around the globe to get update from everyone — what’s going well, where they need help or additional resources. In the old days I think people believed information was power and often withheld information to use for personal advantage, but I believe shared information is power. By leveraging the power of the entire industrial base we could solve problems in real time. I still travelled around a lot to see our people, but it is not possible to keep everyone informed and in the loop with current operations without leveraging technology.

You can read the full here.