The World Economic Forum reveals that almost 65 percent of the jobs elementary school students will be doing in the future do not even exist yet. We live in a world of accelerating change. New industries are continually being born, and old ones are becoming obsolete. Both the workforce and our knowledge base are rapidly evolving. Is our wisdom keeping up?
Combined with the effects of technological automation on the workforce, this leaves us with a crucial question: What are the skills future generations will need?
We need to move from education and experience to embrace an individual’s full talent stack. In our current institution-centric education model, the government define a standard curriculum that must be taught. We are limited to a standard way of learning — one that does not work for everyone.
Today’s results are less than adequate. I find it disappointing that a study by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills showed that about 89 percent of employer respondents report high school graduate entrants as “deficient” in communication and that 55% of college freshmen will not graduate. We need their talents and contribution.
Inquisitiveness and thinking outside the box need to be treated with the same level of importance the school system gives to language, physics or math. Tomorrow’s learning systems will be learner-centric. Everyone needs to become a life-long learner. Learner-centered teaching:
- engages students in the hard, messy work of learning
- includes explicit skill instruction, where teachers teach students how to think, solve problems, evaluate evidence, analyze arguments, generate hypotheses—all those learning skills essential to mastering the material in the discipline
- encourages students to reflect on what they are learning, how they are learning it
- encourages them to accept responsibility for decisions they make about their learning
- motivates students by giving them some control over learning processes — teachers search out ethically responsible ways to share power with students
- encourages collaboration — research consistently confirms, that students can learn from and with each other
The Fifth Element in Your Talent Stack — Wisdom
I recently published an insight — How to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work and introduced a three-minute quiz to determine your “Indispensability Quotient.” It is based on a talent stack with four elements: skills, knowledge, accomplishments, and behavioral traits.
Inspired by The Only Real Way to Acquire Wisdom, an article written by Zat Rana, who is playing at the intersection of art, science, and philosophy, and a recent trip to Greece, I am adding a fifth element: WISDOM.
Wisdom, like fine wine, takes time to age.” – Leon Seltzer, PhD
Seltzer conducted a comprehensive investigation, reviewing 1,000+ sayings on just what constitutes the essence of wisdom. Here are the most common wisdom themes he encountered:
Wisdom can’t be acquired simply through reading books; knowledge is one thing, wisdom quite another.
Wise people continue to doubt themselves (and that’s part of what makes them wise).
Wisdom is positively related to happiness.
Wisdom must be distinguished from mere cleverness (which frequently “poses” as wisdom).
Wise people talk less, are silent more, and listen more than those lacking wisdom.
Wisdom is a function of time and experience (which are prerequisites to it).
Wisdom derives more from mistakes and failures than from success.
Wisdom has as its antonyms foolishness or folly . . . but not always.
Wisdom is antithetical to fear. In fact, it’s what enables a person to overcome fear.
Wise people are also humble. There’s really no such thing as someone who is both proud or arrogant and wise.
Wisdom, and its quest, breed kindness, and compassion.
The great philosopher Socrates denied being wise more than two thousand years ago. Wisdom is the art of knowing that you are not wise.
Wisdom has at least two dimensions. Wisdom not only knows, but it also understands. Moreover, the distinction between knowing and understanding is what differentiates our talent stack.
We develop and can improve our skills through education, training, professional development, or obtaining coaching/mentoring from someone who understands these skills.
Knowledge is generally factual. You have learned a kind of knowledge, and you know its truth as it applies to a problem. Knowledge gives you a utility; wisdom inspires flexible versatility. It provides a more textured lens for interacting with reality, very much changing how you think.
Can you have wisdom without knowledge? Understanding is fluid. You understand that knowledge’s essence and you can see how it relates to everything else, with nuances and contradictions included.
Identify Your Strengths — Build Your Talent Stack
The first step is to assess the elements of your unique talent stack.
- What skills do you have?
- What knowledge have you acquired?
- What are your accomplishments?
- What wisdom have you gained?
- What are your behavioral strengths and challenges?
The second step is to determine the skills, knowledge, wisdom, and behavioral traits of high performers in your target roles. Then conduct a gap analysis.
Our analytics can help you at this stage. We conduct a Career Assessment.
Now you are ready to develop the talent stack that complements those strengths, match the requirements of your target job, and help you extract the most value from them. Often, people focus far too narrowly on the skills that are core to their position.
Tom Wolfe wrote an inspiring piece, 354 – Mike Massimino: You Can’t Control the Outcome, So Keep Doing What You Love. Massimino’s childhood dream was to be an astronaut. He got rejected repeatedly. However, he still figured out a way to pursue his dreams — he continued to build his talent stack. It took him ten years and was accepted to NASA with his fourth application. He finally made it to space.
Behaviors of those who consistently meet or exceed expectations
Our analytics show that employees who consistently meet or exceed expectations have these five core behavioral competencies:
- Maintains Accountability — Assuming full accountability for what happens and being first to invite criticism and personal responsibility.
- Strives for Excellence — Striving for impeccable standards and the best quality possible through devotion to meticulous excellence.
- Manages Stress — Performing well under stress without unnecessary worry or sensitivity to criticism.
- Demonstrates Character — Maturely honoring interpersonal commitments while maintaining ethical convictions and playing by honorable
- Connects with Customer —Building trust, cares about customer success, maintains lasting and meaningful connections with customers, honoring commitments, and meeting their needs.
Mastery of these competencies puts you on the path to becoming indispensable.
Survival Skills of The Future
Imagination is more important than knowledge.” — Albert Einstein
Through investigating the education sector, interviewing industry leaders and studying the global workforce at large, education expert Tony Wagner has identified seven. These are skills and mindsets young people need to meet their full potential.
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving — this skill set builds the very foundation of innovation. We must have the ability to question the status quo and criticize it before we can innovate and prescribe an alternative.
- Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence — leadership is no longer about commanding with top-down authority, but rather about leading by influence and creating alliances of groups who work together toward a common goal.
- Agility and Adaptability — in our VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world, it is essential to be able to adapt and re-define one’s strategy. We must be agile and adaptive to unpredictable consequences of disruption. We must learn skills and mindsets on demand and set aside ones that are no longer required.
- Initiative and Entrepreneurship — business leaders are struggling to find employees who consistently “seek out new opportunities, ideas, and strategies for improvement.”
- Effective Oral and Written Communication — Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess. It is a skill that can be learned and consequently used to open many opportunities.
- Assessing and Analyzing Information — information is continuously evolving as we update our knowledge base faster than ever before. Our access to information and misinformation has dramatically increased. In the age of fake news, an active and informed citizen will have to be able to assess data from many different sources through a critical lens.
- Curiosity and Imagination — are powerful drivers of new knowledge and innovation. It takes powerful imagination to envision breakthroughs and then go about executing them.
The quest for wisdom is an age-old effort. It is one many have recommended. It has been said to be as useful for finding inner contentment as it for fueling external successes. Wisdom strips information down to its essence so that it can relate the underlying principle of that knowledge to the existing information network.
Wisdom is an essential consideration in our talent stack. So, in the word of Abraham Lincoln, “I reserve the right to be more intelligent tomorrow than I was today.” Your talent stack shapes everything. It is worth working on.
Insights About Your Behavioral DNA Can Advance Your Career
We are incredibly passionate about Behavioral DNA and the impact this scientific insight can have on you. Using SuccessFinder, you can discover your behavioral strengths and challenges.
High-performers in the same role share a common subset of behaviors. Our talent analytics compares your talent stack — behavioral traits and competencies — with high performers. We show you how to leverage your unique talents to achieve career satisfaction and success.
Focus on your strengths and manage your challenges. You complete the assessment online, we then provide you report and personal feedback via video call. We offer the service worldwide. We’d love to hear from you!