Think of someone you’d consider ultra successful. You’re probably thinking of someone with a pretty comfortable lifestyle, maybe they’re rolling in money, or they just seem to have it all figured out. Now I want you to try to think of the specific skills that person has. What sets them apart from the competition? What are they good at? Chances are they aren’t good at everything.
Think of your own life. What are your skills, what are you good at? It takes time to hone skills and to get good at something. It requires education, practice, mentorship. Nobody’s good at everything, but we’re all good at something. Compare your skill set to the ultra successful person. Do you share all of the same skills?
Probably not. Of course you don’t, you’re different people. But think about what skills are most important? Some skills have a disproportionate impact on success. That means that some skills are more valuable than others, and some pair nicely together to multiply the impact on your ability to execute.
Think of a salesman or someone in marketing who is just phenomenal at selling. If she is a great communicator, amazing at persuasion, and can negotiate the hell out of any deal, will she be successful? Well that all depends on what she’s selling. If she’s selling used cars that are about to fall apart the moment you drive it off the lot, you’ll see her as a con artist. If she’s selling a product that you’ll love and cherish for the rest of your life, you’ll always remember her as the person that helped you make an amazing decision.
I see this a lot when I’m interviewing people. Some people are amazing interviewers, but have no skills and are useless on the job. Some people have amazing experience and mastery of skills, but get nervous and tense up during the interview. If you’re in the job market, interviewing skills are a must, because without them, all of the other skills you have don’t have the opportunity to shine through.
Looking at my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to move into leadership and executive roles at a young age. I attribute a great deal of this success to one skill – my deep knowledge and understanding of technology. I have many other skills at different levels, but my ability to leverage technology has acted as a multiplier for my other skills, and helped me achieve what I set out to achieve in rapid succession.
Information technology is the most powerful tool humans have created. Using computers, the internet, social media, and smart phones, we can do things our ancestors couldn’t even dream. We live in a time where access to information has never been so plentiful, but only if we know where to look.
I leveraged technology to discover means of rapid learning, increase my intake of data, leverage the knowledge of others to help solve my problems, and automate mundane and repetitive tasks.
When I meet people who admit “I’m not tech savvy” or “I don’t like computers”, I shake my head. That’s like saying you don’t like when the sun shines after it’s rained, or a hot coffee on an early Monday morning. Computers make everything better, if only you know how to use them. Choosing to not know how to use them only makes your life harder, and gives a huge advantage to your competition. And believe me, we’re all competing for something with someone, whether it’s other job candidates, other businesses, your coworkers vying for that promotion, or your spouse in a silly debate.