Once someone decides what they want to be when they grow up, they go to university, college or a trade school, etc. There they study, work part time and summer jobs to fund their education, make sacrifices like staying home Saturday night and studying for an exam. The hard work generally leads to higher SAT scores, which gets them into better universities. The study skills required for higher SAT scores are generally not the skills required to advance one’s career.
The next career step involves developing new skills in order to master the job or trade, and remain gainfully employed – another new skill set. From here some set out to start their own firm and they develop the acumen for raising money, creating a business plan and marketing strategy. Again, a new skill set.
Throughout your life you will develop many special skill sets that will enable you advance your career, structure a successful company, build a winning team and raise money. Those skills will not be the ones that carry you to the finish line and secure first prize.
Perennially successful people develop winning strategies that are constantly changing and evolving. The most successful people are constantly testing the limits, innovating and taking risks that lead to a break-through or sometimes bust. Either way they are pushing both the limits and themselves.
As you advance your career, new skills must be acquired and old ones sometimes dropped completely. I find this difficult in my own life being a creature of habit. When I do let go and move forward not only am I lighter, faster and stronger, I also discover fresh perspectives and gain insights I wouldn’t have had if I remained in one place. Change is hard but critical for success and growth.
Author Marshall Goldsmith’s book entitled What Got You Here Won’t Get You there, addresses how to move forward and advance by letting go of bad habits and acquire new skills. Check out the link to review his top 20 habits for improvement.