Skills to achieve a vision
How do you imagine yourself X years from now? Do you have right skills to be that person in X years?
I’m what I’m
There are four parts which makes us who we are today:
- Vision which we or someone had for us (e.g. our parents) “yesterday” (i.e. X years ago)
- Skills we had or could acquire to achieve the vision
- Real work we put towards the vision
- Luck we get on the way (call it universal random, chaos or God direction)
I will write about the second part, skills, in this article.
They are knowledge, know-hows, technologies we have and apply to get things done. It moves our vision needle towards “us” with real output.
I would split all possible skills in two main groups:
- Hard skills
- Soft skills
Hard skills are ones which are used by a single person to create a value. Examples of hard skills are:
- Programming, to create a website
- Cooking, to make a pasta bolognese
- Teaching, to give knowledge to others
- Plumbing, to install a faucet
On other hand, soft skills are the ones which are used by a single person to influence others to create value or not interfere:
- Motivating others to not give up
- Attracting right people for a job
- Connecting others so they can create value together
Both skills are important means to an end. Have to be applied appropriately considering their pros & cons. For example, hard skills allows you to create a value exactly the way you need it but you cannot scale. Soft skills allows you to leverage others but you won’t have full control over how its’s done.
Let’s review a simplified archetypes of a single person based of prevalence of the skill groups in them. One call out, it’s not one-fits-all classification, the same person can be a different acrhitype in different situation.
This person has both low hard and low soft skills for a task.
If you identify yourself as follower and do have a vision then the only advise here is: identify skills you need, learn and acquire higher competency in them.
Don’t worry, it will take time but you will get there with persistence.
Still I must to say that it’s OK to not have vision. If that’s your case I would take a back seat and enjoy the ride.
This person has high hard skills and low soft skills. They know how to do things themselves. This type makes a good employee, a player. Since they have low soft skills they rely on someone else to manage creation of value from others when act in groups or teams.
If you vision does not require influencing others you will be fine.
Otherwise the only advise: one man in a field is not a warrior, learn how to build a team around your vision.
On an opposite side of Doer, Influencer has strong soft skills and low hard skills. They know right people, they have networks, they build a team around a vision.
These type of people can make good entrepreneurs, coaches and people managers. That’s an easy way for them to create value — found an enterprise and attract others to work in it.
It’s hard to be influencer and and not all visions can be achieved via soft skills only. As I wrote before, cons of soft skills is that you lose controls. You don’t have competency. You may not judge clearly if you are moving into a right direction, until it’s too late.
Advice for influencer rs is to define vision critical hard skills and acquire some level of competency in them.
Leader has both strong hard and soft skills. They know how to attract people and they know how to lead people by doing, by example. They are A+ employees. Influencers are looking for Leaders, to build a team of doers around them.
If you are a leader then only advise is to make a judgment call on which side of your skills to rely for your vision:
- Soft side to scale
- Hard part to have more control
Coming back to my original question. How do you imagine yourself X years from now? That’s your vision. What archetype your vision require?
Let’s use a team sport as an example. If you want to be an athlete then you need to be Doer. If you want to be a team owner then you may be Influencer. And if you want to be a team captain, then you have to be Leader.
Are you that archetype or not yet?
If not, think about what steps do you need to take to become one. And most importantly, make the first step towards you.