Category Archives: Self-Development

Are You Sabotaging Your Own Success?

Alice Boyes writes in her article, “5 Ways Smart People Sabotage Their Success” that “very smart people sometimes see their success as inevitable because of their intellect, and don’t see other skills as important.” As I read Boye’s article I thought about the members of the iMar Community that I have spoken with. iMar Community members are innovative, intellectuals that see the future not as something to fear, but as an opportunity to create the things they dream about. But, with all of our intellect, we have to make sure that we aren’t allowing our raw intelligence to stop us from reaching our full potential. Continue reading Are You Sabotaging Your Own Success?

The System is Failing Our Students…But We Can Fix It

“Employers (are) reporting that high school graduates enter their roles missing the skills they need to do their jobs well.
The Opportunity Myth Study

Work hard in school, and you’ll be successful. That is something every kid in America hears, and believes. This mandate, though, leaves out an important side of the equation: Is school working for kids?” writes Eillie Anzilotti in her article, Kids aren’t Failing-Schools are Failing Kids, for Fast Company. As a child, I remember receiving that very same advice. So, that is exactly what I did. I am one of those weird kids that actually enjoyed school. I have always had a passion for learning new things and pushing my mind to its limit. I often reflect on my high school and college experience. It was truly the tale of two educations!

I struggled academically during my high school years. I made low B’s, and C’s and I wasn’t very interested in what was going on in the classroom. I worked really hard like everyone said to do, but no matter what I did my grades did not improve. My dream was to play college basketball, but my jump shot didn’t improve either, and I did not see any scholarship offers in my future, and with my grades, I wouldn’t have been able to accept any. At that point in my life, I decided to make the decision to quit basketball my senior year and focus on improving my grades so I could make sure that I was accepted into a university. My hard work actually paid off this time!

College was a totally different experience. I loved every moment of it! The fact that I was able to have a choice on which classes I would enroll in, decide when I would take these classes, and I didn’t have to go to class if I didn’t want too, made all the difference for me. The X-factor in my college versus high school experience was choice and the options that ‘choice’ gave me help me to fall in love with learning in a new way. James Bach in his book Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar focuses on keeping an open eye for new learning experiences and teaches you to ‘size-up’ every situation and decide if there is a learning opportunity there.

I believe that if schools want to stop failing our kids, then students need more choice. Students need a voice, and students need to fall in love with learning. This is a brand new generation in our classrooms, in our homes, and at our job sites. Students need to be able to explore different career choices so they can get a feel for what their future might be. My high school didn’t have opportunities like this. I believe that if I would have had a chance to explore my future, then I may have realized a lot sooner that I enjoy teaching, training, and helping others find their passion in life! Educators, the ball is in our court to help our students find their path to “learning to love learning” and not just learning to pass a test! Business leaders make sure you support your local educators because they are the ones preparing the next person that will walk through your doors for an interview.

Read More: Kids aren’t Failing School-Schools are Failing Kids

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What are Power Skills? Do I Need Them?

‘Soft Skills’ is a Major Misnomer

Critical thinking, persuasive writing, communications, and teamwork are not fluffy, nice-to-have value-adds. They’re hard-won and rigorously maintained abilities that are better referred to as “power skills.
-Anant Agarwal, Data Reveals Why The ‘Soft’ In ‘Soft Skills’ Is A Major Misnomer

Mark Cuban made a prediction that many people in the technical fields found shocking: in ten years, “a liberal arts degree in philosophy will be worth more than a traditional programming degree,” writes Agarwal in his article for Forbes Magazine. This news was shocking but as he stated in his article it does actually make sense.

To succeed in the near future will require employees and leaders that are capable to think outside of the box and solve problems creatively. The cookie cutter method of doing things is on its way out of the door. Automation will take care of a lot of the easy task. Employees of the future will need high levels of social and emotional intelligence to go along with their critical thinking and communication skills. The reason why social and emotional training is so important is that millennials and the next generation will continue to flood the job marketplace, and ‘old school’ managers will need to adapt to their needs.

The term ‘Soft Skills’ really is a misnomer because the people that have these so-called ‘Soft Skills’ have to be strong mentally to deal with the ever-changing attitudes of those that don’t have those same skills. I agree with Agarwal that the term soft skills should be changed to “Power Skills.” In order for this to be accomplished will also require a mindset shift. We have to start the process of looking at “Power Skills” as skills that require power to perform them at a high rate. These skills must be put at the top of our training sessions and asked about thoroughly in interviews. These are the skills that must be invested in financially because we find value in what they will bring to our teams and organizations.

Agarwal also shared the results of a Google study, he wrote, “Last year, Google announced the findings from an internal study…they found that their best teams weren’t the ones full of top scientists. Instead, their highest performing teams were interdisciplinary groups that benefited heavily from employees who brought strong soft skills to the collaborative process. Further research revealed that important predictors of success within Google were skills like good communication, insights about others, and empathetic leadership.” Today is the day to invest in your future and your organization or be left behind!

Read More: Data Reveals Why The ‘Soft’ In ‘Soft Skills’ Is A Major Misnomer

Enroll in iMar Learning Solutions’ Critical Thinking Academy Today for only $19.99

Schedule iMar’s Live Training

Can Humanity & Robots Build the Future Together?

The Robots Need Our Help

“The future world would be one where the focus will be on collaboration and one where AI will become the “chief of staff” allowing societies an equal access of technology and therefore flexible models of working. “
-Stuart Templeton, The Future is Exciting

I have some GREAT news to share! The robots and A.I. aren’t planning to take our jobs. Recent studies and reports are stating that our technological advancements will actually create more jobs, and the robots need our help to complete their task. Stuart Templeton, the head of Slack UK, said, “the future would be one where the future is focused on collaboration and one where AI will become the ‘chief of staff.” Continue reading Can Humanity & Robots Build the Future Together?

Have You Unlocked Your Creative Genius?

Set the Genius FREE!

“Mozart acknowledged that his great work was simply a by-product of diligent and consistent hard-work on his craft for many years.”
-Mayo OShin, Ladders Magazine
In last weeks newsletter, I focused on encouraging you to switch your focus from “finding your passion” and challenged you to switch to the Carole Dweck approved phrase of “developing your passion.” This week I would like to discuss the hard-work and effort that actually goes into taking your skills to the next level.

Mayo Oshin in his article, Mozart on How to Unlock Your Inner Creative Genius, writes, “there is a destructive myth that the ‘creative genius’ is born with an innate, godlike ability to create extraordinary work at the snap of their finger…this couldn’t be further from the truth.” Oshin’s article states that the inner genius is developed through consistent practice. Continue reading Have You Unlocked Your Creative Genius?

Stop Trying to Find Your Passion

Develop Your Passion

We need to carefully consider what we communicate to people about interests and passionsParents, teachers, and employers might get the most out of people if they suggest that interests are developed, not simply found.”

-Paul O’Keefe, Yale Psychologist
Before reading Ephrat Levni’s article, “Find Your Passion” is bad advice“, I would always tell my students to “get out there and find your passion, and your destiny awaits you!” I would speak these words with such conviction because this is what I was always told.

Levni’s article was truly an eye-opener. The article suggests that we have to STOP telling our co-workers, students, and even family members to stop seeking their passion and we need to start telling them to DEVELOP their passion.

This is really good advice because as Levni described in the article, your passion isn’t sitting there waiting for you and all the questions to life will be answered once you find it. No, Levni says that you pick your passion and develop it to the best of your ability and keep working at it.

I challenge all of you to STOP trying to find your passion and telling others to do so. Today is the day we tell others (and ourselves) to DEVELOP your passion because this will put you in the driver’s seat and in control of where your future is headed. Click here to enroll in our online training course or here to schedule a LIVE Training for your team so we can work together to DEVELOP your passion.

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Are you an Effective Leader?

Leaders are Made Not Born

Effective leadership can be thought of as a set of qualities and skills. Different leaders may have different makeups, different strengths, and challenges. But there are certain traits that lie at the core of leadership–the qualities that all great leaders share.” -Lolly Daskal

Effective leadership is a skill that can be developed over time. Lolly Daskal shares the 16 traits that are essential to great leaders. I suggest that you use this list to help inform you of your current level of leadership ability, and take a second to pat yourself on the back for the areas that you are excelling at, and also look at your weakest areas and let iMar help you to put together a plan to help you become the effective leader that you were born to be.

Read Daskals article here: Everything You Need to Know About Great Leadership

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Can Business and Education Close the Skills Gap Together?

Closing the Gap Together

Despite U.S. high school graduation rates reaching all-time highs, many employers are finding that recent graduates are unprepared to succeed in the workforce because they lack foundational “soft skills.” While technical skills are often industry-specific, soft skills such as professional communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and time management are valued by employers across sectors.” -U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently published a report on why the business and education sector must work together to close the soft skills gap. These two sectors working together seems like one of those solutions that is almost so obvious we could have almost missed it. iMar is working daily to seek out partners so that we can bring our soft skills training to the people that need it most. We focus on the “Big 6” of critical thinking: Leadership, Creative Problem Solving, Analytical Thinking, Collaboration, Social & Emotional Intelligence, and Communication, because as the report mentions these are the skills that employers want that are rare to find.

Click Here to Download the Full Report

D. Wesley-IMar Learning Solutions

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Does Your Work Follow You Wherever You Go?

The Future is Here

People are using technology like voice-activated apps and smartphone calendars to enhance their everyday lives and that is also translating to their work,” Cotton says. “As employers, we have to embrace that — how do we give people the opportunity to work from anywhere while still being productive?” writes Pooneh Ghana for WIRED magazine.
Our jobs are no longer constrained to just the brick and mortar office of yesterday. Our office is now online, we meet in chat rooms for meetings, we share project duties through resources like ASANA, and the ability to manage all of this can become a nightmare. Preparation and updating your skills will be the key to success for the future of the workplace, and iMar is here with you every step of the way.

Click to read Pooneh Ghana’s full article for WIRED magazine.

Alanna Cotton (right), senior vice president and general manager at Samsung Electronics America, speaks about the future of work with Jason Tanz(left), Wired magazine site director, at the SXSW Conference in Austin, TX. (Credit: Pooneh Ghana)

D. Wesley-IMar Learning Solutions

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Click Here to Enroll in IMAR’s Critical Thinking Academy