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?
‘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!
Are Internet Connected Toys Safe?
“Cayla is just one example of a new wave of artificial intelligence (AI) toys that “befriend” children. Manufacturers often claim they are educational, enhancing play and helping children develop social skills. But consumer groups warn that smart toys, like other “things” we connect to the internet, might put security and privacy at risk.”
-Kay Firth Butterfield, Head of A.I. & Machine Learning
Amazon Echo recently recorded a woman’s conversation and emailed the conversation to her friend, Uber’s self-driving car detected a pedestrian 6 seconds before a fatal crash but didn’t identify her as a pedestrian, and “My Friend Cayla” is an internet-connected doll that uses voice recognition to interact with children. The technology of today is being marketed to consumers as tools that will make our lives easier and better. But we must stop and ask ourselves if the risk is worth the benefit for our children?
We are creating the world that our children will inherit. They will receive the good technology and the bad effects of the technology. As parents, we enjoyed a society where our conversations weren’t recorded without our permission, but this will be normal for future generations. Having such devices may help stop the next school shooter, or help the FBI uncover the next terrorist plot, so there are positive benefits that technology brings. As parents and guardians of the future, we must weigh the risk versus the benefits for our children.
My hope is that parents stay ahead of the technological trends so they can prepare their kids to know how to manage the technology in their lives. Many parents need a lesson on how to do this as well. Jen Beason, a second-grade teacher, had her students write about their parent’s usage of technology and every student said, “their parents spend more time on FB then they do talking to their child.” We are the generation that decides what happens next, please choose wisely, or Orwell’s book 1984 will continue to become our future!
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.
How Do We Reskill America?
Katherine Newman, author of Reskilling America: How Technical Education Can Transform Our Society, said, “Students from working-class and poor communities need options that traditional forms of higher education may not provide, and they need them now, not thirty or forty years hence, when their working lives are in the rearview mirror.”
I completely agree with Katherine, and something has to be done to help those students gain the skills they need to be successful in and after high school. Yes, the jobs that your father and grandfather had in the manufacturing warehouse may not be available anymore, but new opportunities are becoming available every day.
The Impact of Technology
Technology and automation are changing the skills that are needed to do certain jobs. Adult workers today have to make sure they are monitoring how their job might change due to updated technology and adapt their skills so they are not left behind. iMar Learning Solutions provides the soft-skills that will help you grow and be successful on the job, but you still need the hard skills that schools like Essex Technical Skills High School provide to its students.
Your Passion Does Not Have to Be Mine
I remember sitting in my college geology lab and thinking to myself, “I will never need this” and “why am I here?” I’m sure you have felt the same way as you struggled through classes that have absolutely nothing to do with your life or career. I enjoyed my geology class that was required for me to graduate. My professor was amazing and I could really feel his passion and love for rocks in every lecture. Unfortunately for me, I did not share his love and passion. Instead of taking that class, I could have been focusing on my strengths and what was important to me. Continue reading Forget Your Weakness, Focus on Your Strength