Three Ways to Power-Boost Your Skill Set

It’s 97 percent. That’s the percentage of employers who, when forced to pick, say it’s more likely your mindset will drive your skill set, rather than the other way around.

In other words, it’s more likely a person with the right mindset will find a way to grow the right skill set than a person who keeps pounding away on skills will somehow, someday, develop a winning mindset. That’s what our survey of roughly ten thousand top employers worldwide, across all industries reveals, if not shouts to anyone trying to upgrade one’s career.

Piling on more skills training may actually result in disappointingly little improvement in the value one delivers and the fulfilment one derives from one’s job.

Based on our research, the winning mindset is comprised of 72 qualities that fit under the 3Gs-Global, Good and Grit. Based on honed practice with Fortune 100 employers, here are three ways-based on the 3Gs- to use mindset to power-boost your skill set.

1-Reach Beyond (Global)

When it comes to what the research defines as a winning mindset, Global is not about being international or multicultural. It’s all about perspective-your tendency to think beyond-and big picture thinking in all you decide and do. As work gets more stressful, and adversity attacks from all sides, it’s entirely natural to get more intensely focused in the weeds, on the immediate here and now as you get relentlessly pelted with demands.

Reach Beyond by asking yourself, “Who, (what person or resource) beyond my immediate reality (industry, workplace, geography, culture) could I ask or seek out to get a entirely fresh perspective on this situation?” Then use the wonders of modern technology to do so in 59 seconds or less. Use your Mindset to tap their insights, and improve your problem-solving skill set. Most “experts” love to be asked. And you’ll notice a true trend. The good ones respond.

2-Grow for Free (Good)

I remember a friend who was an exceptional symphony level musician. The problem is, you must have symphony level experience to audition for a symphony spot. How do you get the experience without the experience?

Here’s where a lot of people get stuck on skill development. If you have, at best, modest construction skills, the problem with buying your dream house is it might be too nice to risk experimenting. The same can be true of applying underdeveloped skills in a “you better get it right” kind of job.

If Global is about perspective, than good is about people. A “Good” Mindset means being infused with exceptional integrity and kindness. It is all about the degree to which you consider and act to the benefit of others.

You can Grow Good and your skills by volunteering for causes and projects that require the exact skills you most need and maybe most obviously lack. If you are weak at finance, run the books for a neighbourhood build or block party. If you tend to be poor at planning, take charge of a detailed event. The good news is, when you’re not being paid and your career isn’t on the line, mistakes are expected, and quality is a bonus. Volunteer settings are mistake-making places. That’s how you hone the stuff you lack.

3-Enter the Storm (Grit)

One of the main complaints employers wage against “Gen Y”, or at least their less-than-flattering stereotype, is that they expect, even feel entitled to do only things they are naturally good at and enjoy. Someone else should do the rest. Regardless of this offensively limiting portrayal, the fact is no one seeks the unpleasant jobs.

Grit is all about forging and demonstrating uncommon resilience, intensity and tenacity, that helps you get stuff done, long after most others would quit. Instead of running from, turn into the storm, and selectively take on the (most visible) toughest, least enjoyable tasks that put you way beyond your comfort zone, and require you to ingeniously figure out solutions to the unsolvable problems.

It’s almost impossible not to accelerate and round out your skill set and forced to do so. Somewhere I read the quote, “It is in the flames of adversity that our greatness [add 'skill set'] is forged.”

97 percent know this truth: Mindset power-boosts skill set.

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