Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind is simply amazing for both the richness and the simplicity of ideas. His new approach to life is around “high concept” and “high touch”. On reading the book, I cant help but emphasize what I see are 5 core skills to be successful. I just list them here in no particular order.
Ability to differentiate : In a world where we are constantly bombarded by jargons and acronyms and where there is a constant battle for the minds and hearts, the discerning ability to differentiate between truth and fiction, between communication and spin, between the core and the peripheral and between the form and substance will be critical.
Vision to be different: While role models have a significant influence, I believe that only a strong vision to be different from the crowd will make one successful. There is a sense of security in following the crowd, but that sets up one for complacency. A vision to be different arises from a clear conviction and sets the roadmap to success and discovery
Weaving the story: A very superior way to engage people — be it in a person to person interaction or even a group would be the ability to weave a story around the facts. People relate to a story better and this emotive engagement has a long standing impact.
Ability to conceptualize: While the ability to analyze is important and has been emphasized, the ability to conceptualize and visualize has been less so. The world belongs to people who create and hence conceptualization skills will be more rewarded.
Creating meaning: I think this “abstract” concept of being able to create meaning for oneself and for others will be critical both for one’s existential satisfaction and for being relevant to the world at large.
I wonder whether there are any teaching aids to develop these learning skills. I also wonder whether formal educational systems and even training interventions are geared to address these issues.
I have always attempted to emphasize these aspects in my coaching endeavor.