If Serving is below you, then Leadership is beyond you.
Learning new skills is paramount in today’s world. Whether you are searching for a first job, seeking a promotion in your current job or planning to make a career pivot, your ability to learn new skills (fast) will be your best friend.
In his book “The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything. Fast!”, Josh Kaufman suggests the following 10 steps to gain a new skill quickly:
- Choose a project you love, a project you are very curious about.
- Focus your energy on one skill at a time, don’t try to learn everything at once.
- Define your target performance level, when you become “good enough” on the skill. This will define how long and how much energy you will put in this project.
- Deconstruct the skill into sub-skills. Divide and conquer.
- Obtain critical tools, the tools you need for practice and performance.
- Eliminate barriers to practice, including emotional barriers. Set your environment in a way to reduce the effort required to practice. Remove distractions, put your mobile phone away, etc.
- Make dedicated time for practice, MAKE it.
- Create fast feedback loops. Feedback is to get accurate information about how well you are performing. Using this information to improve the performance creates a feedback loop. The faster the loop, the faster the learning.
- Practice by the clock in short bursts. You may try the Pomodoro technique.
- Emphasize quantity and speed. Don’t seek perfection. Quantity is better than quality for learning a new skill.
To be at your best performance, and accelerate your learning curve, make sure you are in the zone, or in a flow state. More on that in future posts.
Every human being is unique. Each of us has a unique DNA, a unique experience of life, and a unique outlook to the future. Nonetheless, as a species – Homo sapiens, we all share some traits at different degrees: we tend to over-generalize, we procrastinate, we are curious, etc. Moreover, if we scan the history and the geography of human societies, we notice some patterns in the characters: the leader, the soldier, the scientist, the rebel, the traitor, the altruist, etc. We don’t find it difficult to compare one or more characters of a story to other characters in other stories…
The study of human behavior and personality has gained increased attention in the last two centuries and has evolved from pseudoscience theories (such as phrenology and physiognomy) to an established branch of psychology.
In a previous post “Who Are You, Really? – Brian Little“, the personality is defined as the result of the following determinants: biogenic (inherited genes), sociogenic (culture and values) and idiogenic (individual decisions and will) traits. The OCEAN model for human personalities and behavior was used as a tool to assess the basic personality traits.
Many other models exist in the literature. In this post, the following personality models are presented: MBTI, FIRO-B, SDI, and DISC. These models are widely used today in the corporate world (in hiring and management), and they are part of some management programs. All the models are based on psychological research studies and are formulated as introspective self-report questionnaires that can be found online.
MBTI – Myer Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality assessment model that was constructed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. It is based on the conceptual theory proposed by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. The personality traits are grouped into four categories:
- Introversion / Extraversion: What is your source of energy? From inside yourself (I) or from people (E).
- Sensing / INtuition: How do you perceive the world? As facts and details (S) or as possibilities and big picture (N).
- Thinking / Feeling: How do you make decisions? Using analytical thinking (T), or feelings and empathy (F).
- Judging / Perception: How do you organize your life? To-do lists and instructions (J) or flexibility and improvisation (P).
This produces 16 personality types as shown in the figure below. An individual can fall into one type, or between 2 or more types, depending on its score.