Earlier this week Lifehack ran a thought-provoking article about the 10 skills you need to succeed (at almost anything).
Usually when I happen upon these sorts of articles I expect zeitgeist-y skills like “learn to recognize a tipping point,” or soon-to-be-obsolete accomplishments such as “cultivate a good Google-rank.”
This article was intriguing in that it featured neither; many of the skills it lists I would nearly label as traits:
1. Public Speaking
5. Critical Thinking
10. Basic Accounting
At first glance at this list I thought, Wow, I must be pretty damn successful, because I am awesome at all of these things! However, upon further reading and reflection I realized that I’m not equally awesome across the board, and my various lacks of success in life can be easily attributed to my weaker points on the list.
I graded myself on each attribute on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing the pinnacle of that trait in anyone I’ve ever met, with the 3-5 area representing the skillset of the average, unskilled populace.
1. Public Speaking – 8
2. Writing – 9
3. Self-Management – 7
4. Networking – 6
5. Critical Thinking – 8
6. Decision-Making – 5
7. Math (capacity-for, not knowledge-of) – 7
8. Research – 6
9. Relaxation – 3
10. Basic Accounting – 8
I wound up with a grand total of 67% – barely passing at success.
Of course, not every one of those traits has to do with every endeavor in my life, and I’m successful in a lot of areas.
My job, for example, is mostly reliant on 3-5-6-8, in which I score 26/40 – decidedly above the 12-20 average range. Being a singer-songwriter relies on a straight 1-2-3-4 dash, where I notch a weighty 30/40.
Still, it’s easy to see how each trait impacts the rest, and how a deficit in one is the detriment of others. I know for certain that my lack of Relaxation hamstrings my slightly above-average Self-Management, which means I churn out less of my quality Writing. And, my relatively meager Decision-Making and Research abilities can frequently hamper my most significant Critical Thinking.
It is possible to increase your ability in one area without losing ground in another? If our lives were D&D, would this system be more like rolling a character, or using a points-based allocation system? Will my Relaxation increase naturally with age?
Does anyone score much higher than 2/3? Are the Bill Gates and Richard Bransons of the world successful because they are higher than 80% on this scale?
How would you rate yourself?