Think 3 Skills Ahead of Your Next Reinvention
Each time I launched into a reinvention, I sought out the critical skills for my next chapter. I then looked for the teachers I thought could help me develop those skills.
I started by identifying the critical skills I believed would serve me best for the next reinvention. Skill that I believed would power me through the forthcoming challenges. This process wasn’t an exact science, it was based on what I knew about the next challenge at that moment. I would do a little research and decide on 2 or 3 skills I would need to develop. Then I would search for the right teachers for that chapter or reinvention. Ideally, I hoped to find people teaching those skills.
I didn’t always select the best teachers for the moment, but I always had several made a difference. I enjoyed my temporary obsessions or love affairs with them.
The Most Important Skill I Ever Invested In
In 2008, I selected a skill that I believed in that moment would eventually give me an unfair advantage in everything that I would do. That skill was coaching. This experience taught me that having one standout, non-traditional skill can make a world of difference for decades. By non-traditional, I mean that in math education, no one was talking about executive coaching skills. However, I thought that coaching could be applied to teaching and potentially have a significant impact. So I obsessed over this and decided to pursue an entire masters in psychology on the topic of coaching. I suppose I doubled-down on psychology and coaching as a potentially critical and game changing skill for teaching and learning.
Skill I’m Focusing On For the Next Chapter
Currently, I’m working to build new skills in creative workflows, writing, synthesizing ideas, automation, and distribution of the work I produce. Of those skills, it’s automation that I think will be the skill that changes the game for me. I believe automation and systems will help me create an ever-flowing pipeline of value in all formats: articles, podcasts, videos, webinars, courses, talks, etc.
The guiding and driving goal for all of these skills is the hope that this will allow me to focus each day on learning, thinking, writing, and connecting with people. This is ultimately how I want to spend my days. Some of my new teachers spend a lot of their days this way thanks to automation and systems.
And when I finish learning those skills, I’ll find 2 or 3 more that will help me succeed in the next chapter of my life.