What is your professional focus, as you upskill and reskill with newly acquired skills? Are you tactically focused, so you alone are acknowledged when you apply what you learn? Or are you strategically focused, highlighting how these new skills impact your own contributions and those of your colleagues as well?
Sharing what is newly learned, so colleagues and clients benefit, is a leadership trait. Alternatively, hoarding what is newly learned does not help anyone – including you. Consider that your team delivers more value when they apply more newly acquired knowledge to creating outcomes together.
- Now, I’m not guaranteeing each of your colleagues will equally absorb the newly acquired skills you share.
- Plus, some people will not be as excited as you are about those new skills.
- Then, other folks will ignore what you share, because it conflicts with how they originally learned to do things.
However, when your collaborative network receives the same opportunity to listen, learn, and apply what you learn and share, they move one millimeter forward, together. Their forward momentum is your strategic leadership contribution to colleagues and clients. Think about it.
As a speaker focused on professional innovation and cross-functional leadership, I am amazed at how many trainings people attend. Everyone is so focused on earning the next certification or learning the next set of professional tools. Yet, when I ask audiences to quantify how many newly acquired skills they amassed during the past 20 months, they surprise even themselves. Especially when I ask them to qualify how many of these newly acquired skills they continuously apply when collaborating with colleagues and clients.
If you are a professional focused on upskilling and reskilling, consider what you really plan to do with all your newly acquired skills.
Are these skills and certifications acquired for tactical display on your professional resume? Or is the benefit of these skills paid forward, as you strategically spread knowledge so colleagues benefit, as well?
Yes, gathering newly acquired skills for your own benefit directly helps you. However, applying newly acquired skills to benefit your collaborative network gets everyone to where they really need to go.
The first scenario is self-focused. The latter scenario is a strategic example of cross-functional leadership. Which scenario best describes you?
- Change Agent | Collaboration Catalyst | Complex Problem Solver | Professional Innovation | Cross Functional Leadership | Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author
- Searching for a coaching catalyst to get you unstuck professionally? Looking for a meeting or event speaker focused on what is new and next? Then engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person.
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Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ programs catalyze people who solve problems differently to collaborate more successfully across business, HR and operations silos. Become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant, and strategically valuable as you create and implement innovative and robust business outcomes together. Babette is a business-oriented STEM professional, qualitative Voice of the Customer facilitator, PMI-certified Wicked Problem Solver, Duke Corporate Education licensed Strategic Agility practitioner, and Six Sigma Green Belt (Quality). She is a member of the ASQ, SHRM, PMI, the National Speakers Association (NSA). Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available in soft cover and digital formats on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.