A college education is important, but learning from real life experiences is more.
Fifty executives at a large pharmaceutical company went through an assessment center to help the company develop its talent pipeline. They were assessed on sixteen competencies, or success factors. “Technical expertise” (what you learn in college) was just one factor; being socially agile, building strategic relationships, influencing others, maintaining composure under pressure, and driving change were among the fifteen other critical factors that are not taught in college.
Here are nine real life factors that typically contribute to an employee’s success in a job.
- Leadership, courage, and decision-making ability
- Social agility, being a team player, and building relationships
- Communication and influence
- Creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurialism
- Planning and execution
- Facilitating and adapting to change; resilience
- Drive for results
- Self-awareness and self-development
- Integrity and organizational values
How do we learn these skills, if not in college? By taking on responsibility, venturing into unchartered ground, and taking time out to reflect.
What are some actions that you are taking to develop these skills? I’d love to hear your comments.
The factor I’m learning the most on right now is communication and influence. I’ve broadened my reach to social networking. Learning how to communicate on the internet and how to be heard are two important skills that I certainly didn’t learn in college!