Skill Development

Start with Recognizing a Fundamental Truth: Everyone Has Room for Improvement.

SWOT – a regular assessment of organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – is a core component of strategic management.

Yet leaders often fail to apply the same practice to their personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. (Or, if they do, they perform such analyses less regularly and systematically than they do for the organizations they lead.)

No matter where we are in our careers, all of us can benefit from gaining or refining skills in key areas, especially as our roles and organizations shift over time.  The changes can range from planned transitions (for example, new roles and/or levels in an organization) to unexpected events; shifts also occur as the complexity of our role changes.

And, sometimes we just need a skills “refresher” that prods us out of old, complacent ways of operating – and that reminds us that we can always grow and improve.

90% of managers think they’re among the top 10% of performers in their workplace. – Business Week, August 20th, 2007

Determining Your Gaps

If all leaders need a personal SWOT analysis, the question becomes: How can they objectively assess their skill gaps? And, then: What can they do about it? This exercise will help you address those questions: Gap Analysis Exercise

Prioritizing Your Skill Development

To guide your thinking as you consider the skills you would like to grow and develop, focus on these questions:

  • How do we focus on the skills that really matter?  Which of your skills, if improved, could result in the biggest improvements in happiness as well as work effectiveness and efficiency?
  • Does having less skill in this area negatively impact me or those around me at present? Is it likely to have a negative impact in the future?  If not, then improving this skill is likely to be of only marginal benefit and probably should not be a priority for you.