Globally 50 percent businesses fail within the first five years, and in the US, approximately 90 percent businesses fail within the first five years …
Tracy Adkins – CPA firm
The amount of information we get in one day today, we never got this much information in a hundred years. With the speed of change, products are getting obsolete the day they’re getting launched. Knowledge is getting obsolete in two-three years. By the time an engineering or a medical graduate gets into the fourth or fifth year, what they learnt in the first year has already become obsolete. It has literally become a cliché – “the only constant is change”.
Not merely the older generation, but even the younger generation is finding it hard to keep up with the technology. The reality is that we are well into the fourth industrial revolution today. The first one took place in 1770s, with the coming of the steam engine. The second one took place in 1870s when the era of mass production and consumption came in. The third one took place in 1990s with the advent of internet. The fourth one is taking place right now – with the advancement of robotics and artificial intelligence, which is likely to reduce approximately 50 percent of jobs in the coming decade or so because of automation and elimination.
With that scenario, either we are in deep trouble, or we have a great opportunity for those who are prepared with skills that are constant that have never changed and will never change. Now, what are those skills?
Going into the future, I strongly feel that the only people who will succeed in life are those who master the following three skills:
- People skills
- Persuasion skills, and
- Prioritizing skills
Why the above three skills?
People skills: We are hired for our skills but fired for our behavior. The lower a person is in life, 90 percent of his time goes into technical skills, less than 10 percent goes into people skills. The higher you go up in life, guess what happens? It just reverses. Technology & Technicians we can always buy with money, but the wealthiest person in the world must build and create relationships.
Why do we go to a doctor or a mechanic 10 miles away bypassing 10 others enroute? Is he the most qualified? Probably not! But something says that I am dealing with a right person. And what is that something? It is the trust factor. Trust in many ways is a much greater compliment than love. There are people we love but cannot trust. The patient does not care what grades the doctor got in school or college. It is the people skills that make them either comfortable or uncomfortable. People like to deal with people they like. A person’s likeability quotient depends on the 6Cs approach:
- Character – Make integrity a way of life
- Competence – Acquire core competencies as a tool to success
- Clarity – Inculcate ability to define clear goals
- Confidence – Develop humility and pride in performance
- Courage – Ability to stand up with integrity against all odds
- Communication – Communicate with clarity and confidence.
Unfortunately, today’s generation has become very comfortable with technology but they have become uncomfortable with people. That is why emotional quotients (EQs) have become much more important than Intelligence quotient (IQ). Ability to recognize and control one’s emotions. The ability to identify and satisfy the other person’s emotional needs.
Persuasion Skills: What is persuasion? Persuasion is the ability to influence, convince, negotiate and sell. Who doesn’t need it? For example: A Candidate at a job interview … A boy girl proposing to get married … The Lawyer arguing in front of the Judge … A politician giving speeches to get votes. Aren’t they all persuading? There is a myth that to succeed, one needs to learn the tricks of the trade. Professionals learn the trade, they leave the tricks to the cheats and crooks.
People keep talking about the sales as B2B and B2C. But every transaction boils down to P2P – People to People. People deal with people they like.
GET PROFESSIONAL OR GET OUT. Professionals realize that in life, results are rewarded, efforts are not. We judge ourselves by our intentions but the world judges us by our actions. In the game of cricket, the best player could have made 99 runs 50 times. It is still not called one century. Nobody gives a grace run for hard work or effort or good intention.
Prioritizing skills: Priorities are based on values. The amount of time saving devices we have today, we have never had that many in the history. Yet, we don’t have time to do what’s important. Why?, Because somewhere we messed up our priorities. When we mess up our priorities, we forget to distinguish between:
- What is URGENT and what is IMPORTANT? Urgent may or may not be important and important may or may not be urgent. Interestingly, whenever we ignore what is important, it converts into urgent. Example, health is important but it’s not urgent. If I have a crucial meeting tonight and I cannot exercise, it’s not the end of the world. But if I ignore my health long enough, guess what may happen? I may land up in the hospital. Similarly, relationships are important but they are not urgent. But if we ignore relationships long enough, we start talking through our lawyers.
- What is NEGOTIABLE and what is NON-NEGOTIABLE. Some things are just not negotiations, i.e. values. What we would STAND FOR and what we would STAND AGAINST. If we look at life histories of some of the greatest leaders of the world, you find that they were never neutral on values. They either stood for something or against something.
- We need to distinguish between MAKING MONEY and EARNING MONEY. Today, most people want to make money, very few want to earn money.
To succeed, let’s master these three P’s of success.