What skill would you teach your junior self in order to succeed professionally?


BY Tschaka Roussel-Milner

What skill would you teach your junior self in order to succeed professionally?

The funny thing is we’re more likely to answer with soft skills such as ‘confidence’ or ‘resourcefulness’ than ‘arithmetic’ or ‘art’.

Academic brilliance never prepares us for the ‘university of life’ with all its conflicts, rebuffs and missed opportunities. And how many of us are truly academically brilliant anyway?

We need to raise our children to learn “team work”, “behavioural awareness”, “resilience”, “coaching skills” – just some of the topics discussed in a recent #LeadersHour Twitter conversation on the key competencies we need to foster through education.

It is often pointed out that some of the most successful people in the world had troubled school careers, Stephen Fry was expelled twice, Simon Cowell had two O Levels, Clare Balding didn’t make the grade (at least not at the first attempt). The problem is not particularly our teachers but what our society expects schools to produce.

Sir Ken Robinson, a leading proponent of remodelling our education system argues that: “It’s usual to think of education in terms of what people need to know, understand and be able to do… For me, the purpose of education is to help young people understand the world around them and engage in the world within them… Rather than defining education through a group of subjects, I think it is better to think of the competencies people need to make their way in the world now and to engage with the world the way it seems to be evolving.” https://hundred.org/en/media/sir-ken-robinson

Ken Robinson goes on to list curiosity and creativity as crucial for developing our children’s minds in a way that is fundamental “in every field of human endeavor from the arts, the sciences, technology, mathematics to business”. He also cites communication and collaboration as key to creating thriving communities.

An ancient philosopher called Plutarch taught us that: “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” If we want our children to lead fulfilling, successful lives, it is a lesson we still desperately need to learn.

Tschaka Roussel-Milner (LinkedIn)

Copywriter: Future Leaders Club

Tschaka is a Copywriter for the Future Leaders Club. He has penned his way through business and broadcasting with stories, scripts, articles, blogs and newsletters. An ardent devotee of apostrophes, question marks and parenthesis, he is easily distracted by good writing, social justice and the humbling hilarity of everyday life @HelloTschaka.

#LeadersHour is the number one Twitter chat on all things leadership and personal development. Join the conversation every Monday at 20:00 (UK time). Follow @_Future_Leaders