Which skills are you developing?

There are two types of skills: process skills and technical skills. For example, when you study medicine, and pass Internship or practical training you are admitted as a medical doctor in your field of specialization say Dentistry. That is a technical skill. You cannot practice as a dentist, unless you’ve the technical skills both theory and practical, and have been certified having passed the requirements for the award. The same applies to accountants, engineers, lawyers, etc.

Technical skills can get you a job, but may not help you keep it. To succeed in your career, you need more than technical skills. You need process skills. If the technical skills are the computer hardware, the process or life skills are the operating system. You need to be great at both.


Regardless of your background, you need the process skills to become exceptional


Great leaders invest in special skills that are cross cutting along all professions – like effective communication, strategy formulation and execution, budgeting, sex education, leadership and parenting. Whether you have technical skills as an engineer, doctor, accountant, teacher or politician, you need the process skills to become exceptional. Process skills are the nuts and bolts of any outstanding achiever. Those without them rarely attain their full potential regardless of success in the classroom. It is for the lack of process skills that Doctors promoted to head national referral hospitals have failed miserably at the job. However intelligent you may be, you need leadership, people and mobilization skills to manage an enterprise.

Being an ethical hacker and fraud examiner, I have great technical skills. As a practice leader, I’ve realized that it is difficult to succeed, or help many people excel, if you have to do all the work by yourself. You must empower others by combining your process skills with technical skills.

As a leader, your focus should be on the results, not the input. And reward behaviors that produce the desired results. You need to identify and master relevant and critical skills. In your career, what are they? What skills are you developing?

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