Showers over Windermere from Holbeck Lane near Troutbeck.

Winning in The Fourth Revolution (Part III)

May 13, 2019

To recap, here are the skills the World Economic Forum believes are vital to succeed as our virtual and physical worlds collide and the new winners emerge.

Top Ten Skills:

2015                                                 2020

  • Complex Problem Solving     Complex Problem Solving
  • Co-ordinating with others     Critical Thinking
  • People Management               Creativity
  • Critical Thinking                      People Management
  • Negotiation                                Consulting with others
  • Quality Control                         Emotional Intelligence
  • Service Orientation                  Decision Making
  • Decision Making                       Service Orientation
  • Active Listening                       Negotiation
  • Creativity                                   Cognitive Flexibility

And here’s my list designed to stimulate growth and success in our Crazy World.

Top Ten VUCA Skills 2019 – 2021:

  • Creativity
  • Active Listening
  • Inspirational Leadership
  • Mental Toughness
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Executional Excellence
  • Personal Technology Mastery
  • Customer Focus
  • Partnership Building

From the top, here’s some insight into the choices – all of which are part of my book (64 Shots, Leadership in a Crazy World) and the Peak Performance Leadership programmes I run in Grasmere and Carefree, Arizona.

1)     Creativity.

Accelerating up the W.E.F. lists from 10 to 3, it’ll come as no surprise to those who know me that it’s no. 1 in my top 10.  I am driven by my belief in the Unreasonable Power of Creativity.  With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers will have to become more creative to survive.  Robots may help us get faster but they are not remotely as creative as humans.

2)     Active Listing.

The W.E.F. has dropped it from their top 10 – at exactly the wrong time.  No-one is listening.  Politicians listen to no-one.  The media isn’t listening to good sense / principles.  Businessmen don’t listen (hello Philip Green, Mike Ashby and co).  And we don’t learn to listen.  Companies focus on building selling skills, presentation skills, negotiation skills – but don’t train Active Listening skills.  Tom Peters believes investing in Active Listening delivers the highest R.O.I. of any training programme.  It’s part of the Masterclasses I run and I agree with him.  So it’s no. 2 on my list.  The Maori in New Zealand advise:

Titiro     Whakarongo    Kōrero

Look      Listen             Speak

3)     The W.E.F.’s People Management is not ambitious enough.  It’s a tablestake Managers Do Things Right.  (We need this, but it’s bread and butter – not a top 10 skill.)  Leaders Do the Right Things.  Inspirational Leaders are at a premium in every field.  They inspire everyone they touch to be the best they can be in pursuit of the Company’s Purpose.  They don’t just get things done.  They make things happen.  And above all, they create other leaders.  A real hard to find skill.

4)     Mental Toughness.

Always finding a way to win.  Keeping a Blue Head in a pressure situation, not a Red one.  Not becoming HOT (Heated, Overwhelmed, Tense) under pressure, but moving quickly from Chaos to Clarity and Action.  A trainable skill.

The rest of my top 10 list should be self-explanatory – apart perhaps from no. 8 – Personal Technology Mastery.  All I ask here is – Does that weapon of mass distraction (your mobile phone) dictate your day – or do you bend it to your will?

The average person looks at their phone over 100 times a day and (scientifically proven) is distracted an average of three minutes per ‘look’!  300 minutes or five hours wasted in a day.  Think how much more effective and happier we’d be if we could kick this addiction and take back our time.

1)   Do you take your phone into your bedroom every night?

2)   Do you look at your screen immediately you wake?

3)   Do you take your phone out to dinner?

4)   Is your phone constantly in your view or within hand’s reach?

You know who you are.



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