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Career Advice Career hacks

Problems are opportunities; in fact problems are gifts, here is how to unwrap them

The problems and challenges you’re facing today are your gifts.

Because these are opportunities in disguise. Most people do not open that gift. They don’t want to open that gift.

And that’s because the wrapper on that gift isn’t very nice. It’s unpleasant, and it’s uncomfortable. It’s something that people stay away from.

And so, despite the unpleasant wrapper, you have to approach it because you have to unwrap that unpleasant wrapper.

Because the gift is inside.

In fact, be thankful for the problems you’re facing today because you are lucky that you are being given those gifts. And make sure to unwrap that gift.

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Career strategy Career hacks

The #1 way to learn new skill and fast track your career growth

We all know that one of the keys to career growth is to continuously learn new skills. It is a career superpower.

People that can’t learn can’t survive in the modern workplace.

So how can we learn new skills quickly? Is there a hack?

Learning through audio or visual

Many people learn through audio. For example, you might be listening to some audio, maybe it’s a podcast, and you might be doing other things, but you’re always understanding the topic that’s going on, and you’re learning. Another one is watching videos. So, you are watching a video or hearing this audio, and you are learning. Those are great ways to learn.

Learning by doing

However, the best way to learn, which is great leaders have figured this out, is called kinesthetics. It is learning by doing. So, let me explain that. When we perform activities, that’s the maximum learning we get. So, when we are doing things with our hands, we are performing those tasks. That’s when our learning is at the maximum.

So, if your domain is programming or sales or marketing, the best way to learn is not just to listen and watch videos, which is great, and that’s helpful.

But apply those lessons and apply those concepts in real life. Do it, practice it, and review it. That is how we learn quickly and efficiently.

Let’s say we want to pick up communication skills, right? And then you can take a few classes, watch a few videos online, but soon you should be implementing them.

So, for example, you could be looking at opportunities to speak. Maybe you start with a small setting. Perhaps it’s just your core team, and then you speak there.

Then you review yourself, and pretty much, then you start addressing the whole team or a collection of teams or the entire organization.

That’s how you build up the muscle, a new muscle in terms of learning.

So, when you are trying to get into a zone of learning, try to figure out the things that I’m learning, the concepts that I’m learning, the key lessons, how do I implement them and what are the opportunities to implement them.

That’s the excellent leadership hack for learning new skills and adding them to your T-shaped skillset.

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Blog Career hacks Career strategy

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity

You may have felt this a lot of times, like; this person has the perfect job; this person lives in the perfect neighborhood. And it feels like that person is so lucky. But that is not the case. Because luck is all about being prepared, and it’ll be looking for opportunities and taking advantage of them. Being prepared means that you worked on your skills, and you’ve built your experience in the right areas over a period of time.

So, when opportunities arise, you are prepared to take advantage of those opportunities. This is how you create your own luck, which also means that you have to be in the game to win the game. And so think about the game that you want to play in. And if you’re in that game, because if you’re not in that game, then it is time to prepare and be on the lookout for opportunities to create your luck.

You want to be a successful leader; then, you must prepare yourself to be in the game and look for your next opportunity.

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Career hacks Career strategy

Technology has a First Mile and a Last Mile; where would you like to play?

How does technology make its way to the market, and what’s your role in that market? I like to view this as the first mile and the second mile.

The first mile is all about the creation of the product and the creation of the technology. It’s about making sure you are prioritizing the right features for the right market for the right customers, and then you’re putting engineering behind that to make that product come alive. And there might be a lot of scars on the backs because of that. Maybe it’s product strategy or product engineering or all of those things. And there might be some scars on the backs or as I like to call it ‘learning,’ right?

And the second mile is all about deploying that product, deploying that technology in the best interest of the customer to create the best outcome possible. And that involves a lot of knowledge about the customer or a set of customers or particular geographies or particular regions or specific types of processes and domains. But that’s the part where you’re able to create that value for the customer and create outcomes for the customer.

Now those two things have to happen. You need to have the first mile, you need the last mile, right? Now, the question is, do you know where your strengths are? Are you a first-mile person, or are you the last-mile person? And are you playing in the right field? The question is, are YOU playing in the right field?

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Career strategy Blog

Drive innovation by improving your personal focus and eliminating distractions (Leadership Hack)

Driving innovation fundamental to the modern digital workplace. But it is challenging to get into a focus zone to drive innovation at an individual level.

Think about the project, product, or body of work that you are currently working on. How can you innovate and ideate to bring more value to the table?

Innovation, Intellectual Property and Knowledge workers

Our jobs are increasingly based on innovation rather than manual labor. These include all kinds of things – ideas, concepts, problem-solving, creativity – all of those things that are sort of loosely defined as Intellectual Property (IP) or knowledge work.

Now, these ideas and these creativities, they require a deep focus.

They require us to put all the 120 bits of conscious thinking that we have to work.

Driving Innovation in a distracted world

However, we live today in a world of distractions. The latest email, the IM, the tweet, the latest Slack message, all of those things are contributing to a world that is not only full of distraction, but it seems like the level of distraction is going up by the day.

In a highly distracted world, everybody around you is distracted. Your teams are distracted, your customers, everyone, even your competition is distracted. Here’s your opportunity. Your opportunity is to do deep work using focus.

Solution: DItch Digital to go Physical and remove distractions

My recommendation for doing deep work with focus is to go old school.

I like to use graph paper and a trusted Pilot G2 pen. And that’s where I can apply most of the 120 bits of conscious thinking towards a particular topic.

Now, what does this do for you? This opens up opportunities for you to prepare better, to conceptualize, to create, to think, and quite frankly, to plan. And these are the things that will not only help you be better prepared, but they will set you apart.

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Career strategy Blog Career hacks

Career Progress: Are you camping or are your climbing in your career?

As we make progress in our careers, a good way to think about the journey is to see if we are camping or climbing.

There are times when we are in the middle of a transformation, we are learning new skills, we are putting in the hard work, and we are climbing towards our next opportunity.

And when we find a new opportunity, we camp.

When we find that opportunity, we make things great around us, we create value, and then we also enjoy the fruits of creating that value. We enjoy the rewards and the incentives that come along with that.

But after some time though, after you’ve camped for some time, you will start to feel too comfortable. And that is a signal for you to start climbing again.

What are you currently doing? Are you climbing, or are you camping?

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Career strategy

3X your job performance with these five powerful steps from top athletes

As leaders, many of us are thinking about improving our job performance, taking it to the next level, and optimizing our professional productivity.

And we are often working on challenging, and seemingly impossible projects.

It feels very similar to being an athlete.

Here are five rules that we can learn from athletes for us to become better even better and high performing leaders.

Training

The first one is about training. And this is about building competency. A competency is something which is, you have your skill, and you get to experience that skill, and that becomes a competency. And this is the part where you constantly are training so that you develop a better competency.

Mindset

The second piece is about the mindset. Having the right mindset for performance, and this is a combination of many things like gratitude. And it’s also about helping others and making sure that your mindset is tuned to creating value for others. And those folks might be stakeholders, your customers, your team, your organization, etc.

Focus

The third one is about getting in the flow for maximum performance. And this is a state that many scientists have been researching over the years. It is in terms of how to get human beings to a state of flow where they can create maximum performance.

It is said that our consciousness, which is on the frontal lobe of our brains, has a bandwidth of 120 bits per second. So how can we maximize that bandwidth so we can focus on the right things and deliver maximum performance? That’s the way how athletes achieve flow, and they achieve maximum performance, and it’s very similar, holds true for leaders as well. And at work, we should figure out how do we maximize flow. So that was the third one.

Nutrition and exercise

The fourth one is around diet and exercise. And this is about eating the right things and doing all the proper work so that you can fuel your performance with energy and always maintain that level of energy that you have.

Rest

Last but not least is about rest. And you have to recover after you’ve delivered a great performance. You have to recover, you have to reenergize, and you have to recuperate.

Summary

And those are the five things: training, mindset, focus, exercise, and rest; that are so essential for all of us to be at the top of our game as leaders.