Rafael: The Academy at Athens

Learning New Skills at Work — 5 Principles

“95 percent of American men estimate they are in the top 50 percent of social skills.” — From a survey in Psychology Today

Athletes understand the importance of skill development and spend endless hours doing so. But this is typically not the case in government and business.

For some reason, most people assume skills development can be mastered by attending seminars and reading books. Not true. In the case of the seminar, most of what you hear is lost after 40 hours. And what remains is surely lost in a week.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” — A common saying in Buddhism and the martial arts traditions in Asia

Many People Don’t Know How to Develop Skills

“We are expected to know how to learn but are never taught. We are expected to grow skills, but are never taught how.” — Murray Johannsen

How To Develop 21st Century Skills

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” — A common saying in Buddhism and the martial arts traditions in Asia

“If we don’t have a vision of the future, we are lost in the present.” — Murray Johannsen

Skill Mapping. The Future of Career Development.  Decide what skills you need to prosper in the 21st Century

Skill-Based Learning. What You Need, When You Need It. The theory you need to know but were never taught.

The Mastery Practices. The Secrets to Lifelong Learning. The five mental skills that shorten the time from novice to mastery.

“If you want to stay employed, you better keep building skills.” – Murray Johannsen

You can easily verify this. If you are taking a class, think back and try to remember what the instructor has said a week ago. It’s embarrassing to admit we can listen to another (in some cases for 3 hours) and nothing remains. High loss factors also occur with books, articles, and videos.

And practically no one ever practices something many times—a step essential for leadership skill development.

That said, serious skill builders can accelerate the process of developing skill-sets if you keep in mind the guidelines below.

One great problem with university education and corporate training programs is that it never teaches you how to develop skills.  It’s like telling someone saying you should fish, but not teaching you how. Learning Legacee’s skill-building model more quickly allows you to develop the skills required for effective leadership.

College gives one a knowledge base and a limited set of skills. Normally these skills are technical. Nothing wrong with that, but it is important to understand that some of the most important skills necessary for success in business or government are not taught in the university (or not covered within your major).

The Five Principles For Successful Skill Building

Observation 1: Understand That Organizations Rarely Spend Enough Money on Learning Skills

Hendrick van Cleve (1525-1589) The Construction of the Tower of Babel

Skills are needed at every level in the organization. Still, we see many organizations who are “penny wise and pound foolish” to quote Benjamin Franklin

They are driven by short-term return on investment decisions, typically next quarter’s balance sheet and income statement. Therefore, anything that doesn’t directly impact the numbers in the short term is ignored.

There are a few exceptions. For example, organizations that must perform under stress such as the armed forces, have always known the importance of developing skills, especially leadership skills. Unfortunately, many going through a leadership training program consider it a waste of their time.

Learning Guideline 2: You Must Spend Your Own Time and Money Building Leadership Skills

Lucas Cranach The Eldar (1472-1552), The Payment

“Youth is a blunder; Manhood a struggle; Old Age a regret.” —- Benjamin Disraeli

One must face unpleasant facts — since your organization is unlikely to provide much assistance, you will have to use personal resources. Of course, you can waste a great deal of time and money if you don’t know what you are doing. So keep principle 4 in mind.

A Third Principle For Learning Work Skills: Skills Are Hard to Learn — They Will Take a Long-Time to Master

Postcard for New Years Day, 1910

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” — Vidal Sassoon

Consider developing skills like growing a tree. Just like a tree that adds new branches year after year, so we should keep adding new skills. There is a great deal of truth to the saying, “Good takes years — perfection takes decades.”

Development Observation 4: You Must Figure HOW to Build Skills 

Paul Delarochel (1797-1859). Lady Jane Grey

For some reason, neophytes assume that skills are simply mastered by attending seminars or sitting in a class. 

Yet many training organizations and universities use flawed methods when it comes to skill development.  No wonder many organizations are reluctant to invest in training when so much time and money is wasted.

Still, skill builders can make the best use of your time money if you keep the following in mind.

If you want to learn new skills, you can follow the process outlined. This program is designed for those to are series about skill mastery master.

And if you want to develop unique expertise, skills, and/or coaching, keep in mind the different types of Mastery Practices.

Principle 5: Skill Builders Must Figure Out WHAT Skills to Build

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), Chiron and Achilles.

Take for example leadership. Like management, it has a defined set of competencies you must develop further.

Many studies have shown what skills are most associated with success, just as we know there are 12 verbal communication skills you can develop.

Want To Learn Skills Faster?

Are you interested in developing 21st Century Work Skills customized to you?

“Change is the end result of all true learning.” ― Leo Buscaglia


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Work Skills For the 21st Century