As I read the 2018 Financial Times Skill Gaps Survey, I was surprised to discover what are said to be the 5 most difficult skills for employers to recruit. Although this study focuses on MBA graduates, I believe anyone would benefit from developing such skill set. Yet, it is not mandatory to get back to Business School to significantly improve your performance in such areas.
Here I wish to highlight 5 books that will definitely build up capabilities in what top recruiters consider today as the 5 most difficult skills to recruit. These books have so far been among the most influential ones to me. I encourage you to spend time to read and study them. Such books are also frequently quoted among most recommended books by successful entreprenors and investors such as Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or Tim Ferris.
1. Ability to influence others
Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
This book taught taught me more than Organizational Behavior module. Its principles, although sometimes simple are the second to none to establish empathy & meaningful conversations, which are the two pillars of trust. What Carnegie teaches is influence lies in one’s ability to listen and develop empathy. It is not, contrary to popular belief, a manipulation playbook.
2. Strategic thinking
Sun Tzu, The Art of War or The Prince by Machiavelli, pick one!
These two strategy masterpieces will not be a straightforward “how to”. Yet, with time to pounder and translate the learnings into your daily situation and reality, they can provide powerful reasoning maps. The main learning outcome remains to focus on second and third order consequences of any action, or absence of action.
3. Drive and resilience
No other than Drive by Daniel Pink offers insights about what truly motivates us. The trilogy Autonomy, Mastery & Purpose provides a useful tool to reframe our job description. Ability to reframe the job in those terms will contribute to a genuine motivation.
4. Big data analysis
Factfulness by Hans Rosling.
This may sound far stretched as Rosling will not actually teach you about Big Data but I believe he builds the most important piece of the data analystics puzzle: the ability to suspend your pre-existing judgement, gather new sets of data, and then take a fresher look the situation. This is a pre-requisit to immerse yourself in the Big Data culture and supersedes to me all the technical elements.
5. Ability to solve complex problems
Ray Dalio’s Principles is a good start.
Complex problems require methodology to be solved, then can not be taken-on head first. Thanks to Dalio’s reasoning system, we are better equipped to face complex situations. The books offers a detailed framework that one can study and adapt to its own personal situations. The main learning element is to develop systematic approach to problem solving.
How did this list help you to identify gaps in your own skills? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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