I’m in the midst of reading “Work Your Strengths” link and I highly recommend you take a look.
The book references “A Scientific Process to Identify Your Skills and Match Them to the Best Career for You” and highlights 12 ways of understanding skills, with the premise being that if you know which top three skills you possess, you have a better chance of slotting yourself into a job that uses those skills.
If you’re a worker, manager, or executive, use this book to understand the different ways people process information and act on it — and then you have more of an understanding on how to “right-seat” people, which is what author Chuck Martin means when he says you can “work your strengths.” If you put the right people, using their topmost skills, into the right seats, then your travel towards your destination (business success) goes much more smoothly.
One interesting skill that I don’t think I possess is called metacognition, which in the book relates to the ability to “stand back and take a bird’s eye view of yourself in a situation and be able to understand and make changes in the ways that you solve problems.”
The authors studied more than 2500 people to get the results in this book, and for the Metacognition faculty, they came up with these findings:
a) industries with more high performers strong in Metacognition work are associations, manufacturing and business services. (Fewest high performers with Metacognition were found in healthcare or nonprofits).
b) Leading departments where these high performers work are research and development, marketing, and general management (fewest are found in clinical or finance industries).
c) About 1/3 of high performers with strong Metacognition skills hold the title of chairman/owner/partners or executive or senior vice president (fewest of them hold titles of consultant or employee).
What this means is that if you have a strong ability to understand your surroundings and to basically “know what you don’t know”, and take steps to make changes, you have a higher chance of appearing in one of the groups above.
The book goes into multiple other skills, including response inhibition, working memory, emotional control, sustained attention, task initiation, planning/prioritization, organization, time management, goal-directed persistence, flexibility, metacognition, and stress tolerance.
According to the research, the skills which you most identify with can be clues to tell you which jobs in which industries best match your innate brain structure: also, these skills are fixed, from youth onwards, so once you know your skills, you’ll always know which types of jobs best fit your abilities.
If you’re an employee, consider using the information in this book to self-direct your career.
If you’re a manager, the book also has excellent information on how to form teams and understand how to best “fit” all your individuals together in a way that best works for everyone involved.
Follow Chuck Martin on Twitter: http://twitter.com/chuckmartin1