Your Career: A New Years Resolution

“Success- the real success- does not depend upon the position you hold, but upon how you carry yourself in that position.” -Theodore Roosevelt

Careers are a funny thing. Sometimes people vault ahead for non-obivious reasons. Other times, obvious talent stagnates, short of their potential. Many times, I hear this chalked up to ‘politics’ or ‘who you know’ or some other typically uncontrollable factor. I believe the biggest thing that has changed since the dawn of the internet is that careers have become defined by how fast and consistently people can learn. This does not mean that there are not external (often uncontrollable) factors that influence a situation, but I do believe that commitment, intelligence, and leadership ultimately determine success. In this spirit, as I talk to people about their careers, I’ve been trying to come up with a framework for defining the skills that are most important in an executive (which I think translates fairly well other businesses).

In the book AstroBall, Ben Reiter talks about how the Houston Astros baseball organization turned qualitative scouting reports of baseball players, into quantitative scores. This helped turn opinion into data, which was helpful because data is something that can be acted on. This prompted me to go a step further, to see if I could come up with a qualitative list of attributes that could be quantified, such that a person could track their progress.

Skills Assessment

I hope this is helpful. If you are interested in skills development, I am starting a monthly email called The Mentor, which will have the 3 best things I’ve read each month, on careers and skills development. Subscribe below, and you will receive a printable PDF version of the Skills Assessment above. Click here to subscribe.

The Mentor



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Rob Thomas

Author of ‘The AI Ladder’, ‘The End of Tech Companies’ & ‘Big Data Revolution’