In 2017 bestselling author and world-renowned speaker Seth Godin wrote this viral Medium article encouraging leaders to stop calling soft skills, soft.
Instead, he proposed, we call them what they are: the real skills of leadership and human connection.
Skills like curiosity, coaching, and creativity.
Skills like decision making, storytelling, and question-asking.
Skills like empathy, enrolment, and dancing with imposter syndrome and fear.
Skills that can’t be memorised or looked up online.
Skills that everyone has the ability to cultivate.
Skills that require deliberate and intentional practice.
Seth provided language for something I had felt for a long time having worked with thousands of leaders from hundreds of companies around the world.
That the framing and importance of ‘hard skills’ versus ‘soft skills’ is increasingly less relevant.
That what our rapidly shifting world calls for is not merely people who fit a technical job description.
That what the world calls for is people who choose to lead, no matter where they are in an organisation. People who choose to practice, model, and hone these real, human-centered skills.
These are the leaders, and organisations, who will create lasting, meaningful change.
The question is: will that be you?
This piece was a guest post for ICMI Speakers Bureau and was originally published here.