Build Your Skill Stack

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There are some things I’m truly awful at.  Yesterday and this morning I changed an outside lock and deadbolt.  Here’s the 8-step methodology that I’ve developed for DIY household tasks:

  1. Don’t bother with instructions (how hard could it be?)
  2. Install with great frustration
  3. Once complete, realize it’s in backwards
  4. Re-install, find that it doesn’t work for other reasons
  5. Sit for a moment, in black profane silence.
  6. As a last resort, read instructions; give up; get something to eat
  7. Try again in the morning
  8. Success!

Then, there are other things I’m good at.  For my whole life, my natural talents have been in the areas of communicating and relating to people.  But talents on their own are nothing; they have to be developed into what I think of as a ‘skill stack.’

A skill stack for someone with my talent mix includes developing things like:

  • Public speaking abilities
  • Writing skills
  • Coaching methods
  • Promotion/marketing
  • Training in all facets of understanding people (psychology, lie-spotting etc)

One of those skills on its own isn’t a huge help.

Let’s say I was the best writer in the world but couldn’t promote my work.  Or I was a great public speaker and couldn’t market myself to find any speaking jobs.  Or knew exactly what a person should do but couldn’t build relationships with them.  My one skills wouldn’t help me.

But when skills are stacked one on top of the other, they can become a deadly combination for winning.  You don’t have to be wonderful at any single one; but you do need to be adequate at all of them.

So what is your natural talent?  Are you organized, or good at gaining people’s trust, or are you a great promoter?

Take those natural talents, and build out a skill stack around them.  Add knowledge and training to your talents and you will win.

How are you developing and growing your skill stack?  When’s the last time you’ve:

  • Read a book
  • Listened to a podcast
  • Taken a class
  • Sought out a mentor
  • Joined a webinar

You don’t need to outrun the bear, just the other campers.

Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.


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