Hard skills vs soft skills. The argument about which is more important or more necessary is as old as whether great leaders are born or developed.
Both sides have compiled convincing arguments, but throughout the thirty plus years I’ve been serving personal and professional leaders something is glaringly obvious: Those who want to reach the top are willing and committed to doing whatever it takes to get to there. And in today’s business and leadership environment that means developing self-awareness, emotional intelligence, communication and conflict resolution — so called “soft skills.”
Hard Skills Can Get You There — Soft Skill Keeps You There
We have all grown up with a hard skills emphasis on the importance of a post secondary education, and although there is no doubt that this can be very useful, there are other vital factors to be considered.
Just for a moment be really honest and consider this: Imagine that you have an executive opening in your organization and you have two applicants for position. One applicant has been in the post secondary educational systems for six years and has run labs with other students in the program. This person also graduated with honours. The other applicant has worked hands on in the industry, gone through its evolution and has successfully lead teams from a variety of backgrounds and specialities throughout that same six years. With the limited information you have here which one is a better fit for the position? If you are like most effective leaders you would likely say the second candidate for many reasons, not least of all the the savings in training and development. But let’s put even that to the side for a moment and ask; which of the two is likely to have had to learn the people skills needed for them to lead in executive position?
What those individuals who are committed to going to the next level understand is;
Hard skills may get you to the top, but it’s soft skills that will keep you there and make sure that you are not alone when you arrive!
Those who embrace this are the leaders who become the heroes who can and will, with time, overcome any…