The Second Element of Success

In a recent post I responded to a question posed: “Does all this change we are going through change the formula for success?” I shared my belief that, regardless what changes around us, three elements of success will not change. The first element of success is knowledge — knowing and understanding your area of interest or endeavor. Today, let’s explore the second element: skill with application.

The Second Element of Success

There are certain foundational truths — each an element of success — I believe we can cling to and employ to confidently move us from where we are to where we want to be. In particular, there are three things that are necessary for an individual to be successful. Have one or two of the elements, and you may be frustrated because success is not happening the way you had envisioned it. So having all three elements are critical.

The first element of success is knowledge with understanding — more about that here. Assuming that you’ve already committed  to acquiring knowledge and information suitable to help you move forward toward your success goals, the second element of success that needs to be acquired is skill.

Skills Plus Application

Skill. Not only must you know and understand what needs to be done, but you must also be able to “do it.” You have to have the skills necessary to perform, the skills necessary to progress, the skills necessary to experience the successes that you are searching for or desiring.

With regard to the first element of success, I said knowledge equals understanding. I’ll make a similar corollary: “skills equal application.” Ask yourself this question. Do you know someone who has great knowledge and great understanding of a particular discipline? Something that they wish to be successful in, yet their success goals are thwarted because they really don’t possess the skills to be able to accomplish that which they’re desiring?

There are many people who would love to be a professional musician, but they don’t have the skill of singing or playing an instrument. They have the knowledge, they can read music. They have a good ear, they know what they like. But they haven’t dedicated themselves to developing the skill necessary to being a musician. Could the same could be true in your chosen endeavor?

3 Necessary Leadership Skills

I get this question a lot. Are there foundational skills that are necessary to be a leader? I say, absolutely! I don’t care whether you’re leading in the social realm, the professional realm, the theological realm, or in the educational realm. It really makes no difference. If we’re going to be successful as a leader, there are certain foundational skills that are necessary.

The skill of planning, the skill of communicating, and the skill of execution.

  1. Planning — Knowing what the first step, second step, third step, should be in terms of us moving toward our goal or objective.
  2. Communicating — Being able to communicate that goal because others are going to help us along the way, and if we can’t communicate or haven’t communicated what our goals in, how can they step in and help? In fact, they may actually hinder us because they’re assuming they know.
  3. Execution — Being able to understand the process required and to take actions necessary to accomplish a desired objective.

While these three skills are an example of what skills you might identify and apply toward your ultimate goal of being successful, I would argue that almost any of your goals would benefit by developing the skills of planning, communicating and execution.

Skill with application is the second element of success. But for me, the third element of success is unquestionably the most important. In my next post, I’ll share the most critical element of success!

#elementofsuccess #skillwithapplication #planning #communicating #execution 

Phillip Van Hooser

Phillip Van Hooser, CSP, CPAE is committed to helping organizations transform their business outcomes by building engaged employee relationships. He is an award-winning keynote speaker and author on leadership, service and communication. His popular book, “Willie's Way: 6 Secrets for Wooing, Wowing and Winning Customers and Their Loyalty” recently hit #1 in Customer Relations on the Kindle store. Connect with Phil on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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