Leading Blog






02.08.07

Are We Hardwired For Success?

Are we hardwired for success? Well yes, if we are working in sync with the way we are hardwired. It probably goes without saying that a person’s skill set helps to determine why they succeed or fail. Obviously, leveraging your particular skills will get you the most return on your effort and thus greater success.

In Smarts, authors Chuck Martin, Peg Dawson and Richard Guare have identified 12 brain-based Executive Skills that are developed by young adulthood and are critical for decision making and regulation of behavior. They report that “Executive Skills are grounded in brain functions that have been demonstrated through research in the neurosciences to reside in specific brain locations and to become activated under predictable conditions.” The skills are:
  1. Self Restraint: The ability to think before you act.
  2. Working Memory: The ability to hold information in memory while performing complex tasks.
  3. Emotional Control: The ability to manage emotions in order to achieve goals, complete tasks, or control and direct behavior.
  4. Focus: The capacity to maintain attention to a situation or task in spite of distractibility, fatigue, or boredom.
  5. Task Initiation: The ability to begin projects or tasks without undue procrastination.
  6. Planning and Prioritization: The capacity to develop a road map to arrive at a destination or goal, and knowing which are the most important signposts along the way.
  7. Organization: The ability to arrange or place according to a system.
  8. Time Management: The capacity to estimate how much time one has, to allocate it effectively, and to stay within time limits and deadlines.
  9. Defining and Achieving Goals: The capacity to have a goal, follow through to the completion of the goal, and not be put off or distracted by competing interests along the way.
  10. Flexibility: The ability to revise plans in the face of obstacles, setbacks, new information, or mistakes.
  11. Observation: The capacity to stand back and take a birds-eye view of yourself in a situation and to be able to understand and make changes in the ways that you solve problems.
  12. Stress Tolerance: The ability to thrive in stressful situations and to cope with uncertainty, change, and performance demands.

The idea here, of course, is to understand your particular strengths and use that knowledge to match your skills to the type of work that requires or values your skill set. As Marcus Buckingham and others have pointed out, this is not easily or accurately done by introspection or guessing. The book does include the Executive Skills Profile to help you determine this. They explain, “People typically have two or three strengths and two or three weaknesses, with the remaining Executive Skills falling somewhere between. Those that are in between are not generally likely to get you into trouble, but those at the extremes can help you position yourself for greater successes and fewer failures.”
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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:10 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Books



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