Monday, September 20, 2021


Regardless of which stage you are at the career development cycle, forethoughtful leaders or professionals should continue learning, innovating or coaching to enhance upcycle of professionalism and deepen their influence.

Due to the increasing speed of change, the exponential growth of information, and abundant knowledge, outdated thoughts, skill, or capability gaps are the reality. To perceive things objectively and make sound judgment; to keep themselves relevant, improve professionalism and make continuous progress, people need to pursue their career goals authentically. They should keep discovering innate talent, accumulate knowledge and experience, train skill sets, develop unique professional capability and leadership competency, plus nurturing those soft traits such as inspiration, motivation, disciplines, persistence, time management, etc, to enhance an up cycle of professionalism.

Cognitive intelligence: We are what we think. Regardless of what we do, which industry we work at, and which career path we take, the power of the mind is the force to change us, the business or even the world for the better. In reality, we are still in the era of information-rich and insight-poor. Talented people today need to have a sufficient skill set, but more importantly, they should be selected by the most advanced mindset. An intellectual mind is contextual, as cognitive understanding requires a person's ability to grasp or comprehend information and make a discernment with the willingness to seek out new knowledge, address ignorance and the assumptions you make to minimize it. Think broad, think deep accordingly. In fact, real societal progress is made through the work of progressive and foreseeable minds and responsible behaviors. Therefore, the big leap of professional advancement can be accelerated when we climb the cognitive pyramid, from learning knowledge to refining insight to abstracting wisdom and using it intelligently to create value ultimately.

Generally speaking, whether someone is cognitively competent or not depends entirely on what you are asking them to accomplish with their thought processes, often it includes making strategic or tactical decisions on a daily basis. The cognitive gap that disconnects many things which are supposed to be interconnected, becomes the barrier for connecting related dots to stimulate creativity, or capture insight. People with cognitive intelligence are forward-thinking, open-minded, insightful, and demonstrate multidimensional thought processes such as independent thinking, critical thinking, creative thinking, or holistic thinking, etc to solve complex problems thoroughly.

Progressive competency: Due to abundant information, blurred geographical or functional/industrial borders, and fierce competitions, static skills sets are simply not fit for the “VUCA” business new normal. People all have some natural talent, the things you have a strong feeling that you can do better than many others, even before training. Today’s business professionals need to develop versatile talent based on their innate strength, and build a set of differentiated professional capabilities as an ongoing journey with daily practices. Keep in mind, the capability is not the same as certificate, major, skill, or experience, etc. Learning, experiencing, training, are all important ingredients in capability development. But there are also many subjective soft success factors such as inspiration, motivation, autonomy, etc, that enable you to keep moving up the competency hierarchy from linear to integral to multi-core professional competencies, progressively.

In practice, to achieve capability coherence, choose how to improve the capability based on your talent/innate strengths, as well as integrate a set of capabilities into core competency. Linear skills are usually sharpened via training or years of experience, usually focusing on one specific industrial discipline. The concept of “integral” often refers to mixing or synthesizing a few nonlinear capabilities that people deliberately develop at the flow of their career journey. An integral capability enables us to create something new out of something existing, and making professional transcendence. Competency is a combination of capabilities with a focus to solve more complex problems cross-domains. To enhance an up cycle of professionalism, it’s a strategic imperative for high professionals to keep integrating the existing building blocks or recombine existing capabilities into the more sophisticated capabilities for making high accomplishments.

Leadership maturity: Leadership is about vision and direction, making positive influences and inspiring progression. To lead organizations towards the uncharted waters smoothly, the qualitative business leaders must be very open to knowledge, desire for insight, and hunt for wisdom. Organizations today need to discover and develop leadership for tomorrow, rather than just hire for yesterday; make smooth transformation from cookie cutter leadership to gap-minding leadership, from command & control leadership to persuasive leadership; from local leadership to cross-boundary global leadership, etc. Leadership now becomes more open, interdisciplinary, influential and innovative. Vision, intelligence, adaptability, diversity, consistency, profundity, and empathy, etc, are all crucial traits to improve leadership effectiveness. Leadership competencies are interrelated with traits and expertise. Expert based leadership is more persuasive to lead change and influence the upcoming trends and flows.

Leadership is a psychological phenomenon. Contemporary leadership Influence is based on the leadership substances such as vision and purpose with effective styles such as participation, coaching or delegation, helps to instill positive psychology, rejuvenate progressive changes, and unlock human potential. Being passionate or psychological enlightened is good, but having the overdosed emotion or irrational exuberance often causes misjudgment and decision ineffectiveness. Leadership sophistication is on versatility and flexibility; leadership maturity is a good combination of mindsets, attitudes, expertise, insight, and behaviors, etc. To reach the high level of leadership maturity, it’s about trying to determine which competencies or capabilities should be used in which combination, and with what level of weight for each, for different situations, in response to unpredictable or unanticipated circumstances.

Knowledge professionals are intellectually curious, with a strong desire to learn and expand their horizons. We become wise when we are humble enough to be aware of and admit what we don't know and share what we know. Regardless of which stage you are at the career development cycle, forethoughtful leaders or professionals should continue learning, innovating or coaching to enhance upcycle of professionalism and deepen their influence. Through such a progressive journey, awakening is a realization that there is a greater power and intelligence than your own and tapping into that intelligence to make societal progress collectively.


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