Sunday, January 6, 2019

One Resolution That Is Easier Than Ever to Keep

Good morning.
"And the beat goes on......................"

NFL Playoff games, the Golden Globes, Government Shutdown - we are now in the the New Year --  full throttle.

Most of those who make New Year's Resolutions have already done so.  A few are still in the "thinking about it" stage.  The number One and Two most common resolutions are:  To lose weight and to exercise more.  Those who regularly go to the gym, will note the spike in newbies in January.  They also know that half, or more, of those who have just started their workout program will be gone by the end of the month, principally because they push themselves unreasonably, and so they make it almost impossible to stay the course.  They simply don't understand that the single most important exercise you can do at the gym is to walk through the front door on a regular basis.  They don't appreciate that going slow and building on a foundation is the only way to keep at it, and reap the benefits of that commitment.  People new to the gym make another mistake:  they feel intimidated by others and rush to compete on a level they are ill-prepared for.  The truth is, at the gym, you are only competing against yourself.  No matter what gym you are in - anywhere in the world - there will always be people who can outperform you.  Irrelevant.  The gym is about you, not them.

That's actually true for any resolution.

The next most common New Year's Resolution is to improve our skills level; to get better at doing what we do, both by learning new things and improving on old ones.  The biggest obstacles to pursuing this worthy goal is convenience and cost.  Not time, because we can probably easily enough make the time if we really want to, but the inconvenience of doing so.  That, and the cost.  Too often, availing ourself of learning new things is inconvenient.  The offerings are on somebody's else time schedule, not ours.  The offerings are often nowhere near where we work or live.  And the options of personalizing the learning is usually prohibitively expensive.  Courses and trainings, coaches and trainers, cost money - money neither we, nor our organizations really have.  And so we mean to improve ourselves, but find it difficult to do so.  And we make the mistake of waiting for the opportunity to come to us.

Technology has made those excuses invalid.  Today there are literally thousands of courses offered by hundreds of organizations - including top tier universities - available online; a huge number of which are free, and can be accessed on your schedule.

These courses include teachings, tutorials and coaching for both soft and hard skills.  According to an article on CNBC, The 10 most in-demand skills of 2019, according to LinkedIn, include:

Here are the 5 most in-demand soft skills in 2019:

5. Time Management

4. Adaptability

3. Collaboration

2. Persuasion

1. Creativity

Hard skills, include, among others:

People Management:  Motivating and Engaging Employees, Managing Team Conflict, Leading with Purpose, and

Analytical Reasoning:  Making Decisions, Decision Making Strategies, Executive Decision Making

It's not hard to find free, conveniently accessible online courses to bolster your skills level in virtually any area.

Here's a link to 400 free courses offered by Harvard, Columbia and other top universities in various areas, including areas germane to working in the nonprofit arts, including:

Business:  Introduction to marketing; Introduction to Operations Management; Customer Analytics; Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content; Social Impact Strategy: Tools for Entrepreneurs and Innovators; Arts and Culture Strategy [highly recommended]; Managing the Value of Customer Relationships; Selling Ideas: How to Influence Others, and Get Your Message to Catch On; Decision-Making and Scenarios; Crowdfunding; Management Fundamentals; The Power of Team Culture; Developing Breakthrough Innovations with the Three Box Solution.

Social Sciences:  Networks, Crowds and Markets; CitiesX: The Past, Present and Future of Urban Life.

Data Science:  People Analytics; Introduction to Spreadsheets and Models.

And that's just a small sampling from this one list.  If you want to improve your professional skills, or even personal growth, a little time spent Googling a search for what you are looking for will doubtless produce myriad lists of offerings - all at your level, accessible at your convenience on your schedule, and free.

If professional or personal development is one of your resolutions, take a course in something that interests you.  If you don't like it, drop it and try another.  And if you do find one that you think was of real benefit, share it with your coworkers and colleagues.

Happy Learning.

Don't Quit