The world of work is changing rapidly, and the demands being placed on everyone in this digital age are far greater. As an HR director, the ‘war for talent’ never disappeared; in fact it is still vitally important that we are clear on how to drive high performance cultures and the skills, behaviours and attitudes needed to be successful. Here, in my opinion, are the vital skills for someone to succeed in publishing, and frankly, in any modern business.
1. Powerful communication and high emotional intelligence
Relationships exist in everything we do – so understanding the mood, tone and values of those around us, and communicating with people fairly and consistently, is vitally important to building a successful career. There is a great quote I like to use from Maya Angelou that says: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Making people feel valued by communicating with them and attending to their emotional needs is a huge part of being a great colleague with the potential for success.
2. Openness, integrity, honesty
Be authentic – showing vulnerability is a strength, and demonstrating that you are human and not a robot will enable people to want to work with and for you. Saying “I need help” or “I’m not good at that” is far more courageous (and ultimately more useful) than saying you have the skills or experience to do something when you don’t.
3. Creativity in problem solving
We need not be afraid of change as it is part of life, so be flexible and driven by ideas so that we can solve problems collaboratively as they arise. In publishing, as in any business, you need to think through solutions to a problem using a variety of options, and remember – there are no bad ideas, and everything is useful.
4. Learning with agility
As the saying goes, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” It’s absolutely okay to fail, but you also need to learn quickly and understand how to continuously improve. That’s how you’ll develop your potential and grow as time goes on. The best talent I have ever developed understand this and are not afraid to fail fast and fail often - this is what true learning agility is.
5. Results-driven work
Always strive for better, deliver your work proactively and think about what comes next – whether that’s in an individual project, the future direction of your career, or the big picture of the industry in which you’re working. In publishing we value our traditions, but we’ll also always looking forward, and people who can do that will invariably succeed in our industry.
John Athanasiou will be speaking at the FutureBook Conference 2016 on Friday 2nd December. For more information and tickets click here.