The Future of Work: 5 Mindsets to Power Your Career | Jacob Morgan | Skillshare

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The Future of Work: 5 Mindsets to Power Your Career

teacher avatar Jacob Morgan, Best-Selling Author & Futurist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      The Five Mindsets


    • 3.

      Mindset 1: Perpetual Learning


    • 4.

      Mindset 2: Accountability


    • 5.

      Mindset 3: Empathy


    • 6.

      Mindset 4: Self-Awareness


    • 7.

      Mindset 5: Thinking Like an Entrepreneur


    • 8.



    • 9.

      What's Next?


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About This Class

How do you succeed at work in a rapidly changing world? How can you progress professionally as career paths become more circuitous and jobs become less routine?

Join bestselling author, keynote speaker and futurist Jacob Morgan for a practical guide to the five essential skills everyone should utilize at work. Whether you’re a business professional or a creative freelancer, every lesson is packed with tips and techniques you can use to further your career. Key lessons include:

  • Why these 5 skills are vital in the modern workplace
  • How real companies are using these skills, from Adobe to AT&T
  • Action steps to develop each skill so you can hit the ground running

After taking this class, you’ll gain an arsenal of tools to return to day-after-day, allowing you increase your potential, climb the professional ladder, and create the career you’ve always imagined.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jacob Morgan

Best-Selling Author & Futurist


Jacob Morgan is a four time best-selling author, keynote speaker and futurist who explores leadership, the future of work, and employee experience. His books include The Future Leader (2020), The Employee Experience Advantage (2017), The Future of Work (2014), and The Collaborative Organization (2012). Jacob is also the founder of, an online education and training platform that helps individuals and organizations thrive in the rapidly changing world of work. Courses explore topics such as employee experience, the future of work, and leadership. He speaks at over 50 conferences a year in front of tens of thousands of people including TED Academy which is one of the largest TED events in the world and his content is viewed over a million times each year. Jacob&r... See full profile

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1. Introduction: My name is Jacob Morgan. I'm a best-selling author, speaker, and futurist, and I help organizations and people understand how the world of work is changing and what we all need to do to prepare and adapt to what the future of work is going to bring. There used to be a time where when you took a job with an organization, you were essentially there for a while. You, as an employee, made a commitment to your organization that you were going to give all of your time and energy, then the organization in turn committed that they were going to take care of you. But you look at the employee-employer relationship today, it's dramatically changed. We're no longer see a long-term commitment, we're no longer see a lifetime commitment. So, the world of work and the relationship that we have with organizations and the relationship that organizations have with us is fundamentally changing. So, it's very clear that the world of work with future of work is very different than the one that we're all familiar with. This class is about the skills that you need to succeed in this new world of work. When we think about the future of work, there are five critical skills that we all have to possess. Being a perpetual learner, self-awareness, empathy, accountability, and thinking like an entrepreneur. These are the five skills that are going to help ensure that you succeed in any work environment that you're part of. My sincere hope is that the one big takeaway you will walk away from after taking this class is that you will feel confident and prepared to deal with whatever the future of work might bring your way. You will be able to adapt to any situation, adapt to any scenario, and of course be a little bit more human. 2. The Five Mindsets: When you think about these five skills in the future of work you'll notice that they're a little bit different than the skills that you needed to succeed a few decades ago. Now years ago when you took a job for an organization your job was pretty much to shut up and do what you're told, right. Don't ask questions, don't cause any problems, nobody wanted you to think like an entrepreneur. But today we're actually rebuilding our organizations to become a little bit more human and because of that we have to embrace these five new critical Skills which as you will notice are not just about niche skills, they're not about sales, they're not about marketing, they're not about technical skills, they're about human skills. This is a big part of the future of work. The individuals that can embrace these human skills are the ones that are going to succeed in their careers going forward. Now if you think about it, we all possess soft skills, right. We all grew up as kids, we all laughed, cried and played with each other. We all have friends outside of work. We're not sociopath. We're not crazies. So we all have soft skills but the problem has always been that we never worked inside of organizations that encouraged us to use these skills. Organizations never created a place of trust and safety where we felt like we could use these skills at work. But now that organizations are changing and are actually encouraging and embracing this human soft skill component, it's up to us as individuals to make sure that we can bring this new level of humanity into all of our work interactions. One of the reasons why these soft or human skills are becoming so prevalent inside of our organizations today is a couple of reasons. First is we're seeing an unbelievable level of transparency, where it's no longer okay for an organisation to say they believe in something, they stand for something, these are what their values are, they actually have to live them. You cannot live those types of values like trust, collaboration and transparency without being more human. Another crucial reason why we're starting to see this influx, this embracing of human skills at work is because of the new war for talent that we're starting to see. Organizations around the world are struggling trying to figure out how do we attract and retain the best and the brightest people. As individuals around the world we collectively have voted and said that we want to work for human organizations where It's not just about money, it's not just about benefits or compensation, it's about purpose, it's about engagement, it's about experience, it's about learning and growth and it's about our lives. So because we're blending our personal lives with our work lives and because work and life are becoming the same thing, this is really forcing and causing organizations around the world to say, hey we understand it, we're okay with it, in fact we encourage you to be more human at work. There's also this component of technology. We've all heard about this idea that AI and automation are going to take jobs away from humans, but the reality is that these jobs that we may potentially lose are jobs that are monotonous, that are routine, jobs that can be essentially broken down and written out as a series of steps. But what technology cannot take away, what automation, what AI cannot replace is this concept of being human. Of being empathetic. Of being able to connect with another human. Being able to communicate and collaborate. AI cannot do these types of human things. So this concept of human skills of soft skills at work, isn't just something that organizations are saying because it's fun, because it's nice, it's something that we as individuals have to do because it's the best way to ensure our success either as individuals or as employees working for an organization. Because the one thing that AI and automation can't take away is your ability to be human. 3. Mindset 1: Perpetual Learning: I speak with senior executives all the time. One of the things that they always tell me when I ask them what skills do you think are most valuable for the employee or the worker of the future, it's always perpetual learning. It's this concept of being able to learn new things and apply the things that you learn. Today, perpetual learning has become increasingly crucial because in the past, you were able to rely on the organizations that you worked for, or the educational institutions to teach you everything that you need to succeed. But consider today, by the time you graduate from school, most of what you learn becomes obsolete. The reason for that is because we see exponential change across two areas. On the one hand, we see technology: AI, wearable devices, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, all these new technologies are growing very quickly and they're causing new business models to emerge, new ways for us to think about work, and new skills that are required to succeed in this world. On the other hand, we see new business models emerging. We see things like the gig in the freelance economy, we see new management and leadership styles, we have discussions around open floor plans. So, whether you look at the technology side or on the business side in general, we're starting to see change in both of these areas. Because we're starting to see change in both areas at a very rapid pace, it means that you as an individual need to become a perpetual learner. You need to be able to get access to the resources and the tools that you need to learn and to go along with these changes at this rapid pace. Another important thing is this concept of strong ties and weak ties. Strong ties are people that are in your close network. These are people like your best friends, your family members, people that are in your strong, your core vicinity. Now, it's of course, crucial for all of us to have strong ties, but when it comes to understanding the future of work, when it comes to things like building a personal brand, it's increasingly important to have weak ties. Weak ties are essentially bridges to other types of information, and content, and ideas that you normally wouldn't have access to. The thing about strong ties is that the strong ties have access to usually the same people and the same information that you do. So, you don't necessarily learn a lot. You don't expand your horizons from the strong ties. The weak ties, the acquaintance's, these are the people that you might oftentimes learn more from. These are the people that will expand your horizons, challenge your way of thinking, and expose you to new ideas. The good news is that through social media, this has never been easier to achieve, through sites like Twitter, like LinkedIn, like Facebook. So, I encourage you to build these weaker ties and extend outside of your core horizon, outside of your core skill set and expand into other ideas that might not be in your direct line of view. So, one of the things that you can do to become a perpetual learner is to broaden your horizons a little bit. Think a little bit like a futurist, where you don't just have one path and one journey to follow but you might have many potential ones. Try to look beyond just the niche area that you're studying and expand that cone a little bit to see what other areas might be in your purview. So, for example, if you're in finance, you might also look at things like data and analytics. If you are in customer service, you might also be paying attention to technology and automation. If you're in marketing, of course, you're paying attention to things like social media and all these new channels that are emerging. So, don't just focus on directly what's in front of you, but try to expand that point of view, that perspective a little bit to consume the bigger picture. The second thing that you can do to be a perpetual learner is go outside of the traditional means of educating yourself and teaching yourself new things. This means going beyond traditional educational institutions, and it also means going beyond relying on your organization to teach you everything that you need to succeed. This includes things like taking classes on Skillshare, watching YouTube videos, reading articles or blogs, going to conferences and events, and giving yourself access to exposure to broaden again, that perspective and to become that perpetual learner. An important point here when we talk about going outside of traditional and educational means is, you will likely have to spend your own time and your own resources to teach yourself these things, and to get access to these new types of content and information. But that's okay. The good news is, today, access to information has never been cheaper and it's never been more widespread. You can learn to repave a driveway on YouTube, or you can learn to become a public speaker, or learn how to code by taking a class on something like Skillshare. So, we live in a very democratized world where information is everywhere and all you pretty much need access to is the Internet. Being a perpetual learner is also a perpetual skill. It's something that you have to do all the time. Don't wait for bad news. Don't wait for something scary to happen before you say, "Uh-oh, I should probably learn something else." This is something that you have to be doing all the time on an ongoing basis, daily, weekly, and constantly think about what you can be doing to get access to new information to expand that scope and to be this perpetual learner. Consider the CEO of AT&T who recently went in front of his entire company, and in fact, in front of the entire world and said that if you as an employee or as a worker of AT&T, if you are not willing to be more accountable and take learning and development into your own hands, then AT&T is not the place for you. They will encourage you, they will support you, they will give you resources, but you as the employee, you as the individual, you need to take that learning and accountability into your own hands. You need to devote the time, you need to devote the energy, and you need to be accountable for making sure that you learn the things that you need to know to be successful at work. I think that's a fantastic example of perpetual learning and it's something that we're going to see more of in organizations around the world. It's something that we as individuals, need to spend more time practicing. 4. Mindset 2: Accountability: Accountability is how you as an individual can shape your work experience. Now, inside of organizations today, many employees feel like the work that they're doing doesn't inspire them. They feel like the organizations they work for don't care about them, and they feel like the managers who they report to do not treat them well. But unfortunately, these same individuals also do not speak up at work. They're not accountable at work. They do not shape their own experiences. They don't participate in beta programs. They don't use internal social collaborative tools to speak up. They have no voice. So, if you are not willing to share what you care about. If you're not willing to share what you value. If you are not willing to have that accountability. That willingness to speak up, then you also have no right to complain about the organization that you work for or the work that you are doing. So, being accountable, being able to speak up, is about how you shape the experiences that you have for the organizations that you work for, or the organizations that you are a part of. One of the great ways that you can be more accountable and speak up at work is, building a personal brand inside of your company. Think about social media for example. We build up our followers on Twitter, on LinkedIn, on Facebook. We share ideas, we post updates, and people start to follow the content they start to respect our ideas. They start to engage with us in conversation and dialogue. But today, these same types of technology, these same types of tools and resources and actions, are being encouraged inside of our organizations. So, the same way that we're able to build a personal brand in our personal lives, is the same way that we can start to build a personal brand inside of our organizations. It means using internal collaboration tools to share your ideas and perspectives. It means speaking up in meetings. It means having your voice heard so that people know who you are, what you believe in, what you stand for, what you care about. That is ultimately the best way to help ensure that you succeed in any organization that you are a part of. The organization is not responsible for your success. You have to shape your own experiences and it starts with being more accountable, and it starts with learning how to speak up. Being accountable and speaking up, isn't just about complaining and pointing out flaws. It's also about helping come up with potential solutions for how you can solve those problems. It's about identifying issues that you might be faced with, and helping come up with potential solutions for how to deal with and address those things. These can be around anything, it can be around a manager that might be taking credit for your work, it can be around an organization that isn't doing a good enough job of investing in diversity and inclusion programs. So, don't just say, ''Oh hey, I want more diversity,'' or, ''Hey, I don't like my manager.'' You need to do more. You need to speak up and come up with a potential solution for what you can do to solve that problem. If you're an employee for an organization, we're starting to see companies around the world invest heavily in virtual and in flexible work environments, which means that you're not necessarily going to have somebody standing over your shoulder and micromanaging you every five seconds. So, what that means is that, you need to be comfortable with being able to motivate yourself, with being able to drive and push yourself to do great work, and of course, in a timely way. You also need to be able to push and motivate yourself to come up with ideas, solve problems, and do these things on your own, and not always rely on a manager or supervisor to help and guide and do these things for you. We're also starting to see if you're an individual and not necessarily working full time for an organization, this shift towards freelance to the gig economy. That also means that you need to be able to take more accountability to be able to do the exact same things as if you were a full time employee. You still need to find the time to do these things, to do good quality work, to communicate with your clients, you still need to do an awesome job, and you still need to be able to push and motivate, and drive yourself to succeed. There are a couple action items that we can take as individuals to speak up, or to become a little bit more accountable at work. The first one is actually to speak up. So, find an issue, find something that's been nagging you in the back of your mind for months or weeks for years, something that you've been wanting to tell your manager, something that you've been wanting to tell your client, but haven't. And actually bring that up. So, go out of your comfort zone and bring up whatever that is. But again, do so in a delicate way. Don't complain. So, when you bring up an issue that's been bugging you, help the other person understand why it's been bugging you, help them understand your perspective, and also come up with a potential solution for how you might be able to solve that problem. Yet another action item that we can take is, to sent very clear expectations. Now, this is especially applicable for those of us that don't work in a traditional work environment where we show up 9:00 to 5:00. In this case, setting expectations might be around when you might be online, if you might show up to the office once a week, how you're going to communicate with your team, what are these expectations going to look like and how are you going to communicate and collaborate with the relevant people? It's crucial to set these expectations up front so that later on down the road there are no hiccups, no issues, and no uncomfortable situations that might be presented. So, right from the get go, when you are starting off a new project, working for a new organization, implementing a new work style, make sure to have that discussion and set those clear expectations around what is and what isn't going to be okay. In general, we're seeing organizations around the world encourage this behavior of accountability and speaking up from employees. Companies like Sanofi, companies like Facebook and Microsoft, Accenture and Cisco, they're actively encouraging their employees to speak up and come forward with feedback and with ideas that they can do to improve. They're also giving specific training for managers around emotional intelligence, to make sure that the managers themselves can react in an appropriate way. So, organizations around the world are embracing this concept of speaking up, which means that you should do it. 5. Mindset 3: Empathy: Empathy isn't a new concept, it's not a new idea. However, when it comes to empathy at work, this is where I think we're starting to see a lot of new emphasis being put into place. Empathy used to not be something that was encouraged inside of our organizations. We have these very tall hierarchical like organizational structures where managers and executives would simply tell you what to do and you were to do what you were told. You didn't have a voice. You didn't have a say. You didn't speak up. There was no feelings. There was no emotions. You were essentially treated like a cog. So, today, this idea of empathy is fairly new. It's fairly unique. It's having that human connection. It's getting rid of that tall hierarchy, that pyramid, and creating that human connection and relationship that we all crave and that we all want to see it work. So, what does empathy actually look like inside of our organizations? It's very similar to being vulnerable. I think the two go very much hand in hand. So, let's say, you're working with somebody, and they don't know how to do something, and they admit they don't know how to do it. They kind of go out there on a limb. They become a little bit vulnerable and they say, "You know what? I really just don't know how to do this." Now, you look at somebody and say, "My god. This person is an idiot. How did they even get this job? They shouldn't be doing this. They don't know how to do this kind of work." Being empathetic means taking a little bit of different perspective and saying, "Well, let me put myself in that person's shoes. Let me understand where they're coming from, how they're feeling, and see how he can kind of create that little bit of a connection with the person." So, if somebody admits to you that they don't know how to do something, embracing empathy might be saying something along the lines of, "I totally know what you feel. I've been in that position. I've been in that situation. Here's what I did to overcome that. Let me know how I can help you." It's being a little bit more human. There is a story of a CEO who used to run this large financial institution. In his personal life, the CEO was very much into embracing empathy. He was very vulnerable. In fact, a lot of people at work knew about his personal life. They knew about the relationship he had with his family. They knew the sports that he liked. But for some reason, when this executive would show up at work, he wouldn't mention, and talk about, and embrace any of these things. He just became this kind of this stoical robot at work. One day, one of his mentors at work pulled him aside and they said, "Look. You've got to stop acting like this because everybody here at work knows you as an individual. They know you as a person. But for some reason, you're like blocking this human side of you out at work, and it's causing a lot of frustration and pain for the employees who work for you because they really become disengaged, and they don't want to have a relationship with you." That clicked in his head. Ever since then, he became very open, and transparent, and vulnerable, and empathetic about what was going on in his personal life whether he was upset, whether he was happy, issues that he might be dealing with, and people around him became very accepting of that fact, and they too themselves started to embrace that concept of vulnerability and empathy at work. If you're watching this and you are responsible for other people at work, the concept of empathy and vulnerability has to start with you. So, you need to be the first one inside of your organization that believes, and embraces empathy and vulnerability at work. One of the things that I always find fascinating when I meet with executives one on one is, I always ask them, "If I were to bottle up, what it was like to work at your organization, and put it into a pill, and they gave you that pill right now to swallow it. Would you swallow it?" Almost every executive always tells me the same thing, "Nope." So, why then would you expect your employees or the people you work with to swallow that same corporate culture pill if you yourself are not willing to do so? The best way that you can start and encourage other people to swallow that corporate culture pill is to embrace vulnerability, is to be empathetic at work, be more human. Embracing vulnerability and empathy at work just really makes common business sense. On the one hand, you create a human organization where people feel like they can be themselves. When people feel like they can be themselves, they will come forward with ideas, with suggestions, with things that they were unsure of. You'll get more diversity of thought. You will get more innovations. So, I think ultimately, this concept of being more human inside of your organization isn't just something that you want to do because it's nice, because it's the right thing to do, but it will also allow you to attract and retain the best talent, to come forward with the best ideas, identify creative solutions for problems, and really drive success across the organization on all fronts. The first action item for embracing empathy at work is learning to listen. Now, this might seem like it's common sense, but in today's rapid fire communication, real time feedback world, it's very easy for us to talk first and listen later. I want you to flip that around a little bit and learn to listen first before you talk. So, fully absorb what somebody is telling you before you respond. Don't cut people off. Wait to digest the information that you're given. Count to three or count to five. Frame your idea. Take the other person's perspective and then you can come back with a human response. A second action item that we can bring into our organizations and to the work that we're doing is to focus on the issue and not always focusing on the person. It's very easy for us when we get into a discussion or debate with somebody to start to critique the person instead of looking at the issue that's at hand. So, we need to be able to take the other person's perspective and try to understand the stance that they have, the issue that they are defending, and why. We don't want to critique the other person, and say that they're stupid, and say that they're wrong, say that what they believe in doesn't make any sense. That is not the right way to approach anything around empathy. So, instead literally, try to put yourself in that other person's shoes, take their stance, understand the argument that they have, and that will allow you to have a much more meaningful and deeper conversation. So, don't confuse arguing the issue with critiquing the person. Those are two very, very different things. You don't want to offend the person, but you do want to address the issue and solve it. Another action item is to understand the different communication tools, and mediums that we use today, and what they're good for. So, for example, email today inside of many organizations has almost become sort of like a digital therapist. We've all gotten those emails where you respond to somebody and next thing you know, you get back an essay about everything that's going wrong, about how all these terrible things that are going on, and it's something like it sounds like should be read to a therapist. Yet somehow, they feel it necessary to share that with the entire organization. So, it's all about understanding who it is that you're speaking with and that communication tools that you're using to interact with somebody. So, how you use email is not the same thing as you use a text. It's not the same thing as you use a video conferencing tool. It's not the same way that you might use a chat application. So, understand the different tools and mediums that you're communicating with, who you're communicating with, and tailor the messages in the ways that you communicate to best suit the audience and the platform. 6. Mindset 4: Self-Awareness: The next skill that we're going to look at is self-awareness. Self-awareness is essentially being very keenly and acutely aware of your strengths, your weaknesses, your feelings, your emotions, how you're doing at a certain period in time, and not acting too rationally or not acting out from impulse. Self-awareness is also knowing about how the actions you take are going to impact yourself and how the actions that you take are going to impact others. Again, think a little bit like a futurist and understand how the ripple that you start is going to cascade out going forward. Now, in a work setting, whether you are an individual contributor or whether you are working full time for an organization, this means understanding what you're good at and the areas that you can lead, and the areas that you're potentially weak at where you might need help, and being able to actually lead in those areas and ask for help in the areas where you might need that actual help. If you don't practice self-awareness inside of your organization essentially, you really don't have much say to shape the path that you want to take. You're not aware of the strengths that you have, you're not aware of the weaknesses that you might possess. You're not aware of how the actions or the behaviors that you exhibit are going to impact others around you. So, that's a very challenging way to live, it's a very challenging way to work, because essentially you're doing without thinking, and that never leads to good results. Self-awareness actually plays very much hand in hand with this idea of perpetual learning, because when you're self-aware and you have a very good understanding of your strengths and your weaknesses, you really have a good understanding of what you can do to continue to build your strengths, and what you can do to learn to improve your weaknesses. Then you have a very good understanding of the resources that you need, the places that you can go to work on both of those things. But if you don't have that level of self-awareness, it's also very hard to be a perpetual learner. I'll be honest, self-awareness is probably the most trickiest of the skills that we need to be paying attention to because it's hard to define, it's hard to practice. It's basically being in tune with yourself and knowing yourself. Now, that's a pretty hard thing to teach, and the best way that I think we can become self-aware is just take a step back every now and then, take a deep breath, look at the big picture, and try to become a little bit more in touch with ourselves. I know it sounds a little bit hokey. I know it sounds a little bit soft, but I can also promise you that it's very human. Even though self-awareness is a little bit tricky, I still think there are some things that we can do to be able to build on that. Now, one of the funny things that I can share from my personal life is whenever I have discussions and conversations with my wife, sometimes she'll take a step back and she'll say, "Jacob, was that a nice thing to say? " It makes me pause for a couple of seconds and say, "Huh. Was that a nice thing to say?" It's those types of questions that allow you to become self-aware. So, there are other questions like that that we can start to ask. So, was this a nice thing to say? How is what I said going to impact the other person? What are the things that I am genuinely good at and feel comfortable leading? What are the areas where I'm potentially not good at and where I can get help with and who can I go to or where can I go to get help with those things? These are the types of questions that we need to be asking ourselves more and more as we look at this new human world of work. Another action item that we can take is to ask ourselves questions in uncomfortable or weird situations. So, if you're upset about something if you're unhappy about something, it's trying to really understand the root cause behind why that is the case. Is it the job, is it the person, is it what you were being asked to do as far as a task or a project. It's being able to be a little bit more reflective to get to the root cause of what it is that's actually bothering you. Perhaps the first thing that you can do is ask yourself, how am I feeling and why am I feeling this way? This could be a feeling that you get when you show up to work. For me personally when I had that job that I mentioned at the beginning of the class, I would ask myself how am I feeling. The answer for me and inevitably always became, I feel miserable I feel terrible I feel very unhappy, and then I would ask myself why am I feeling this way? Why is it, what is the root cause behind this? Is it really because the CEO came out and asked me to go get him coffee or is it something more? For me personally, it became I just didn't feel valued. I didn't feel like my skills were being utilized. It had nothing to do with the coffee. It had nothing to do with the commute. It was because I didn't feel like I was being valued. I didn't feel like I was contributing anything to the organization. So that was the underlying reason that I had to take a step back and become a little bit more self-aware of. This is the difference between assuming that it's just an action such as, I was asked to go get coffee, that's why I'm unhappy, versus the real reason which is I don't feel valued. I don't feel safe. I don't feel like I'm treated fairly. The only way that you will get to that root cause is by asking yourself how are you feeling and why are you feeling that way. The story goes that Ben Franklin actually used to keep a balance sheet of his personal character. He would track liabilities and assets in the form of strengths and weaknesses to be able to tally up what his character's net worth was. Warren Buffett is another great example. He's known for taking very diligent and copious notes about why he makes certain investments, and then years later he goes back to take a look at those investments to see what went right, what went wrong, and why he actually made those investments. In other words, what was his gut reaction, what was his feeling and why did he take the actions that he did. As I mentioned, self-awareness is one of the trickier skills that we need to learn to master and practice. But I can promise you this, it will serve you well both at life and in work. 7. Mindset 5: Thinking Like an Entrepreneur: Entrepreneurs are typically scrappy, they are resourceful, they are creative, they're constantly trying to identify potential challenges and scenarios and that's kind of the mindset of an entrepreneur. You're always aware and tinkering and playing around all things and seeing what you can do to create and build something that might have value and impact. I think the same thing is very much true for organizations or for individual contributors. Thinking like an entrepreneur means asking for forgiveness and not for permission. It means taking the steps that you need to do because you are able to come up with the resources, you're able to find the ideas, and you're confident enough to take the actions. If something goes wrong later you say, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it, I took the initiative, it didn't work out the way I wanted." It's better to ask for forgiveness than it is to say, "can I do this or is it okay if I do this." Entrepreneurs always ask for forgiveness not for permission. One of the things that entrepreneurs have to do a very good job of is finding creative solutions to potential problems that they may be faced with. Let's say you have an initiative that you would like to see funded and become a reality, if for some reason you're not getting a lot of support inside of your organization. Now, most people at that point might say, "Oh man, well I'm not getting any support from my managers, I'm not getting support from my executives." So, clearly this is dead on the vine. But one such scenario happened and this particular employee told me a very fascinating story about how instead of letting this project die on the vine, they instead went to their companies, one of their top customers and said look, this is the initiative that I would like to run inside of my company, don't you as a customer think that this is going to benefit you and the customer said, "Oh yes, this would be great." This employee then took that feedback to the management team and said, "Look, I know you guys have been pushing back on this, you've consistently told me no, but I went and talked to our largest customer and even may think this is a good idea. Now how can you say no?" All of a sudden, they found a little bit of budget, they found some funding to make this type of a project a reality. Don't necessarily give up, you have to find that right solution, you have to be scrappy and come up with the right way to overcome that problem. If you've ever seen a child learn how to walk, you'll see that the child fumbles around a little bit and then they fall on the floor. You don't look at that child and say, "Walking is not for you." You typically encourage that child and say, "Get up, try again, you can do it." It's this idea of when you fall you learn to get back up. The entrepreneur is always trying to get back up, they're always trying to move forward, they're always trying to walk forward regardless of how many times they're going to fall forward. Now, embracing failure isn't the same thing as encouraging failure. You don't want to encourage people to fail, you don't want to encourage yourself to fail, but it's this idea and this mindset of saying, you know what? I did try, I did fail and that's okay because I learned something from it. Embracing failure and encouraging failure are not the same thing. You don't want to encourage failure but you want to be okay with it, if it does happen. Thinking like an entrepreneur is something that comes naturally to some but not to everybody, and that's okay. You might find that you don't want to think like an entrepreneur, you don't want to come up with creative ideas, you don't want to think, you just want to do what you're told, and that's fine. But I also want to encourage you to think about and explore what an entrepreneur might think about in your situation. There are a couple questions that you can start to ask yourself when you're being faced with certain projects or things that you have to do at work. The first question that you can start to ask yourself is, "Is there a better way to do whatever it is that I'm doing? Is there a new way to do whatever it is that I'm doing." Another question that you can ask is around challenging convention, am I doing this because it's always been done this way or is there a new and unique way that I can bring to this particular problem or situation or scenario. And of course you can also ask questions around, I was told no, how am I going to overcome that or I need access to resources, where can I go to get those resources. So, thinking like an entrepreneur will allow you and will actually force you to come up with creative ways to solve problems and overcome challenges that you might be faced with. The good news about thinking like an entrepreneur is that there are literally hundreds and thousands of examples all over the world of people who think like entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs who have done amazing things. The one that you are probably all thinking about right now is Elon Musk. Here is somebody that is reinventing the automotive industry. Here's somebody that is sending people to space. Here's somebody this building tunnels through Los Angeles as a way to transport people. So, this is the way an entrepreneur thinks, they identify a problem: transportation. They identify another problem: we need to colonize Mars, and they come up with solutions and ways to be able to solve that problem. Now, Elon Musk is obviously doing this on a very grandiose, very big macro global level but we're even starting to see organizations implement all sorts of really cool intrapreneur programs as well. Look at a company like Adobe which has something called Kickbox. Now, Kickbox is a program at Adobe where any employee can participate in a two day innovation workshop and after they go through that workshop, they're given a one thousand dollar prepaid credit card that they don't need to show receipts for, and for that one thousand dollar prepaid credit card, they're able to build whatever product or service they have in mind. They then present that product or service to members of the management and the executive team and if they get one person to say yes to agree to say that they like whatever it was that was created, they're able to get funding and take that idea to the next level. So, not only are we seeing this on the personal side on the individual side, we're very much seeing this on the organizational side as far as companies that are encouraging and wanting and craving for this way of thinking inside of their organizations as well. 8. Conclusion: Now that you know what these skills are, my hope is that you will be able to treat these skills like Batman treats his utility belt. You'll be able to bring out these skills depending on the situation that you're presented with or the scenario that you're confronted by. You'll bring a little bit more humanity into all of the relationships that you have, both in your personal life and inside of your organization. It's those of us that are able to embrace and utilize these skills on a regular basis that are going to succeed in this new world of work. If you're trying to understand the future of work and how the workplace is changing, there's no secret here around what you should be doing. Use the web. You have access to an unlimited amount of information. Listen to podcasts, read blogs, watch videos on YouTube, go to conferences, take classes online. I mean, I myself interview senior-level executive every week, I do a video every week, I do two articles every week. So, I alone create so much content around the future of work, and there are a lot of great resources out there that you can access to make sure that you're constantly aware of what's going on in this big picture of the world of work. I'd love to see how you guys are applying these various skills in either your personal or your professional lives. So if you can, why don't you share a story of how you've been able to utilize one or more of these skills at work or in any type of professional situation you've been encountered with and what the ending result was as a result of using the skills. Thank you very much for taking the class. I hope you found it valuable. I certainly had a lot of fun teaching it. I'm looking forward to participating in many of the discussions with you, and I hope that you will embrace this mentality of thinking like a futurist. Remember, that ultimately you are responsible for building and shaping the future that you want to have. You are that active participant, you are the creator, and you have to build the future that you would like to see. I hope these skills help you on your journey. 9. What's Next?: