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[ACTIVITY] 7 Soft Skills CEOs Work On


While I was doing research for My Career Journal, I spoke to quite a few chief executive officers and other executives. I found it interesting that the soft skills they wanted in their employees were often the same soft skills in which the CEOs wanted or were receiving coaching for themselves.

But just because that’s what I found from a few dozen interviews, it doesn’t mean this trend is universal. Fortunately, I came across the 2013 Executive Coaching Survey administered by Stanford University and the Miles Group. The results were similar to my interviews, but they were more accurate and more data was available.

Here are the top 7 soft skills that CEO’s work on:


[ACTIVITY] 7 Questions To Ask Yourself At The Beginning Of The Semester


If you are going to start, make it a good start.

I know… “Duh!” Who doesn’t know that, right? But yet and still many people fail to set themselves up properly. The following questions are ideal for helping students, educators, parents, and other professionals working with young people get off to a great start at the beginning of the school or program year.

You and the group you are working with should answer these questions in writing. They will make for a great group discussion.

1. Why am I here? Why am I going to school, work, or participating in this program?

If your answer is “Because my mom made me,” or “I have to,” I have one word for you: lame.

Your why is your single point of focus. It’s different then a goal, it’s the reason you remain motivated and determined to meet your goals. It’s what drives you to do what you do. The stronger your why, the higher your level of determination and motivation. So, you gotta have a strong answer to this question. It should be your reason, not someone else’s.

Your why could start off like this:


[VIDEO+ACTIVITY] Duncan Nugget® #330: Blame Is Lame


Here’s a cool little story about blame. Maybe you’ve heard it before.

“This is the story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody knew that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

Consequently, it wound up that Nobody told Anybody, so Everybody blamed Somebody. And nothing got done.”

Unfortunately, there was a time in my life when I blamed anything and anyone else, except for myself, for my lack of success. Not cool.

You cannot blame your way to success.

Personal responsibility is required. Blame is the arch enemy of personal responsibility. Therefore, blame is lame.

Million-Dollar Question:
Do you choose blame or personal responsibility?



[VIDEO+ACTIVITY] Duncan Nugget® #60: Present Yourself In High Definition


High Definition (HD) videos and images are clearer, sharper, and more vivid than normal videos and images so, they’re worth a premium.

The same thing goes for high-definition people—exceptional individuals who have an accurate internal definition of who they are, what they bring to the table, where they are going, and how they plan to get there. This helps them to come across as clearer, sharper, and more vivid the than competition. They’re worth a premium because they present themselves in high definition.

If you are coming across fuzzy, start with your self-definition. Who are you? What’s most important to you in life? What do you want to do? Once you have clear answers to those questions, create a plan and learn how to articulate your plan. Then you’ll be able to come across in HD.

Million-Dollar Question:
Are you determined to take the necessary steps to present yourself in high-definition?




[ACTIVITY] Soft Skills Questions You Could Be Asked During An Interview


Here are 29 sample behavioral-based interviewing questions that companies and organizations use to help assess a person’s leadership ability, teamwork and other soft skills.

Below the questions there are two activities you can do with your group.

To be a rock star at answering these questions you have to tell clear, concise, and compelling stories and give relevant examples of your skills and actions.

If you want an easy method for doing this, read How To Tell Your Story In Professional Settings.

Some of the questions can be tough to answer if you haven’t properly prepared for your interview and obviously, a few of these questions are only for people interviewing for  leadership or management positions. If you have any others to add, please let me know.


[VIDEO+ACTIVITY] Duncan Nugget® #103: Focus On The Task At Hand


Picture this:

I’m standing 3 feet away from my 5-yr old son, Mekhi. I call him. He doesn’t answer. Hmm…

I say his name a little louder, “Mekhi!”

Still no response. Grrr…


Believe it or not, he still doesn’t respond. I’m thinking, “Oh lord! My child is deaf.” But that’s not it. He can’t hear me because he’s watching his show. He’s focused.

If you’re a parent, you’ve experienced this. If you have parents, you’ve done this!

You’re probably thinking, “That is not focus. He was ignoring you.” Ha! I can see where you’re coming from, but wait. Isn’t that what focus is?

The ability to ignore anything that has nothing to do with the task at hand. 

HINT: When engrossed in something you are passionate about, you have that ability.

Million-Dollar Question:[break]What are you so passionate about[break]that you ignore all distractions and[break]focus on the task at hand?




[ACTIVITY] Q & A: The Benefits Of Individuality


What are the benefits of being an individual, as opposed to someone who just wants to be like everyone else?  -Jennifer M., graduate student

NOTE: Be sure to check out the activity at the end of the article.

Asserting your individuality or promoting your personal brand will increase your sense of significance, as well as your perceived value in the marketplace, but asserting your individuality in the wrong way could be perceived as arrogance. Not good. There’s the short version of your answer. I could leave it at that but…that wouldn’t be much fun, would it?


A List Of Soft Skills

Click here for a list of soft skills definitions, and behavioral indicators.

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