Two people can start their career in the same position, with the same duties. One eventually becomes a Vice-President and the other is let go. While some call it fate, others simply see the differences between the two employees and compensate them accordingly. Leaders know what to look for and they easily identify winning skills. They understand what is required, because they have been there and done that. While the job skills may differ by company or industry, personal skills do not. With that in mind, here are a few things that determine which skills serve you best.

• MULTI-TASKING: One of the most important skills in the business world is the ability to multi-task. When you are working on a task with a deadline that is top priority, and someone else has an emergency, you must be able to redirect for a few moments, diffuse the situation, stabilize it, and return to full focus on the important task without getting sidetracked. When you are in the middle of three things at once, and the phone seems to ring off the hook, you must maintain composure and a good attitude. The ability to handle many things at once, and do them well, is a rare quality that will see you to the top.
• PRIORITIZING: While multi-tasking is the ability to do many things, prioritizing is the ability to decide which to tackle first. In most cases, you are able to focus on one thing while adding in many others as needed.
• DELEGATION: While there are many who try to do it all, nobody does it all and does it all WELL. One of the key skills of leadership is to surround oneself with quality people and give them the work at which they excel. Hire planners and let them plan. Hire logistics specialists and let them lay out key directives.
• COMMUNICATING: Nobody gets to the top without adequate means of communication. You must be able to tell others what is needed or expected from them, give feedback, and even praise when deserved. The better you build this skill, the further you will go.
• SELF-MOTIVATION: You will seldom meet a leader who waits for someone else to lead. Leaders don’t wait to be shown the path. They clear their own. You will find them busy when they don’t have to be, accomplishing things not on their own list, and helping where they can. Leaders don’t need someone looking over their shoulder to advise or guide. Many are self-taught, learning the things that will help them as they find a need.
• VISUALIZATION: Being able to see ahead and know what to do and when to do it are key skills for any person rising in the ranks. If you don’t know where you are headed, you can’t get there. People without vision are the ones who have to be told what comes next. Learn to understand where your organization is going and the path that those ahead of you have in mind for it, then jump in and start heading that way!
Now that you have a list of the skills you need, what are you waiting for? Begin building these now, so that you can someday be the one looking for people who have them. Visit us online at and connect with Mike Diamond Strategy Group on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail us at! To request Mike as the keynote speaker for your next event, e-mail Order Mike Diamond’s book, The Diamond Process, now at

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