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99 Skills of 21st Century Market Place : Week 13

As we dive into Week 13 of the 99 Skills of 21st Century Marketplace, we shift our focus to a set of skills that are essential for effective leadership in today's fast-paced world. This week, we'll explore the importance of task management, conceptualization, and mirroring in building strong teams, driving innovation, and achieving success. From setting clear goals and priorities to envisioning new possibilities and adapting to changing circumstances, these skills are critical for leaders who want to stay ahead of the curve and thrive in a rapidly-evolving business landscape.

37. Task Management

A Quote:

“No matter how good the team or how efficient the methodology, if we’re not solving the right problem, the project fails.” ~ Woody Williams

A Definition: Task management is the process of effectively organizing, planning, and executing tasks to achieve specific goals and objectives within the given constraints of time, resources, and budget.

An Example :

In a large software development project, the team was tasked with completing a major milestone within a tight deadline. The project involved multiple modules, each with their own set of requirements and dependencies. The project manager, who had a strong background in task management, took charge of the situation. They broke down the milestone into smaller tasks and assigned each task to a team member based on their strengths and availability. They also created a detailed schedule with deadlines and milestones, and made sure that everyone was on the same page.

Thanks to their effective task management, the team was able to complete the milestone within the deadline and deliver high-quality code that met all the requirements. Without the project manager's skill in task management, the project could have easily fallen behind schedule, resulting in delays and potentially even project failure.

This example highlights the importance of task management in any project, especially those with tight deadlines and complex requirements. Effective task management allows for better organisation, improved productivity, and ultimately, successful project completion.

A Checklist :

  • Identify the tasks that need to be completed.

  • Prioritize the tasks based on urgency and importance.

  • Create a timeline and set deadlines for each task.

  • Allocate resources and delegate tasks to team members if necessary.

  • Monitor progress and adjust plans as necessary.

  • Celebrate successes and learn from failures to improve future task management.

38. Conceptualization

A Quote:

A Definition: Conceptualization is the ability to think abstractly and develop a conceptual understanding of complex ideas, systems, and problems, and to identify patterns and connections between seemingly unrelated concepts.

An Example :

Conceptualization skills are an essential part of any successful business, as they allow leaders to see the bigger picture and envision innovative solutions to complex problems. One example of how conceptualization skills helped save the day is the story of Steve Jobs and the creation of the first Macintosh computer. In the early 1980s, the personal computer market was dominated by IBM and other large corporations. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, recognized that the market was ripe for disruption and set out to create a computer that would appeal to the masses. With his exceptional conceptualization skills, he envisioned a computer that was user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and affordable.

Jobs led a team of engineers and designers who shared his vision for the Macintosh. Together, they conceptualized a computer that had a graphical user interface, a mouse, and icons to represent files and applications. This was a significant departure from the command-line interfaces used by IBM and other computers at the time. The Macintosh was a groundbreaking product that revolutionized the computer industry and made personal computing accessible to millions of people. Without Steve Jobs' exceptional conceptualization skills, the Macintosh would not have been possible.

This example highlights the importance of conceptualization skills in business and how they can lead to groundbreaking innovation and success. By having a clear vision and the ability to conceptualize innovative solutions, leaders can create products and services that have a significant impact on their industry and the world at large.

A Checklist:

  • Break down complex ideas into smaller, more manageable concepts.

  • Identify patterns and relationships between different concepts.

  • Use analogies and metaphors to explain complex concepts in simpler terms.

  • Collaborate with others to gain new perspectives and insights.

  • Continuously question assumptions and seek out new information to refine conceptual understanding.

39. Mirroring

A Quote :

“Mirroring behavior. When a mark takes a drink from his water glass, so should you. When he smiles, so should you. Keep it subtle, rather than creepy, and it’s a good technique.” ~ Holly Black

A Definition : Mirroring is the ability to understand and connect with others by reflecting their behaviour, emotions, and attitudes, and by adapting one's own behaviour to build rapport and trust.

An Example :

In a business negotiation, a salesperson was trying to convince a potential client to invest in their product. The client was hesitant and seemed unsure about the benefits of the product. The salesperson noticed that the client was crossing their arms and avoiding eye contact, indicating discomfort and resistance. The salesperson realized that the client needed to feel heard and understood before they could be persuaded to invest. So, the salesperson began to mirror the client's body language and tone of voice, showing that they were actively listening and empathizing with the client's concerns.

This helped the client to feel more comfortable and open to hearing about the benefits of the product. With the trust and rapport built through mirroring, the salesperson was able to successfully persuade the client to invest. This example highlights the importance of mirroring skills in effective communication and building relationships, which is essential in various industries and settings, including sales, marketing, and leadership. By mirroring others' body language, tone of voice, and communication style, we can establish trust, build rapport, and improve the chances of success in our interactions.

A Checklist:

  • Pay attention to nonverbal cues, such as body language and tone of voice, to understand how others are feeling.

  • Adapt communication style and language to match the other person's preferences.

  • Use active listening techniques, such as summarizing and clarifying, to show that you are fully present and engaged.

  • Practice empathy by imagining yourself in the other person's situation.

  • Build trust and rapport by being authentic, genuine, and respectful towards others.

Come & Collaborate

Thank you for joining us on this journey through 99 skills at the 21st-century workplace. We believe that the key to success is continuous learning, so we encourage you to keep seeking out new knowledge and skills.

To help you on your path, we are offering a special #DISCovery Session for our readers. This one-on-one coaching session will help you identify your strengths, set career goals, and progress to a personalized plan for success. To book your session, go to at and use the code "99SKILLS" for a special discount.

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