“This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.”
— The Joker, The Dark Knight (film).
Most of us are familiar with the 2 first skill sets. Yet, there is a third one hiding in plain sight.
Do you see it?
That latter skillset is the one that makes the third leg of the table of your skills. With those skills, not only can you be more, but you can also do more.
The story of the Wan Mad show.
The first time I met him, he was dancing on the table with a drink in his hand. The crowd was cheering: “Obi! Obi! Obi!”
Sitting at my table with some friends, I said: what a mad guy, this Obi!
He doesn’t even look like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yet, I see what he wanted to impersonate him.
“Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi (/ˈoʊbiːˌwɑːn kəˈnoʊbiː/) is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. Within the original trilogy. […] In the original trilogy, he is a mentor to Luke Skywalker, to whom he introduces the ways of the Jedi.”
His real name is Julien. His mother is of caucasian descent. And his father is of Asian descent. Hence his family name is Wan.
Now you have met Obi-Wan in real life.
I loved his humor the moment I got to hear him tell those silly jokes in French.
“Mad! That’s a cool nickname for you, Ahmadou!” he said some moments later in that first party.
It was in 2003. We just started our aeronautical engineering studies in Toulouse, France.
This is how I met Mad, my alter-ego, who will blend with Ahmadou to be what I am today.
We had a silly project with Obi back in engineering school. We were thinking about co-writing a one-man show.
So far, all we have written is just the show’s title: “The Wan Mad Show!”
We came up with this title in 2004. So Obi, if you are reading this, I am waiting for you!
The Tree of life: the hard, the soft, and…the roots!
I already loved his movies, even though I don’t always get the message he wants to convey.
When it comes to skills, they can be likened to a tree.
We all can see the hard parts of the tree: the trunk and the branches.
Most trees also have leaves that are generally soft compared to the rest of the tree.
Yet we often miss the most important part of a tree: the roots.
1. HARD SKILLS OR THE TRUNK AND BRANCHES OF OUR LIFE
Hard skills are those that you can learn. The term STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is the king of hard skills in education.
Hard skills get the job done in our post-industrial era. It is the most visible part of our ability.
Yet, in a globalized and standardized world, nothing is more common than hard skills.
Because they can be taught and mastered through repetition and execution, well they are not a differentiator in our professional or personal life.
In a corporation, hard skills will make you a manager.
I have studied aeronautical engineering. In that vast field, I have mastered some skills that landed me a job in one of the leading aircraft manufacturers.
2. SOFT SKILLS OR THE LEAVES OF OUR LIFE.
Soft skills are more challenging to master. It is not just a “copy and paste” approach. Like each tree in the forest has its unique leaves in terms of shapes and form, we all have soft skills that make us unique.
Soft skills are based on our personality, our culture, where we grew up, and our experiences.
Only EI can make you a leader in an organization, even if you are not recognized as a manager in that corporation.
Growing up in Senegal has made me frugal in terms of material needs. I grew up a little compared to what my colleagues in France have as opportunities. Universal Health care and free education are just 2 examples.
3. MAD SKILLS OR THE ROOTS OF OUR LIFE.
Yes, Mad is finally here!
We all have a Mad in us. We all have those roots, more or less strong. Yet often, they tend to lean on the strong side.
Why is that?
Mad skills refer to the skills we develop while practicing our hobbies or our passions.
Those are the roots of all our skills. We practice them without any financial incentive or any other agenda than enjoying the ride we call life.
When we are summoning our mad skills, we do it with optimum effort. We are in a kind of a flow state.
Only your mad skills can make you an intrapreneur in a big corporation.
I have always been into quotes and storytelling. I love watching movies and TV shows. I combine all those skills in crafting, creating, editing, and sharing video stories.
We spend much of our time trying to broadcast our hard skills to the world because it is easy to see and measure ourselves against other people.
Our soft skills are the oxygen of our life. We might underestimate their importance. Yet we cannot breathe without them.
Our mad skills are the roots of our skills. If you don’t develop them, we can be easily rooted out. With strong mad skills, we are grounded.
We become that unmovable object, no matter what unstoppable force comes our way.
This is a Mad story powered by his mad skills!
Are you developing your hard skills?
Are you nurturing your soft skills?
Are you strengthening the roots of all skills?
Leave a comment below.
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#BIOS #BringInyourOwnSoul #LeadHeartship #Leadership
You can read my previous article on These are the 4 forces of your universe: if you don’t master them, you will be mastered by others. (Friendly link)