Success Life: Skills for thriving in challenging times


TIMES have changed and that demands new perspectives and solutions. We are faced with complexity caused by COVID-19, change necessitated by artificial intelligence, automation, machine learning and computation and competition is caused by new and agile players. We cannot do business according to the old rule; we need new means and skills to excel in the new normal.

Leadership agility

Leadership is indubitably important. Leadership goes beyond management and the ability to manage old systems. Leadership is the ability to take a risk, seeing new means, synergistically seeking relevant talent that will solve new huddles. Leadership is about creating and communicating strategy and vision.

Safety, health and wellness

COVID-19 has made us to actively take care of our health. We are now concerned about the air we breathe, the health of people around us and the state of our personal health. This goes beyond health. Research shows that workers perform better if they know that they are safe at work. This could include being mentally, spiritually and physically safe.

Creative thinking

Linear thinking; doing things according to known models, might not only be enough but dangerous. There is need for disruptive thinking.

Creative thinking is not just a mental activity, but is when our thinking starts creating productive and profitable services and products. When we stop thinking, we stop leading. Leading is thinking and thinking is leading. Remember, your brain is the creative function of your body. We are intellectual beings, and most of the time, school failed to effectively teach us on thinking. School makes us master what is known (memorising) and rarely allows us to dig into creating what has not been known before.


There was a time when typewriters were a big thing. Every office had to have a typewriter, it was fashionable. Then typewriters were killed by computers. Such is life, it’s constantly changing. People that sit on their laurels or past successes and forget about the future, are bound to lose what they created.

Life takes flexibility, adaptability and agility. This is adjusting to new ways of doing things.

Digital skills

Most things are controlled by technology. The coming of COVID-19 accelerated the use of technology. It’s no longer about going to a physical office, but being in a virtual office.

Soft skills

Research shows that hard skills are not enough and we need soft skills (or transferable skills). One of those important skills is emotional intelligence.

In the past, intelligence quotient was ranked high, but now emotional intelligence proves to be a skill that makes you a top leader.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to show empathy. Some of these soft skills include communication, negotiation and networking.


Uniqueness, innovativeness and creativity is embedded in every human. What makes your product or service different is the ability to breathe into it your  deoxyribonucleic acid.

Your product carries your sweat, blood and your breath or your personal signature. Everyone can try to copy you, but they will never copy your fingerprint. Remember, Zig Ziglar the author once said: “Man was designed for accomplishments, engineered for success and is endowed with seeds of greatness.”

  • Jonah Nyoni is an author, speaker, and leadership trainer. Follow Jonah on Twitter @jonahnyoni.