“Left untended, knowledge and skill, like all assets, depreciate in value surprisingly quickly.”

“Left untended, knowledge and skill, like all assets, depreciate in value surprisingly quickly.”

—David Maister, former Harvard Business School professor

Image from Unsplash by Fredy Jacob

Where are your skills and knowledge not keeping up with the times?

Where have you dropped your intellectual anchor, letting the whole world know you have stopped at what seems like a safe spot to rest and sit things out?

I was recently asked to help a friend with her printer, to make copies of her resume to secure a new job. Although she had brand new cartridges installed, her computer couldn’t communicate with her printer due to an old, unsupported operating system.


Where are you falling a bit behind in the skills and knowledge needed to be successful professionally or personally? What investments can and will you make that will appreciate in value in the years ahead?


Friday Review of Skills


We don’t all have the same skills. What are yours? Here are a few skill-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.


“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”




“Life is a lot like Jazz… it’s best when you improvise.”





“Today will be what you make of it.”





temporary setbacks

“Temporary setbacks boost your skill to open locks with previously unknown combinations.”

—Laurent F. Carrel, Messages from Melanie

Image of a combination lock

Image from Flickr by Rob Pongsajapan

Think about the places and things you secure with a lock. In our youth, we locked our bicycles, and our personal items in a school locker. Today, most of us have far too many passwords to keep all of our important accounts and electronic devices secure.

What if we considered an unsolved problem or a setback we are facing as merely having a temporary lock placed on it?

What if our job is simply to increase our safe-cracking abilities to reveal the treasured solutions inside?


In addition to coaches, mentors, advisors, and answers on Google, what additional strategies or tools could you employ to boost your skills at opening locks with unknown combinations?

“Figure out what it is…”

“Figure out what it is in life you don’t do well, and then don’t do it.”

—Doug Copeland, former president and publisher of the Triad Business Journal

QC #820

As I observe individuals and organizations pursuing success in our increasingly dynamic world, I see a great deal of frustration and stress.

Our collective drive, intelligence, and creativity has never been greater, yet it still feels as if something is missing.

Our efforts to have it all, do it all, and be it all seem possible when we look to the media.  In the real world, this formula for the perfect balance is elusive, if not improbable.

Navigating today’s world requires more filters and focus, to design our own imbalanced yet more workable, satisfying, and fulfilling lives.


Take a personal inventory of all the things you don’t like doing or that you don’t do well. Stop doing them as soon as possible. This should make more room in your world to focus on your strengths, so you can do the thing you are good at and love to do.

Consider reading Marcus Buckingham’s “The One Thing You Need to Know” for more insights into great leading, great managing, and sustained individual success.

“The measure of who we are is…”

“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”

-Vince Lombardi, American football coach

Photo from Flickr by Jeff Kubina

Photo from Flickr by Jeff Kubina

Readers of The Quotable Coach series have learned, over the years, of my passion for cooking. I have been described, from time to time, as an “army cook” who can take a variety of ingredients from my fridge and make them into something tasty.

Recently I learned about a number of websites and apps that do the same, with an almost unlimited number of tasty combinations. On myfridgefood.com, you simple select the items you have on hand, press enter, and find yourself with a handful (or more) of options to try.


Examine your “cupboard” of knowledge, skills, abilities, and talents. How can they be combined with the spices and seasonings of your other positive qualities? What tasty recipes can you come up with for your professional and personal success?

“Broken Crayons Still Color.”

“Broken Crayons Still Color.”

—Author Unknown

Photo from Flickr by Nicholas Noyes

Photo from Flickr by Nicholas Noyes

I remember receiving, as a child, a brand new box of Crayola Crayons – one with 64 colors in a flip-top box with that super-special sharpening tool built into the back.

Once I began my work as a burgeoning artist, I noticed that my favorite crayons – the colors I was most drawn to – would quickly become shorter than the others. Sometimes they would break, due to my zealous artistic efforts.

Later, if I wanted to use my favorites, I had to search for the stubby remnants of years past in an old cigar box that once belonged to my grandfather, Papa Lu-Lu.


What are the metaphorical crayons you work with each day? How can your daily efforts and practices with these qualities and skills continue to help you generate a beautiful, colorful professional and personal life?