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Cultivating Your Talent Stack – The 6 Essential Skills You Need In Your Arsenal

Cultivating Your Talent Stack – The 6 Essential Skills You Need In Your Arsenal

One way to continually improve through life is to pay attention to your talent stack.

This is the precise combination of skills or talents that you, and only you, possess. The more you can develop a solid combination of skills, the more you will find yourself with opportunities going forward.

Obvious enough, right?

A good combination of skills or talents can pave the way for success in life and so, the argument goes, it’s worth keeping an eye on your stack to ensure that you’re only adding useful skills and not wasting time on less useful ones.

This is especially pertinent during times when the skill you are developing may seem irrelevant or less useful. The emphasis here is on complementary skills that on their own may not appear to be that valuable, but when you put them into the mix with other related skills become part of some symbiotic whole, the sum of which is much, much more powerful than its parts.

The other beauty of cultivating a valuable skill set or talent stack is that you don’t have to be an absolute expert in any of the skills. It’s their combined power that makes them so handy.

For example, being sent on a corporate presenting course when your job is primarily sales-focused might not seem hugely relevant now in your day-to-day role but could prove highly useful later on if you’re presenting your new start-up to investors.

And you don’t have to be the best presenter in the world, nor the best salesman. Because your talent stack equips you to be very persuasive by virtue of combining the two.

The Perfect Talent Stack

So, if you’re in business or commerce these days, these skills are likely to serve you well if you have them in your stack:

Advanced Microsoft Office
Good public speaking
Solid sales experience
Some knowledge of coding
Project Management qualification
Sound emotional intelligence

In fact, if you have this combination of skills in your stack, it will probably do more than serve you well – you’re most likely running the company.

Notice, though, that you don’t have to be an expert in any of these skills, because they complement one another so well, their usefulness is amplified by around 10X.

You could be very good or expert a one or two of them and merely competent at the others and yet their combination is likely to propel you rapidly up the corporate ladder. Or whatever ladder it happens to be.

If you’re operating in a digital or tech environment, the perfect stack might pivot a little to look like this:

Advanced Google Drive 
Good copy writing
Solid sales execution
Some knowledge of coding
Social media chops
Sound emotional intelligence

If you possess this combination, then you should have a really solid foundation on which to build and thrive online.

The classic example of a talent stack coming together in real life is none other than the next US President-elect – Donald Trump.

Check his skills out:

Negotiating…up there with the best
Public speaking…not God-like but very good
Persuasion…very impressive
Ability to communicate with a range of people…solid
Authenticity…are you kidding? This guy is himself every single time.
Marketing…soundbite after soundbite
Policy knowledge…okay, not his strongest suit

But mix these together and you’ve got deep trouble for Hillary. Deep trouble. In fact, if you were to list Trump’s skills without knowing he was the possessor, you’d have all the anti-Trump maniacs clamouring for this person as their candidate. It’s an almost impossible combination for a politician, particularly in a time when nearly all politicos are seen as insincere yes-men and puppets acting in the interests of more powerful and deeper-pocketed others.


My advice: focus on developing your talent stack.

In fact, write up your talent stack now. The five or so skills that most define you. If you’re struggling or lacking in any area – address it, starting today.

Can you afford not to?

Take any courses you don’t have to pay for and as many that you do as you can afford. But keep in mind the long game when selecting the courses or skills you’re looking to develop.
Make sure they all work together to bolster your own “working capital”.

Read more: Scott Adams – creator of the Dilbert comic strip – discusses the talent stack here.

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