Category Archives: Learning & Education

What Does it Take To Be Successful?

This is something I have thought long and hard about. Yet it is a difficult question to ask, because there is no single or sure-fire way to be successful. In my opinion, success is a combination of positive factors and behaviours working productively together to reach a positive outcome or achievement.

Success can be defined as anything that an individual, team of individuals, or an organisation have achieved and feel proud about. They can be big or small, and either personal or professional. These can be from businesses winning multi-million pound contracts, entrepreneurs running their own successful ventures, or even of a personal nature such as raising a family, or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity.

To be successful requires you to commit maximum effort to whatever goals you have set for yourself. Secondly you must also have the belief and mental resilience to withstand the inevitable obstacles that you will encounter along your journey. It is through the above that successful people and organisations are driven by heartfelt passion, in addition to having the commitment and steel to rise above and overcome the obstacles they face.

There are also other important qualities required to be successful. I have provided some examples of these below, many of which are also applicable to your personal life.

  1. Never be driven solely by money as it is derivative and highly destructive.
  2. Think how you can help others first.
  3. Remember to always listen before speaking.
  4. Ensure you have the necessary skills required and continually learn new ones.
  5. Know your capabilities and limitations.
  6. Understand yourself as a brand as we are all marketers.
  7. Learn to be resilient and manage stress.
  8. Make the most of opportunities presented to you.
  9. Don’t be afraid to fail, but remember to learn from them.
  10. Be honest with yourself and others.
  11. List personal goals that are achievable, realistic, and that also ignites your enthusiasm.
  12. Be prepared to be flexible by constantly realigning your goals, with where your business/organisation is going.
  13. Communication is important to develop good personal and professional relationships.
  14. Learn how to deal with office politics.
  15. Treat everyone equally and with humility.
  16. Treat your work seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously.
  17. Network with people from different professions and backgrounds.

You must also remember to take the time to relax. Focusing entirely on your career, can neglect your physical and mental health, as well as relationships with family, friends, colleagues and even business clients. Even the successful ones, realise the importance of not only spending quality time with family, but also have a hobby or two that brings enjoyment and allows them to release stress. Having hobbies and interests outside of your career also helps to show you as a more rounded person.

There is no easy path to success. As the world changes, from politics, technology, economics and others, you will encounter many obstacles, both personally and professionally. These will test your personal belief in what you strive to set out to achieve. Overcoming them will not always be easy, as there will be occasions where some will grind you down. In addition, there will also be mistakes and failures that you will make and encounter, as you venture along your chosen path.

The key to succeed is to keep believing in yourself, your values, who you aspire to be, and to help others on your journey.

Anyone can be successful with courage, and a dogged determination to keep going through the good and bad times.

Thanks for reading!

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The Edge 2016 – Your Digital Future

As we journey into the future, the landscape of our society is changing. Driven by technology, industries and business sectors are moving from analogue to digital means. Therefore the jobs of the future will require different skill sets, to be taught and nurtured through education, in order to meet the demands of the digital future.

Earlier this week, I attended an event held by the City of Liverpool College on this subject. Held at The Learning Exchange as part of The Edge 2016 festival, the purpose of this event was to discuss what digital skills will be required in the future.

The event featured four speakers eager to share their experiences and knowledge. These were Martin Hamilton from Jisc, Lee Stott from Microsoft, Michael Griffiths from Pleq, and Phil Charnock from Draw and Code. With an audience consisting of an eclectic mix of college staff, students, businesses, entrepreneurs and dignitaries, I looked forward eagerly to a fascinating event.

Each of the speakers brought something different to the event. With Martin, I learned about how children are learning about coding in schools. From Lee, I discovered how technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning are applied seamlessly to user learning. With Michael, I learned about how technology can not only be used in solving manufacturing problems, but also helps in preventing machine failures and minimising financial losses. Finally, I learned from Phil about how the likes of 3D and VR (Virtual Reality) are being used in real life.

In addition, I also learned some other useful points, which I have listed below.

  1. Learning to code is the beginning.
  2. The monopoly on information has been broken.
  3. You can follow hobbies and interests, particularly if they involve digital technologies.
  4. The curriculum needs to constantly evolve to educate people on new technologies.
  5. Education needs to be linked with the IT industry.
  6. Digital technology can enable means in the future.
  7. Important to have the right digital skills to deliver services to customers.
  8. Learners can pursue interests and achieve recognised qualifications independently, without entering an educational institution.

Following the talk, I also got an opportunity to visit the college’s Microsoft Showcase Classroom. This included examples of Microsoft devices and software, being used in the Internet of Things (IoT). When I saw the classroom, I was amazed by how stylish and state of the art it looked, as the college has been named as the UK’s first Microsoft Associate College. A richly deserved achievement, and a feather in Liverpool’s digital education cap.

To conclude, I would like to thank everyone involved with the event. From all those at the City of Liverpool College, Liverpool LEP, all the speakers and exhibitors including Aabyss, Wranx, and First4Skills. My thanks also go to Councillor Gary Millar, for doing an excellent job as event compare, with his trademark passion for technology, gadgets, and of course for the city of Liverpool.

I would like to close this article with a few words…

The future is bright, the future is digital!