Cultivate The Untrainable
Untrainables are part of what make you unique. Emotional intelligence, soft skills, whatever you want to call it…untrainables are the part of you that no one can change.
Except for maybe you.
Some untrainables are more desirable than others
I still recall a conversation from one of my wisest managers who put it like this.
There are three kinds of challenges.
- The challenge of the head. If one of my employees does not know something, I can teach him the facts, concepts, and principles.
- The challenge of the hand. Perhaps my employee knows what to do, but does not have what he needs to get it done. As an employer, it is my duty to equip my team with every tool their hands need.
- The challenge of the heart is another beast altogether. I can give training, and I can give tools, but I cannot make them care. I can reward, I can punish, I can plead, I can threaten, I can beg, I can fire and replace. But I cannot control the heart.
He went on to say,
I would rather hire someone who has a good heart and no qualifications than to hire the technically qualified person with a bad attitude. A qualified hire with a terrible heart can destroy my entire operation.
The legacy of a person with a terrible heart is clouded with broken relationships, permanent instability, and perpetual sabotage. But that doesn’t have to be you. You were meant for greater things!
Raise your standards for yourself, and then rise to meet them. Repeat until you are immensely desirable. Then raise similar standards for any company that you would be willing to work.
The companies with better work environments will spend effort to discuss what those untrainable skills should look like in action within their operation. If you want to grow into a living legend, seek those companies out. You will grow faster if you work with other amazing people to achieve meaningful impact on the world.
Untrainable does not mean unattainable. Rather, the self-effort it takes to cultivate desirable untrainables means that such qualities are uncommon…often rare…potentially epic…and can make you legendary.
Need inspiration on how to start? Let me point you towards two shining examples to imitate.
- A stellar client I previously worked with has job advertisements on their careers page that beautifully target desirable untrainables.
- A friend of mine shares his own personal journey to cultivate an untrainable skill which did not come naturally for him.