No one would imagine that a person chooses to attend a business school because they need business skills to get ahead in life. But what are these business skills exactly? And why are they important when you have ‘street smart’ and ‘common sense’? More importantly, why would I need to learn it when I can just work with or hire somebody who has those skills?
Business skills come in two parts: Hard skills and soft skills. Today, we are experiencing that soft skills like problem solving, emotion control, leadership become increasingly important. They cannot be quantified and are very subjective. Hard skills are those that are easily quantifiable and, more often than not, are included in your resume. These include Finance, Marketing, Sales, Strategy and Change Management to name a few.
Most managers are not expected to be analysts or create cash flow models; they are expected to be more adept at, and in touch with, their soft skills. However, I would argue that without hard skills it is harder for any manager or employee to see the big picture in the long run. You could be a great sales person achieving a high target number of selling a thousand watches in a day. But can you measure that impact on your company’s profits? As an HR manager, do you understand the importance and domino effect of finding the right person for the job? How do you know which kind of marketing you need to use and the reasons for its success or failure?