Updated: Aug 29, 2021
Prior to COVID, I would not describe myself as an active online shopper. I am more of your ‘touch and feel buyer’. However, when COVID hit the world, and the lockdowns were in place, I, like many other people, had to find my way around the vast world of online shopping.
Quickly I realized that I would have one big problem -- how do I select from the myriad of options? Immediately, I learned the usefulness of the ratings and realized that the closer to a 5-star rating, the higher the likelihood of the product being the right level of quality.
While I know that apart from the rating, there are many more things to consider when shopping online, I still know that no one is likely to buy a product that has a low rating.
As I thought more about the idea of a 5-star rating for products, I realized that the 5-star concept is not entirely new. I’ve always known about 5-star hotels and airlines. Even in the army, we have the 5-star generals!
As my mind often connects and integrates information from one field to another, I started considering the idea of a ‘5 star career professional’ and asking these questions: “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could get a ‘5-star’ rating scale for my team members and candidates?” Then in a more reflective mode, I started asking: “Am I a 5 star career professional?” “What does a 5-star career professional even look like?”
These questions led me to develop a simple framework or tool that can guide every professional on how to become a 5-star professional. Over the last 20 years, while working with career professionals from more than 50 different nationalities, across 3 different continents and 10+ industries, I have gleaned 5 key areas that I have seen distinguish top talent from the others and help them to accelerate their careers. I developed this 5-Star Assessment Framework based on these five areas.
Here are the areas within the 5-star Professional Assessment Tool:
Personal Effectiveness – I once had a client who was very sound technically, finished top of the class in school, and had a promising career future. However, I realized this person was struggling because they had not learned how to be personally effective outside the confines of the school environment. You see, personal effectiveness focuses on your ability to manage your time, your priorities and energy to ensure optimum productivity. This is the first step in accelerating your career.
Technical Skills – In working with professionals, I have realized that just because a person has a qualification or certification does not mean they have the requisite technical skills to do the job. There are many reasons for this gap between qualifications and on-the-job delivery. Sometimes, it’s because the knowledge they acquired is now obsolete, or they have not been able to apply the knowledge to their organization’s context, or they are not nimble enough to ‘mix and match’ the knowledge they have acquired to what the organization needs right now. Because everyone is hired to do a specific job, your technical skills are non-negotiable in helping you become a 5-star professional and accelerate your career.
Communication Skills – If there’s anything that I have found to be a common area of concern to many of the clients I coach, it will be their ability to effectively communicate something about themselves or the work they’re doing. It’s great to be technically sound and personally effective but if no one knows about you or what you’re doing, your career acceleration will be impeded. I describe effective communication skills in the workplace as your ability to effectively convey information with the objective of influencing the receiver.
People Skills – with AI and the rise of bots, the role of people within the work environment will not be completely eliminated but will definitely evolve. This means any career professional seeking to be a leader needs to effectively understand how to work with other people. Whether you work remotely, in-person, or hybrid, knowing how to effectively work with other people to avoid sabotage and create synergy is critical for accelerating your career.
Leadership Skills – as you rise in your career, a potential limiting factor for your progress will be your ability to lead/manage a team. Leadership skills focus on your ability to effectively influence other people to achieve desired results. One of the ‘leadership litmus tests’ I ask my clients is ‘If your position were taken away today, will your team still follow you?’. True leadership is beyond the position you have. Actually, you can, and you should begin learning how to improve your leadership skills before you get into a ‘leader position’..