The modern executive has at least one, if not a few, of these wedges at play in every move they make.

OK, so this is the part where I yoink the general concept from Trivial Pursuit - those wedges nestled into that wheel-shaped game piece.

The modern executive has at least one, if not a few, of these wedges at play in every move they make. It is through pursuing these wedges that you have a chance at fulfilling your Vision, and making the kind of impact with your life that you're yearning to do.

This is the part where I admit that yes, I am one of those "organized" people who loves lists, categories, containers, and charts. Measuring goals is already fun for me, and I like to weave in some visual creativity here and there, too. Plus, it makes finishing things is particularly satisfying because you get to complete a bonus thing!

Filling In the Six Wedges that Make Up the 360-Degree 21st-Century Executive.

First, let's be clear: no wedge is more important than the others. While every added wedge gives you a huge boost by itself, once you have them all in place, you can really accomplish some phenomenal things.

And, I'll just reiterate, I'm not copying Trivial Pursuit game, I'm just taking inspiration from the concept. No special colors are associated with each wedge, or ever the game piece. Just keeping it real casual and tidy, since things are about to get way more complex.

I was originally going with a simple pie chart inspired pie. Yeah. Boring. The game piece is more relevant, since one does need a wide array of knowledge to fill in all the wedges.

Okay - let's name these wedges!

Vision is the Container

The connection between all the wedges, the shape, depth of Your Big Goal, is the game piece that holds each wedge in place. In the container, each wedge takes up its full space while simultaneously touching each other. Your Vision is the infinite potential of your talents, skills, and faith.

Wedge 1 - Mindset

Embrace the now and the future with an intentional mindset, one you have to establish and constantly reinforce.

Wedge 2 - Brand and Branding

Serve and represent the future through your brand, one you have to establish and constantly reinforce.

Wedge 3 - Finance and Economics

Finance the future you want to see by earning, investing, and cultivating value from the skills you gain and constantly refine over time.

Wedge 4 - Strategy

Once you envision a specific future in detail, strategy is the process of mapping out the best way to build it by identifying which resources you have, and the most efficient way to acquire the resources you need.

Wedge 5 - Project Management

Planning and executing the near future including working in cooperation with others where needed, is the essence of Project Management. PM skills help you reach those the near-term milestones that build the long term future in your vision.

Wedge 6 - Leadership

Shaping the future you want out of the resources on hand takes Leadership - not just proximal authority. Leaders are not Overseers. Rather, they use deep curiosity, grounded decision-making, meaningful mentorship to make a lasting impact on the future, through serving others.

Now, Here is Where You Start Upskilling Yourself

I have the time, so I'm addressing my own need for accelerated expertise (what the market is calling upskilling), which can be applied far earlier than the widely-accepted norm of 10,000 hours (learning/practicing full-time for 5-10 years) dictates.

I don't have 5 years to commit to shaping my accumulated expertise into an enticing executive package, but I do have 1 year. 52 weeks. 12 months. The perfect timeframe for my accelerated learning style, which I can already tell you share.

The new expertise we're targeting is Executive-level capability. The most effective executives have a mix of hard and soft skills; meticulous tactical knowledge and the flexibility to reshuffle priorities on a moment's notice, balancing the needs of the team, the org, and the customer. These executives are also quite expensive. They bring the intensity and confidence of a specialist to the often-disorienting ambiguity of leadership.

As the Great Poet Beyoncé Advises: Let Me Upgrade You.

If you (like myself) have gathered Specialist-level expertise in one or multiple areas, and are ready to take on a meatier've probably been pelted with classes, courses, certificates and degree programs all offering to be your secret weapon for quickly upskilling yourself. You (like myself) might be tempted by your desire to be a stronger candidate to buy before you try.

Well, here's your first strategic executive decision: before you buy into one of the well-crafted mass-solutions available, let's see where you're already ahead of the pack, and what kind of big ticket instruction you actually need, if any.  Yes, Jillian! is a comprehensive, methodical outline and self-education resource, identifying the hard and soft skills needed in the 21st-Century Executive.

A welcome side-effect of doing this accelerated learning course with me is: you'll get more expensive within one year. So let's say you don't want to take on an executive role. Regardless of our longterm goals, we know we are valuable assets to our organizations and we want to see that value reflected in our compensation. Well, we can't get that result by just wishing.

It's time to get to work.

Hang With Me for 52 Weeks of Self-Guided Accelerated Learning

You'll benefit from me using free and paid resources including but not limited to:

I read it, and now I’ve said it. These books are part of my Informal MBA curriculum, and I’ll be honest about what’s old and moldy and what’s still a great read today.
I heard it, and now I have thoughts. These podcasts are part of my Informal MBA, and I’ll be honest about what’s way off-base and what’s on the right track.
I viewed it, and now I have deeper knowledge. These videos are part of my Informal MBA (visual instruction is incredibly helpful to me), and I’ll be honest about what’s a self-promotional snoozefest and what brings the substance without the fluff.
Blanket spoiler alert for everything posted here, because I love seeing dynamics within a show, reflect a new lessons I’m learning, or show multiple principles I’m learning layered in with each other.
Representation matters, so along the way I’m profiling fellow WOC who are crushing it. Just one more way to inspire myself to stay ambitious.
These are MBAs, Professional Certifications and Advanced Degree programs I’ve considered and why.
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