“Higher education needs to change how accounting is taught and align it with the critical power skills required to succeed in today’s business climate.” Peter Margaritis
As an accountant, understanding how to sell yourself, both in an educational setting and in the workplace can help you succeed professionally.
Technical accounting skills are the foundation of accounting education. However, in today’s accounting profession, technical skills are not enough to grow your career by themselves. You need to develop your power skills.
Power skills, aka soft skills, are helpful in just about any career and essential to communicate accounting complexities to those non-accounting business leaders. They include aspects like curiosity, self-awareness, empathy, and more.
According to the Josh Burson company blog, titled, ‘Let’s Stop Talking About Soft Skills, They’re Power Skills’, states that the skills of the future are not technical, they’re behavioral. The article goes on to state that IBM’s latest research lists the top five power skills that are most critical in the workforce today are;
1. willing to be flexible, agile, and adaptable to change.
2. Time management skills and the ability to prioritize
3. Ability to work effectively in team environments.
4. Ability to communicate effectively in business contexts.
5. Analytical skills and business acumen.
Considering how important they are for success both in your professional and personal development, it makes sense to begin the process of learning these power skills in the university classroom.
Accountants speak the foreign language of business — accounting, which is no different from speaking Spanish, Greek or Chinese to someone who’s not fluent in the language. We need to be cognizant of this fact and become better translators of our technical accounting knowledge.
The college classroom allows us to experiment, fail, hone and gain confidence. Failure is a part of the process when we view learning any new skill. How do you eat an elephant‒one bite at a time. Higher education needs to change how accounting is taught and align it with the critical power skills required to succeed in today’s business climate.
Let us begin to embrace the term financial leadership.