Book Review | Future Fit by Andrea Clarke
Future Fit by Andrea Clarke reminds us that one thing in life we can count on is change. The goal of this book is to help us figure out how to future proof ourselves in an era of unknowns. Now is the time to stop thinking about change and to start evolving ourselves and our lives.
This book is like a fitness class for our careers. Andrea Clarke teaches us eight essential survival skills to better equip readers for an uncertain future of work. These “tools” include reputation capital, communication, adaptability, creativity, networking, leadership, problem solving, and continuous learning. As a former Washington D.C. news reporter and communications officer, the author proves to be well versed in communication strategies.
To remain relevant in a post 2020 world, we must first understand why we want to and what we stand for. Andrea Clarke states, “Nothing connects and mobilises us more than purpose.”
To this end, modern organisations desire more than high performers. Contemporary leaders seek confident professionals who want to be part of a group that aligns with their values. As a result, a sense of purpose and belonging is shared between employees and employers. This provides a valuable competitive advantage to both sides.
Besides owning their purpose and value along with the eight fundamental survival skills, unique modern leaders possess strong survival skills such as communication and adaptability. They understand there is power in silence. They get that language choices boost or weaken their professional brand. They know how to respond well under pressure. They connect with purpose. As Andrea Clarke calls attention to, “There is an undeniable link between our ability to communicate successfully and lead successfully.”
Adaptabilty is also essential in business and life. There is no work around. It is a mindset shift to embrace. Just like we train our bodies to get fit, we can condition our brains to endure an intensified rate of change. We need to go with the flow more than ever to communicate effectively, solve problems, foster creativity, nurture relationships, and learn continuously.
Once we learn and hone our survival skills, know our why, and emerge as modern leaders, we can further sharpen our communication abilities by combining a few simultaneously. Communication is vital to establishing and growing relationships. Andrea Clarke points out, “captivating communicators have all mastered what I refer to as the ‘trifecta effect’ – when voice, body language and use of language are mastered individually and used together for impact.” However, powerful connection takes practice and intention. We are not born with swagger. If we choose to make the effort, we learn it. There is no stopping us when we do.
Future Fit is equivalent to a high-quality professional development course. No video conferencing or travel required. Invest in yourself, and take control of your future, by reading this timely, international award-winning book, written by an amazing “teacher”.
Jennifer Musser – Guiding Strategic Purpose, Managing Member, JLM & Associates Consulting, LLC