Employers facing shortage of workers with strong social and analytical skills

“As our cities grow larger,” writes Richard Florida, “the synapses that connect them—people with exceptional social skills—are becoming ever more essential to economic growth.”

These “exceptional social skills,” many of which are practiced in the LEAD Program, can have tangible benefits in the form of higher compensation.

Analytic and social skills add greatly to wages and salaries: after ranking every occupation by the type of skill required to perform it, we observed that on average, occupations in the top quarter as measured by required analytic skill pay $25,600 more than those in the lowest quarter […]

Fraternities enhance social skills for many – nothing we didn’t know already. But what about the analytical skills? How does your chapter’s culture foster strong critical thinking skills (i.e. sound decision making and good judgement)?

“We’ve always done it this way,” “It’s tradition” and other common defenses of the status quo do just the opposite. Where does your chapter fall?

You’ve probably heard many times before how Sigma Nu and the LEAD Program prepare collegians for life after school. But how exactly? What skills? Florida outlines a few here:

Highly developed social skills are different from mere sociability. They include persuasion, social perceptiveness, the capacity to bring the right people together on a project, the ability to help develop other people, and a keen sense of empathy. These are quintessential leadership skills needed to innovate, mobilize resources, build effective organizations, and launch new firms. They are highly complementary to analytic skills—and indeed, the very highest-paying jobs (and the most robust economies) usually require exceptional skill in both realms.

“Bring the right people together” = Recruit the people who will push the chapter to new heights while maintaining the discipline to avoid those who join for the wrong reasons.

“Develop other people” = Build people up through a legitimate new member process free of hazing and other arbitrary time wasters. This also means using all phases of LEAD to develop members through graduation and beyond.

A growing chorus has noted the failure of U.S. schools to adequately teach math, science, and technology, but social intelligence is equally important, and we need to cultivate it more systematically.

Today’s students need a stronger focus on teamwork, persuasion, and entrepreneurship; a better integration of liberal arts with technological literacy; and an emphasis on the social intelligence that makes for creative collaboration and leadership.

Fraternity, when done the right way, builds this teamwork, collaboration, leadership and entrepreneurship that is apparently missing from so many job seekers.

Will you take advantage?

Read the full story here.

-Nathaniel Clarkson

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