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The Most Valuable Skill

Melvyn Tan
Melvyn Tan
2 min read
The Most Valuable Skill

“Would you want to know what’s the one skill you all must have in order not to starve?”

He asked.

The entire hall was quiet. Everyone was waiting in anticipation.

Waiting for him to tell us what it is.

When he told what it was, some of us were relieved, others were skeptical, a few were disappointed.

He then went on to explain how his company grew exponentially.

All because he taught his team and many others how to hone this one skill.

It might sound like a snake-oil salesman to you.

But what he said is true.

You see.

Our ability to solve problems

Our economic well-being is determined by our ability to solve problems.

The more complex the problem is, the more rewarding it is. Simply because there are fewer people who are able to solve such complex problems.

If the problems you are able to solve can also be solved by many people, then you will be competing against one another. In that instance, it results in a down pressure on price.

It’s basic Economics 101.

Perception plays a crucial role

Sometimes the problem is indeed a complex one.

However, the person who has that problem doesn’t think so.

He thinks it is something that can be resolved easily.

But you think otherwise.

In this case, it is your fault not his.

Because it is your responsibility to get him to understand the problem is more than meets the eye.

Until he can sees the value you bring, you are stuck with a low-baller.

And like I said, it is your fault not his.

What value does it bring

Problem solving isn’t the most valuable skill one must have.

Don’t get me wrong. Problem solving skills are important.

We, as a nation, prided ourselves that we’ve nurtured our youth to be a world-class problem solver.

But if we left it as that, therein lies the problem.

Because until and unless the person who has the problem sees that it is in his interest to solve it and solve it urgently, it could very well be of no value to him. Even if the problem is real.

So what do you think the most valuable skill is?

Melvyn Tan

Despite living the good life at midlife, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My aim here is to reinvent midlife, learn new skills, and understand how the world works post-COVID.