Al Gore, Soft skills and Data Science

You should be thinking: “Definitely, this guy is crazy”. Yes, maybe this can be true, but first, hear my points and after, you can comment the post with your own thougths. The objetive of this writing is to explain you why yo should learn from Albert Gore‘s soft skills, the former Vice President of United States, and apply them for your work like Data Scientist.

Communication

But, Why I put to Al Gore like a role model? If you saw “An Inconvenient Truth” film; you should be agree with me, thinking about the great job that he did explaining to the whole world, throught scary numbers and outstading graphics, the current situation of the enviroment; puting in our faces a lot of reasons about why we have to change our behaviour if we will want a better future.

That´s a live probe of the amazing communication skills that Al Gore posses, and that skill can be learned by you, yes, you, Data Scientist: you have to learn how to improve everyday your communications skills, because you will discover in some situations where your audience won´t be geeks or Computer Sciences pros; and you have to find the right words to explain your research in a way that everybody could understand. This is critical for your daily job, my friend. So, look for good communication courses, audio books, etc. I love Josh Kaufman’s Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business (with this one you will learn some good points how to run your business too), or tou can read here and here too.

Leadership

If you enjoyed the documental like me, you should be feeling inside the CTA bug (Calls-To-Action is a term that I learned from HubSpot when I was writing the blog post about Digital Marketing and its strong relationship with Data Science on these days); because he inspired me to “think different” about “our dirty and unique spaceship called Earth” (I like this great phrase of journalist Walter Martinez says on his “Dossier” TV program).

I’m always admire to persons that can “inspire” to do a particular task, a person that doesn’t command you. That’s one of the first learning that I saw when I read John C. Maxwell’s “The 21 Laws of Leadership”: if you lead a team, try always to inspire to your co-workers to do a particular thing, don’t try to command them, because you become on their boss, not on their leader.

So, Data Scientist; it’s very strange that you work alone. Many times, you have to work with several colleagues under your sight, so apply some of the techniques that Mr. Maxwell talk on their books, and think in Al Gore like a role model. I know, you have should be thinking that you are not a natural leader; it doesn’t matter; you can learn to become in a leader. Believe me, I’ve tested a lot of Maxwell’s tips and it has given to me remarkable results.

Team-work

Many people don’t understand the importance of team-work. My friend, you are obligated to work on team. Data Science combines a lot of disciplines: Data Visualization, Statistics, Programming skills, and many more; and you have to realize that you can’t do it everything; so you have to embrace team-work like nobody.

When Al Gore was on his presidential campaign; he choosed very carefully his team, and I think that he did a great job, because he knew that without a high-performance team, he could not even compite against Bush. You have to think in that way, because, if you achieve to create a great team and you can lead them to do a outstading job in your organization; you will obtain a lot. Do you want to learn from expert Data Science managers ? Read here about my paradigms in Data Science, and read “Building Data Science teams” from Dj Patil, the former Data Science Manager at LinkedIn and Data Scientist in Residence at Greylock VC firm.

Time Management

Time is so important today, that many companies can obtain or waist millions in just a few seconds; so my friend, start now and try to learn a good method to manage wisely your time; after you can send your “THANKS” phrase.

But, let me tell you one thing; it’s not just time that you use to develop a particular model for certain Data Science problem; it’s time that you employ to explain your problem, it’s time that you use to give a great talk about a particular topic. In this last quote, I will let some amazing examples:

These amazing guys did an incredible job giving some points to an audience in less of an hour; they planned exactly what to say and how much time to use in every sentence or explanation: these are two amazing examples how use time wisely and correctly.

Al Gore did the same, but around the world with his documental; giving his talk about the “inconvenient truth” to so many people of different backgrounds and cultures; so I think his work was even harder. So, hear what he have to say, and learn from him.

The Art of Negotiation

I don’t talk very much here, I just want to let you a great blog post from Ramit Sethi (I’m a big fan of his “I will to teach to be rich” book) called “How to negotiate better than 99% of people”. Read it add send me your comments about it.

But, why do you should learn this? Think abou this:

  • How do you convince to your boss that you need a new guy in your team to improve your Data Science work?
  • How do you explain to your management team your finding and convince them to take action?

I just give two simple examples, but think about this and send me your thoughts how could you use your negotiation skills in your organization?

Final Thoughts

How do you think that Al Gore changed the way that we think right now about our enviroment? He combined all these skills and perhaps many more to get inside our minds and hit us. So, What are you waiting for? You can do it too with hard work. Perhaps, you are a incredible Data Scientist, but you don’t know how to communicate your results, you don’t know how to influenciate to your coworkers to be better employees every day; you dont know how to explain your findings without boring to your audience. If the answers is yes: START NOW and begin to develop your SOFT SKILLS.

Happy Learning !!!
Marcos Luis Ortíz Valmaseda
about.me/marcosortiz
@marcosluis2186

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Al Gore, Soft skills and Data Science

  1. Good way of telling, and fastidious post to take data on the topic of my
    presentation subject matter, which i am going to deliver in university.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s