The most important job that educators have is to prepare our students, as best as they possibly can, for the demands of a future that is constantly changing. But what are the skills required? We know Maths and Computer Technology will be in high demand in the marketplace of the future but is it enough to guarantee success?

In a recent article, Simon Torkington points out that, although Maths and Technology should be emphasised, it is not nearly enough to determine success. He goes on to suggest that it is the skills that we learn in the sandpit that will set people apart in the job market of the future. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what these skills are. We spoke to Duncan Smith from Lead 4 Life to pick his brain about what it takes to succeed in the job market of the future. Lead 4 Life is a 4-star rated company on SchoolAdvisor and has some awesome reviews.

1. What is Emotional Intelligence and why is it important? 

There is no disagreeing that Machines are incredibly useful, even some Luddites would agree, and it is true that more and more processes are being automated today than ever before. However, machines cannot build relationships. Human beings thrive in community, yet our social skills today seem to be sorely lacking.

We may have a thousand Facebook friends but be at a loss for people to spend time with on the weekend because we lack the skills to build relationships outside of the virtual world. Skills such as empathy, active listening, and embracing vulnerability are essential for a person to build lasting relationships.

2. What do you believe it takes to develop a positive self-image in young people?  

One of the main problems is that our society has placed an overly inflated emphasis on academic success instead of focusing our efforts on building well-rounded, confident young people. Confidence comes from accepting yourself for who you are.

This confidence encompasses your mind, your body, as well as your belief in your own ability, skills, and experience. It is highly unlikely that you will develop a positive view of yourself in isolation and even if you do, it would be a much-skewed perspective.

Friends and family are usually the people who either build or break down a positive view of ourselves. As the saying goes, “success breeds success” and, therefore, the only sure-fire way to develop a positive self-image in young people is to provide them with challenging opportunities to achieve success. Provide opportunities in various disciplines and give them the opportunity to be contributing members of the various communities they find themselves in.

3. Novel and adaptive thinking – sounds interesting! Tell us more.

All of the skills under the emotional intelligence umbrella relate directly to each other. Novel and adaptive thinking comes from a willingness to try new things, be curious, risk failure, ask good questions, and to embrace a collaborative spirit.

Responding to challenges creatively and with minimal anxiety is a strong differentiator in most job interview situations. In too many academic situations, children are led to feel that there is only one way to approach a problem. Creativity and divergent thinking should be strongly encouraged in the pursuit of a well-balanced education.

A practical example of this can be found in many Maths classes, where the students who struggle with maths often find different ways to solve a problem because they have not understood the ‘normal’ way of solving the problem. We at Lead 4 Life get very excited when students that we work with are able to solve problems in new and unusual ways. Even seemingly unsuccessful ideas often lead to new and creative ways of looking at the problem.

4. Why do you believe that building character is the foundation for success?

Building character in the people we work with is the foundation we need to build on. Personal values are what we hold dear and these personal values set one apart and will inevitably open many doors. Staying true to your word, being on time, being well groomed and dressed, and having a diligent work ethic are all values that build trust with those individuals we encounter on a daily basis.

Lead 4 Life is an organisation which assists schools in creating inspiring solutions for leaders of all ages. Team Lead 4 Life is passionate about enabling and empowering people to discover greater knowledge of self and subsequently lead themselves and others better with more purpose and meaning. Theoretical knowledge is rooted in experiential learning opportunities that foster emotional intelligence, assertiveness, and a focus on personal values.

Contact Duncan at and or 0798891702 to find out more and view their company page on SchoolAdvisor.