We have just released the Metaskills Quiz 2.0 and I am inviting our friends to see which of their talents are most developed: Are you intuitive, or studious? Empathetic, or logical? Imaginative, or driven by process? The quiz takes only a few minutes and it will immediately generate a “talent handprint” which I’d like you to share with us. By doing this you will contribute to a study we’re conducting to better understand links between metaskills and success. Also, the first 25 people to share their talent handprint on Facebook will receive a signed copy of my new book Metaskills. So, what are you waiting for? The link is below. Have fun.

Take the quiz to discover your talents—and share them with us!

As I describe in Metaskills, the talents you need most in the “robotic age” are feeling, seeing, dreaming, making, and learning. These are deeply human skills that can’t be outsourced, programmed, or handed over to robots. Everyone has them, but few of us bother to hone them. The first step is to know which of your five talents are strongest, and which are weakest. Take the quiz now to see your talent “handprint,” then come back to the explanations.

NOTE: On the last page you can contribute your handprint to the Metaskills study we’re conducting. I would really appreciate it if you did this—and invite others to do so as well. The more people participate the better—and the data will help us find links between metaskills and job success. And we will share these findings with you.

What is your talent handprint?


Your “handprint” shows you the levels of your five talents in relation to one another. In other words, it doesn’t measure how talented you are, but how you’re talented—it reveals your personal creative style. For example, you might score low on the metaskill of feeling, but still be extremely intuitive or empathetic. It may be that you simply rely on another metaskill more than feeling in your personal approach to challenges. There are no right or wrong skills, but you may want to improve one or two in relation to the others. Here’s a brief explanation of each metaskill to help you decide:

• Feeling is the talent of intuition, empathy, and emotional intelligence. If you scored highest on feeling, you may have exceptional strengths in leadership, the arts, or professional services. Feeling is particularly helpful to people engaged in product design, branding, marketing, and sales, since these activities benefit from putting yourself in a customer’s shoes. Feeling uses the most highly developed part of our brain, the part that helps us intuitively understand the world and our fellow human beings. Because it’s fallible, it works best when balanced by seeing.

• Seeing is the skill of seeing the big picture, of thinking holistically, of thinking in complete systems. If you scored highest on seeing, you’re naturally suited to be a planner, an analyst, an engineer, or a researcher. Seeing is more than the ability to be rational. It’s possible to be rational without understanding the dynamic nature of systems. Seeing is rational thinking viewed in three dimensions over time. Think of feeling and seeing as a pair of pliers, giving you a strong grip on complex situations. You’ll want both sides of the pliers to be equally strong.

• Dreaming is the skill of applied imagination. If you scored highest on dreaming, you might make a great scientist or artist, or play any role in which a premium is placed on innovation. Imagination was mostly discouraged in the Industrial Age, which needed workers who could copy, memorize, obey, and keep score. Now that machines are taking over most of these functions, the Robotic Age needs workers who are more creative. Dreaming, however, has little value unless it’s paired with making.

• Making is the skillset of design and design thinking. If you scored highest on making, you might find success as a designer, writer, composer, chef, or any role that depends on craft. Making, like dreaming, has been systematically stripped from our educational curricula. Now we urgently need it back. Those who attended art school, trade school, or any type of professional school are suddenly in demand for their ability to envision and prototype new products, businesses, and outcomes. Making and dreaming are a potent combination.

• Learning is the skill of self-teaching. It’s the opposable thumb of metaskills, a talent that lets you increase the power of your other four talents. If you scored high on learning, you’re able to accelerate your progress with other skills or metaskills. Learning lets you improve your intuition, understand systems, access your imagination, or hone your aesthetics. If you find you can quickly gain knowledge from reading books, listening to lectures, or watching demonstrations, you’re probably strong in learning.

What does it all mean?


That’s up to you, of course. The quiz is only meant to get you thinking about your metaskills. You may find it helpful to read the book, since it provides more background on the five talents. If you’ve already read it, I hope that the quiz gives you more insight into your unique set of talents. The whole purpose of the exercise is to help you find the overlap between what the world needs and what you want to contribute. The overlap is where you’ll find your greatest success.