We're all keen to know the secret of others' success and what skills are likely to be most highly-valued. Last week, Bill Gates (Chairman, Microsoft) spoke about how just about everyone has become an Information Worker - from retail staff who use scanners to track stock to CEOs who track and analyse critical market trends with business intelligence software. Bill G stressed the importance of maths and science, pointing to the fact that the most interesting things that have emerged in the last decade all stem from the realm of science and engineering.
He also pulled out the ability to communicate, saying software development is not a solitary pursuit. You have to listen to others, find out what they need and work with others to achieve it. Curiosity - about the world, products, why and how things work - also helps people to succeed. You can read the speech here and if you want to know more about Microsoft's vision on helping people achieve, take a look at the People-Ready Business site.
For the small business, picking the right people to work with is perhaps even more crucial than it is for larger companies. There's no hiding place! And when you're working all hours you need to be able to rely on others completely and to know they'll muck in where and when required. Take a look at this article ‘Simple tools that make people work better together' if you'd like some guidance.