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X-potential – Mark A. Cohen

The focus of this project is on young people with elevated emotional intelligence, resilience, purpose and demonstrated excellence. The aim is to provide a platform for them to share their journeys and demonstrate their untapped potential to leverage those skills and acquire new ones in challenging roles. Their stories are both a celebration of the human spirit and a clarion call for business to widen its talent net to include promising individuals that lack conventional pathways to showcase their potential.

This project leverages my lifelong curiosity and ability to extract rich narratives through unfiltered questions and authentic conversation. I have honed those skills across a career mosaic as a “bet the company” civil trial lawyer, General Counsel, Receiver of an international business, entrepreneur, regular Forbes contributor, Economist events moderator, international keynote speaker, Distinguished Lecturer/Fellow at several prestigious universities around the world, and Executive Chairman, The Digital Legal Exchange.

One of the paradoxes of the digital age is that as technology’s impact becomes more pervasive in all facets of our lives, emotional intelligence (“people skills”) has become more, not less important. Numerous studies reveal the strong link between empathetic, team-oriented, customer-centric companies and commercial success. Talent is now measured not only by hard skills and individual metrics but also people skills that elevate collective performance. This will narrow the digital skills gap, democratize access to corporate opportunity, create holistically diverse workforces, elevate empathy, instill team-orientation, and advance customer-centricity as well as social responsibility and ethical conduct.

Technology platforms, data agility, new business models, and process improvements enable digital transformation. Human adaptation– agility, curiosity, team orientation, imagination, and a learning-for-life mindset—determines its outcome for individuals and enterprises. Most hard skills can be acquired by those with a modicum of aptitude and training. Human resilience, moxie, and a purpose that extends beyond one’s self, cannot be taught. That’s why the stories of these young people with high emotional intelligence are so important to be extracted, shared, and provided an opportunity where they can learn, contribute and thrive.