SMALL CHANGE: your soft balance sheet



an ebook


Ciarán Fenton

How small changes in your behaviour have a big impact on how you work, lead or follow

That’s the title of an ebook I wrote in early 2020, initially, as a series of 50 short blogs – index here – and as a framework for a longer book.


Section 1 YOU

Section 1.3 Your soft balance sheet

Since your career is a business – not like a business – you can apply all the art and science of business to the business of your career.

The only difference in the leadership and management of the business of your career and the those listed on the stock exchange is complexity.

You have a hard balance sheet and a hard profit and loss account just as they do, save that their’s have more zeros. By hard, I mean cash.

You also share a problem they too confront which is the challenge of managing soft assets and liabilities. By soft I mean intangible.

I have developed a Soft Balance Sheet which I use with clients to map their intangible assets.

It looks like this:

Your soft balance sheet

You have soft assets: A, B & C.

Soft liabilities: D, E & F.

The business of your career is about managing your soft liabilities and exploiting/developing your soft assets.


  • A Asset is that skill competence or passion you currently do not show the world but resides within you and is currently hidden beneath your D liability
  • B Asset is that which you know, and everyone knows, is your key strength at work
  • C Asset is your domain knowledge. Your areas of expertise
  • D Liability is your outstanding behavioural weakness at work
  • E & F Liabilities are contextual: anything, including unconscious bias, that might work against you in an interview.

Your D Liability is a lid on your A Asset and is a function of your formative years.

Connection with your A Asset is the key to career fulfilment.

The purpose of my work is to help people connect with their A Asset.

Ciarán Fenton

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