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« If You Stand Up and Be Counted | Main | The Way the Child Sees It »

September 14, 2018


Micro-CEO in training

Looking back on my own education, I lament that precious little of my time in formal "education" was even remotely helpful in preparing me to acquire the real skills required for the real world. Even in high school math, I felt as if calculus was the correct path for the intellectually superior, while stats was for remedial level folks. I very often regret having skipped the latter, since in human society stats seem so much more prevalent than partial differential equations or the brachistochrone solution.

All those hours learning about physics and math and history and anthropology and ... yet how much of the curriculum was dedicated to subjects like "taking effective notes", "recognizing the biases underlying articles and books", "remembering names and faces", "being a good listener", "handling projects with partners that have conflicting requirements or approaches", etc....

I do believe that formal education is used mostly for the purpose of separating those of academic (ivory tower) excellence from those of lesser natural talent in academia. How good is that as a measure of success in in diplomacy, in business, in friendship, in family?

For those who do rise to the creme de la creme, there are fantastic opportunities presentted on a silver platter. But for the rest of us, there are many other grand opportunities available if we are adventurous enough to look and leap. As for me, I need to work on my bungee jump skills...



We enjoy your comments as much as the stories of weekly reflections. this is why we have so many training classes and consultants in corporate world. i.e. with a noble intention to correct what schools "Education System" did not do.

Thanks for your comments


Not much importance is given to "working in teams" in schools. People, during their formal education, grow to have a unique character and they hardly get a chance to juxtapose that with another person. As I see new people, and characters, it is interesting to see so many different characters working together towards a common goal. So many subtle talents could have been developed during my formal education which would have been useful to solve real world problems. It is funny that we pay the schools to learn a lot of things we don't really need, and get paid at work for the same!


Originally I had planned to write a story about DUMB FRED. Until I attended a meeting where I met this fellow who captured the attention of many with his humility, knowledge and resourcefulness. Every participant was supposed to share their background in the beginning. We found out that this fellow was a Chief Executive Officer of a company with global operations. Prior to this assignment, he had held similar position in two other companies in his 40 years career. He began his career as a trader and rose through the ranks to be CEO in his first company. He had lived in seven different countries and knew a lot of practical things about those cultures. When it came to share his Education, it said “In House Training” at his first company where he had worked for 26 years. While others had shared their degrees as Education, this fellow had no degree and only IHE to show for it.

This incidence reminded me of Friday Reflection of long time ago which is worthwhile reflecting again. And While DUMB FRED story is equally interesting, I will save it for the future FR.


Nice Story.


YEP!!!!, in my experiences many companies gain a placebo effect from hiring high degreed people, it saves them having to try and decide if someone can make it, they hide behind it and even go so far as to brag about the % of people with given degrees while MANY large companies like Intel, Microsoft, etc. Have very SR people with JR to no degrees.... but that took guts, and strength to push back on what made certain managers "feel" better. A wise man once told me, what classes someone did or did not take some 20 years ago adds little value to what they have learned since then (though it likely opened more doors to more opportunities). Oddly there is Agism, Racism, Sexism, etc-ism, but where is the Degree-ism, that likely discriminates more people than the other -ism's ..... rare is the large reward with small risk


Very true! Nice story, In the context of Education systems in China, concept of "education" is by default been referred to as the path to pursue better schools all the way from kinder gardens to universities, with the predominant end-in-mind set as “ to get the degree from best schools”. It’s a horrible atmosphere with huge peer pressure, for Parents, and then transferred to the poor kids, so the mental health and actually capabilities including thinking, problem solving, social/interpersonal capabilities of a student is never reflected in the scores/ school entrance selection criteria. And we feel the horror of more incident of the kind with top student in top schools committing suicide/ killing room-mate… So 1st thing 1st, education is about how to be a true man in the society (integrity, responsibility, caring), and then the next goal is to learn methodologies to tackle things, not so much about profound knowledge points only.


An excellent example of the value of degree versus that of education, real education!
Very well explained, I am posting it on the Facebook!


Lovely reflection and wonderful comments. Got so much insight.... and so True. The rat race just kills you!


Nice :)

The same thing again....

Academic degrees help our mind to get involved; Education helps our mind to get evolved.


More great wisdom.. thank you my friend!

Hope you are doing well

Shanghai friend

Wow. I am going to share it with my husband.


Very enlightening post! I’ll share it to my daughters 😊

Shawn Munguia

Very true, I like it. Education is under expereince. Not Degrees. Similar to hiring charater over skill. Thank you Anand


Thank you for this article! Perfect timing for my resume!

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