I’ve got a new resource for you that could explode your level of success – see end of article.
We are releasing the all new 48 Days to the Work You Love seminar on September 1st. Because of the continued workplace volatility we are getting a lot of pressure to make the course “certified” for use in traditional colleges and universities.
While that sounds appealing, the deeper I explored the process the more disgusted I became. I do want people to experience the freedom of finding their passion and applying that in work that is meaningful, purposeful and profitable. But I can’t get excited
about the process that would make this “certified.” Unfortunately, there are requirements that defy everything I believe about showing competence. To me, “education” is broadening your life with experiences and understanding and that can take place as you’re traveling through Switzerland or starting your own delivery business. That education may be more valuable than sitting in a classroom and just regurgitating what’s in the textbook.
Academic certification requires certain things like seventy-five hours of coursework. It doesn’t matter if the content can be conveyed easily in forty hours. I would have to artificially create seventy-five hours, even if that included just busy work to meet the requirement. Their model, then, for proving your competence is to regurgitate what was in the material. So we would have quizzes, tests, and essays where you feed back information that was in the textbook. You could cite the average time on a job and how unemployment has changed over the last 20 years. You would know how many small businesses are starting every month and what the average income of a teacher is. And what that means, and this just absolutely destroys me, is that a student could get an A in the course, 48 Days to the Work You Love, and yet never get that first job, never get a promotion, never find their passion, never find work that they love, or never start their own business. They could fail at all those parameters by which I measure success and still get an A in the course.
So I’m really outside the academic model. I’m happy to be there, frankly, because I think the academic model we have in the United States right now is the next bubble that’s going to burst. And there are a whole lot of people that are saying that. People like Mark Cuban and Mike Rowe and lots of other bright people that are seeing what’s happening. It’s a really broken model where we’re encouraging students just to fill their head with the knowledge that you can access from an iPhone in three seconds. Yes, times have changed. Why would to fill your head by memorizing the capitals of all 50 states or the names of all the presidents?
Here are a couple recent questions from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire:
- “Nephelococcygia” is the practice of doing what?
- Which First Lady was a ninth-generation descendant of Pocahontas?
- Who did artist Grant Wood use as the model for the farmer in his classic painting “American Gothic”?
- What letter must appear at the beginning of the registration number of all non-military aircraft in the U.S.?
Will knowing these answers open new doors of opportunity? Will those come up in an interview? We need people to help people solve problems. To come up with solutions, unique ways of seeing new opportunities and creative ways of relating to other people.
Those are the kinds of things I want to convey, and so proving competence in my courses is not just a matter of feeding back what the materials say, or memorizing insignificant information. Rather, describe to me a project that you’ve worked on. Let me see a blog that you wrote. Tell me about the landscaping business you had last year or the woodcarving business that you just started. Tell me something that you’ve done where you’ve put legs on an idea and created an economic model that will benefit you. Show me the invention you’re working on. Describe how the job you have now fits you or how you just discovered a unique way to blend your passion, talent and money.
There’s a lot of research to support that getting a 4.0 in college is not a good predictor of any kind of success by however we measure that. We have to move past this valuing of knowledge to understanding and application. Learning is easy – mastery is challenging. And unfortunately, a lot of our academic program doesn’t require that. We just show knowledge and that’s it. Knowledge doesn’t do anything for you unless you move all the way through to understanding and application.
And here’s my recommended resource. “How to run a Mastermind Group” I don’t remember the symbol for Barium from the chemical chart of elements I had to study years ago (I’ve replaced that path in my brain with something meaningful), but Mastermind groups have been my constant source of new inspiration, support and motivation for me for many years.