Tag Archives: Education and Training

Back To School Again

It’s the time of year when the kids head back to school. I wish I could join them. Knowing what I know now, and more importantly, what I don’t know now, I’d make better use of my time there. Of course, like the quote commonly attributed to Mark Twain, I tried not to let my schooling interfere with my education.

I’ve written before what I think the only two things one needs to learn while in school, but to sum them up it’s the ability to:

  • Acquire pieces of information, figure out which pieces are accurate and synthesize your own ideas or opinions based on them;
  • Express those ideas or opinions clearly both verbally and in writing.

Does that make you smart? Not exactly although you certainly will sound a heck of a lot smarter. It does make you well-educated in the sense that you’ve obtained the most important skills education can provide. Smart, however, is an entirely different deal and I want us to think for a few minutes today about the different kinds of smart one can be regardless of education.

I’ve never made it a secret that I have a deep affection for smart people, especially those smarter than I am. I always tried to find job candidates who were, above all, really smart in every sense of the word. What do I mean?

First, there is the kind of smart where one is able to synthesize information and develop great insights. Yes, that kind of matched the first part of being well-educated. I’d couple that with intellectual curiosity, however, to make one smart.

Second is what many people would call educated. This is being full of information, what some might call book-learned. However, just because you can puke back a lot of facts, which might make you great at Trivial Pursuit or the trivia contest at your local tavern, you can’t really fool me that you’re smart unless you couple it with the other two parts.

The third part is being emotionally intelligent. As Wikipedia defines it, this is

the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).

In many ways, this is the most important of the three “smarts” in business since it’s the one that helps you behave optimally in areas like customer service, employee management, and partner relations. I know there are other kinds of “smart” – street smart that is probably the personification of Twain’s statement, IQ-smart, which is just raw brainpower to name just two, but I think my three are the ones most critical to business – and life – success since they can be learned and developed while most others one either has or doesn’t.

So as the kids head back to school, maybe this is a good time for each of us to think about how we can get smarter too. What do you think?

Leave a comment

Filed under Thinking Aloud

Continuing Education

When I worked around lawyers in some of my past business lives, there would always be days when they were totally unavailable.  The reason was something called “CLE”.  As I came to found out, the full term is MCLE – Minimum Continuing Legal Education and while the requirements vary by state bar association, in general lawyers need to take courses in everything from ethics (ahem) to professional responsiblity to changes in law in areas of specialty.

Balance

Image via Wikipedia

So here is my question:  what are you doing to satisfy the same sort of requirement in your business life? Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Helpful Hints

Don’t Know Much About History

The NBC Nightly News had a report last night about kids and their knowledge of American history.  Anyone who cares about either education or history would find the report disturbing and this AP article reported on the same facts:

Just 13 percent of high school seniors who took the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress — called the Nation’s Report Card — showed solid academic performance in American history. The two other grade levels tested didn’t perform much better, with just 22 percent of fourth-grade students and 18 percent of eighth-graders scoring proficient or better.

Beleive it or not, there are some implications to business too. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Huh?, Reality checks

TCP Lets You TCB

One of the things I never quite understand was why companies spend so much time worrying about their businesses and so little time worrying about the people that make those businesses happen.  I’ve been in senior management meetings when the subject of office space or a benefit program has come up and the concern is always more about the impact on the bottom line than on people’s lives. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Helpful Hints, Reality checks