Posts

failure to success

From Failure to Success: How Sharing Your Missteps Can Help Build Rapport

During the beginning of my entrepreneurial career, I heard a lot of failure to success stories. Whether they were in an LTD speech or on a podcast, these talks always had a way to motivate me to want more. However, when sharing these stories with others, I would have trouble conveying the messages in a way that motivated them as they motivated me.

 

Later, I heard John Maxwell talk about what might be the reason for this. And as I dug into it more, I realized that what he said made a lot of sense.

He said that many times, when we’re trying to encourage people with these awesome stories, we’re actually discouraging them.

Why?

Because they’re simply hearing too much about success. They’re comparing their own lives to these amazing people and “emotionally disqualifying” themselves.

But here’s the thing. All real success in life has a huge component of failure. When I was in academia I didn’t understand this. I couldn’t afford to fail my classes. So I did things I look back at now and realize it wasn’t part of my character.

Likewise, when people are in the corporate world, they’re afraid to lose their jobs. So they’ll avoid confrontation with their higher ups. The problem is that being a “yes man” might actually hurt the company in the long run.

 

Building Hope in Others

When we’re telling our stories to attract others to what we’re doing, we naturally might feel that it’s necessary to illustrate ourselves in a way that we’d perceive an “expert” would.

The problem I’ve seen several entrepreneurs make in their media, posts, or other messages, is that they rarely embrace the hard times. In fact, you might know some folks where all they ever show is their awesome toys – the results of their success.

Those of us who have seen success though, know what it took to get to where we’re at. In fact, I always think of a certain illustration when asked about “what success looks like”:

failure to success

 

 

When we embrace our failures, it makes us seem more reachable and it makes those who we’re influencing more teachable.

Or, in short,

People are impressed with success but impacted by our failures. – John Maxwell

 

Investing in and Learning from Failures

When I was going to high school, I remember someone (probably a guidance counselor) asking me a random question. I’m sure you’ve been asked this question too:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?

I remember answering this question would motivate me to think about the future and what I wanted to do.

But there’s a problem inherently wrong with this question. In the long run, it’s not possible to be successful without having that element of failure.

So a better way of asking this question might be something like:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you WOULD fail, but you knew you would learn, grown, and get better?

 

Adjusting on the Fly

One of the most successful coaches in NFL history has been Bill Belichick. Love or hate the Patriots, you have to admire how they’ve been able to win as much as they have in the last two decades.

Many people attribute their success to Bill’s ability to make appropriate adjustments at halftime.

In contrast, as I’ve previously mentioned in this post, the 2017 Colts were notorious about losing games in the second half. While many times they seemed to come out with a lot of energy, inevitably halftime would come.

While most teams would change things a bit, they didn’t seem to change their game. In fact, if they were leading at half time, they’d play far more conservatively.

They were playing not to lose.

The difference between these two coaching approaches is jarring. The Colts coaching staff knew they were playing for their jobs. And subsequently, they feared failure.

On the other hand, the Patriots are willing to change things up during the game. Sure, they don’t want to lose, but they’re in a much better place to succeed with all the adjustments they make. Plus, if they do lose, they put even more time in the film room to figure out how to improve.

 

Seeing Failures as Learning Experiences

So how do we go from “playing not to lose” to “playing to win”? Again, it’s all about seeing failure as a means to success.

That said, there’s a handful of small tweaks we can make in our perspectives if we really want to make a change:

 

Get More Optimistic

There’s always ways to get better. Whether it’s through honing your own skills or helping others get better at their strengths, there’s always a chance to improve.

 

Take More Responsibility

When I think of the poise that Peyton Manning had and now Andrew Luck as leaders of the Colts, I can’t help but notice how much responsibility they’ve taken. Instead of blaming others for their loses at the post game podium, they’d always respond with “That’s my fault. I could have played better.” or “There’s things we all need to work on. I didn’t help the situation today.”

Even in a win, their response was/is always predictable “Yeah, we’ve come pretty far and did really well today. But there’s some things that we can definitely clean up a bit more.”

Though they might not have been the sole reason for a loss, they took responsibility of the failure. And it’s through this simple perspective tweak that they felt the need more to learn and improve on their own performance while inspiring those around them to get better.

 

Be a Bit More Humble

Another thing that Peyton and Andrew noticeably do is praise the members on their team. Peyton was always praising his linemen, and Andrew always talks about how it was a team effort. This rubbed off on their teammates quite noticeably. In fact, there’s some Colts who were players during Peyton’s time that today put in personal time to mentor and coach the new players.

So if you’re praised for something a team did turn it around and appreciate the team. If you’re in a position where you can help others be more successful in their work, help them. They might pay it forward.

 

Build Your Resilience:

Another thing I’ve noticed about successful sports teams is that they tend to have a short term memory for wins or losses. Regardless of the outcome, they always seem to look in the rear view mirror for a day and move on.

That said, a losing mentality can be contagious. So as previously mentioned it’s important that when players fail, they actually look at why they failed and learn how to improve. They simply can’t brush it off. In fact, on successful teams the better players will be wanting to get to the film as quickly as possible. Not so great players will shy away from seeing the film of their performance.

 

Embrace Challenges

Let’s face it, challenges will come up in our lives. It’s how you choose to respond to those challenges that make us who we are.

In sports, successful teams always “look forward” to playing the next team on their schedule. Sure, it’s easy to say this when you’re going against a team that barely knows how to win, but it raises your character a bit more when you’re saying the same thing about a team that has repeatedly beat your team in recent years.

Here’s another example.  In college, I learned that this approach really helped me study because I’d take the homework just as serious as the tests and exams themselves. Without the time trying to actually understand the homework, I would have been doomed for the tests. (This is completely different than how most people approach studying in high school.)

 

Action Steps

So if you find yourself in a situation where you’re wondering “why am I having problems connecting with my audience (or coworkers)?” ask yourself if you’ve been attempting to connect with them by sharing your own flops.

If not, see if some of these tactics can help you make more of an impact.

The better you become at embracing your failures, the deeper connections you’ll find yourself building with those around you.ii                                           

5 Levels of Leadership

The 5 Levels of Leadership: A Way to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

You guys know that I’m a big student of leadership. Heck, I even got my masters in the subject! As such, one of my favorite influencers is John Maxwell, and I once heard this really interesting lesson of his.

He called it the 5 Levels of Leadership.

Since the time I’ve learned about these levels of leadership (and posting this post on December 19, 2010), it’s helped me put a few things in perspective when it comes to not only seeing my progression, but recognizing where other influencers are at in their journey. By using this simple tool, among others, I keep myself from comparing where I’m at in my journey to where they’re at.

If you find yourself comparing your level of influence to others on social media and it bums you out, then you should definitely consider changing this habit!

You shouldn’t feel like you’re in a competition with them. Instead, you should use them for inspiration. Chances are good that they’ve had a longer journey and during that journey have had to go through each one of these checkpoints.

What’s great is that you can too!


As you all know, I’m a fan of John Maxwell. A really REALLY big fan. And I believe the main reason why is that I’ve always been interested in what makes a successful leader successful.

One of the key things to note about being a leader is that, according to Dr. Maxwell, leadership and the ability to influence others are basically the same thing. So in many, if not all, of his talks and writings, he will say that leadership IS influence.

With that said, it’s pretty obvious why one would want to be a leader. Just think, the more you lead, the more people that will agree with what you believe (for their own reasons)!! So really, your ability to influence others is a huge part of being successful not only in life, but also in business.

So how does one become a leader? Well, you can definitely wing it as many people do. You can have natural charisma (or any other leadership traits) and just get by OR, like anything else, you can learn to be one – A great one.

For me, I have had to relearn to be one – a real one. Not a guy who simply manipulates people to do what he wants them to do. Neigh, I mean a real leader who leads by example. A leader who pulls people with him and not pushes them. (Side note: people who push people where they don’t necessarily want to be often lose those people because they have pushed them too far.)

So answering the question… one becomes a leader by understanding key principles of leadership and practicing them. It’s as simple as that. Part of those key principles is the 5 Levels of Leadership. A note about these levels is that they are somewhat linear. Many times you must lead someone through level 1 before they are really in level 2 or 5 for that matter. However, this is not always the case.

5 Levels of Leadership:

Level 1.) Leadership from Position

This leadership level is the most basic. Many times it is usually not earned. One person has a title that another person does not. And because of this, one person reports to the other person. An example of this would be two people working at a restaurant. One has title of manager, the other has the title of line member. More often than not, the line member reports to the manager what they need to know and that’s it – without much feedback. Often with this level, there is minimum rapport because the person.

Level 2.) Leadership From Respect

This leadership level is just a notch higher than positional leadership. This level is where people start following another because they actually want to! The key to this position in leadership is that the leader shows that they care before the followers are interested in what the leader knows. You can begin to grow professionally as an organization when people follow you on their own.

Level 3.) Leadership from Results

People follow you not only because they want to, but also because of what you have accomplished.  Your group/organization will start to see what’s possible because you’ve actually accomplished a few things! And guess what? As a result, morale will rise even further than it was at the respect level.

Level 4.) Leadership from People Development

At this level of leadership, people follow you because of what you, as the leader, have done for them personally. Loyalty is key. At this point, the leadership has not only lead the organization to better things, but it has lead to the people themselves growing as leaders. Also, successful leadership at all levels is has an underscored by a win-win philosophy.

Level 5.) Leadership from Mentorship

At this point the leader is definitely respected. He has spent years developing other people and the organization. As a leader you are bigger than life and your success is shown through a life of accomplishment. Because not many people get to this level, people seek your knowledge for the success of other organizations.

In the end, success in leadership can be accomplished by any one. Something that is important to note is that the higher up in the levels a leader is, the longer it takes for that leader to get their own results and the more important it is for them to be aware of the leadership levels themselves.

If you’d like to know more about Leadership in general, for a starting point I highly recommend checking out John Maxwell’s Book – Becoming a Person of Influence.


Actions Steps

So where do you fall? How do you think you could get to the next level?

Even if you’re not actively comparing yourself with other influencers online, this is still a good way to measure where you’re at on that leader journey. As I’ve said in the past, all of us creators who have a message, product, or service that we want to give to the world… we’re eventually going to be leaders. It’s those of us who are aware that influence is leadership who will make the most impact.

So, have it. Let us know where you’re at in your journey below!

uncertain future

Dave Sanderson – Moments Matter: Why Being Certain about an Uncertain Future is Necessary to Your Success (AoL 120)

It’s been said that real leaders step up in challenging moments. In fact, that’s one trait that professional sports players have to possess in order to win close games. Even us creatives need to be able to give clients what they need when they need it. We also need to be able to do well under fire during negotiations as well.

Unfortunately, life can be a little more complicated than playing games and making business deals. In today’s world, we’ve become all too familiar with crisis. And those that can help cope with these traumatic times, can quite possibly save lives.

That’s exactly what today’s guest, Dave Sanderson did.

In this interview with Dave, we find out what he’s learned from the Miracle on the Hudson and how he’s using that to empower people around the world.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • Who was Dave before the “Miracle on the Hudson”? 8:37
  • How does a sales guy become the head of security for someone like Tony Robbins? 9:54
  • Where did Dave get the skill set to handle the plane crash? 11:47
  • How did the plane crash affect him emotionally? 13:34
  • What made Dave that he should write a book after the event? 15:05
  • How does the lesson Dave learned on the Hudson about leadership translate to everyday entrepreneurs? 17:38
  • What are a few common traits that Dave sees in successful people he meets around the world? 20:30
  • How can someone “do the right thing” when they’re not a decision maker in an organization? 24:09
  • How did Dave finally get over his fear when it came to doing his own thing? 27:18
  • What kind of individuals is Dave currently working with who deal with PTSD? 30:15
  • What’s he looking forward to in the future? 5:05
  • 3 Influencers who have helped get to where he’s at today? 36:52
  • What’s the best advice that he’s ever received? 37:26
  • What’s something that more people should be talking about? 37:49
  • How can people be a difference maker in their community? 38:23

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

KMTV “The Morning Blend” Interview

Tony Robbins Giving Props to Dave

Dave’s TEDx talk

Titania Jordan Interview

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

teambuilding

Putting People in the Right Place – A Teambuilding Case Study

As I’ve been going through all of the emotional ups and downs with losing Sadie, there’s been a number of things that have been keeping me optimistic about the future.

For one, there’s a ton of things going well out at Collaborate 317 that I’m glad to hear about. We’re really starting to be recognized by folks in the community. In fact, a nearby town recently contacted us in regards to helping them start their incubator. Oh, and another event that was hosted by HB Bell went pretty well last week. It was called the Community R.U.L.E. Nonprofit Jazz Network Mixer. I got to spend a bit of time at that event after doing last week’s Junto Show with Harrison and Ping. Lots of interesting nonprofits were featured.

Another thing that I’ve been paying close attention to are how the Colts have been dealing with certain events in their organization.

Many of you know that I’m a fan – as I can be found wearing Colts gear pretty regularly. But there’s a reason for that: the team has integrity as a whole. All the way from the top at Jim Irsay (who loves his organization and wants to win) down to the newest members of the team

So when I wear the gear, sure I’m relating as a fan, but I’m also giving myself a reminder in how I need to act.

 

Recent Examples of Colts’ Integrity

 

Caring About Others

You might have heard about one of our players getting killed in a drunk driving related accident in early February. The player’s name was Edwin “Pound Cake” Jackson. And he had really only contributed to the team for a year and placed on injury reserve for all of 2017 (meaning he wasn’t able to play even though he was still part of the team).

Even though he hadn’t really been here that long, he was still considered part of the family. Not only did Jim pay for his and his Uber driver’s funerals, but he also set up a scholarship fund in his name.

Not every team would do that.

 

Sometimes the best Solution isn’t the First Solution

Then there was the recent signing of the Colts’ new head coach.

If you’re familiar at all with the NFL, you know that the Patriots have been doing very well during the last 15+ years. A big part of that success has been their coaching staff – and one of those members was supposedly going to be our new coach after this year’s Super Bowl.

For whatever reason, at the last moment, he decided to go back on his word on becoming our new coach. Needless to say, that angered a bunch of people around the league. For many, it also confirmed that the Patriots have some internal issues with character. As long as someone can do their job when they’re supposed to, they’ll have a place.

Well, we scrambled to find a coach to fit. And let me tell you, our new head coach, Frank Reich, fits the bill of what it means to be a Colt – he has integrity.

Not only was he loyal to his old team throughout the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl by not interviewing with other teams were looking for their new head coach (he was missing the bus on getting one of these positions), he has fully taken on all responsibilities for working with the team as a part of leadership – not the main guy.

The Colts, especially their new General Manager, Chris Ballard, know what it takes to put a winning team together. And I personally believe that the biggest part of that is knowing if and where people fit into an organization.

 

Failure in Realizing Talent Leads to Bad Results

I think this was the biggest issue with our last coach and GM combination. They simply had a team where many of the parts didn’t fit quite right. While Grigson would find talent to plug in, Pagano’s job was to help that talent excel.

Apparently they didn’t communicate much on what the vision of the entire team was and that’s where they failed. Specifically, they failed to communicate on the talent of the players and matching that with the three Rs – what’s required, what provides the best return, and what is the greatest reward.

Without having that feedback, the team was set up for failure.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter how good the talent is – no team is going to win if they’re out of place.

 

How to Put People in the Right Place

In John Maxwell’s book, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, there are three laws that we can zero in on when it comes to building a team:

  1. Niche
  2. Chain
  3. Bench

Based on what I’ve seen by our new GM Chris Ballard, I believe that he understands these laws quite well. Let’s take a look at them and how the Colts have or have not utilized these laws appropriately.

 

Law of the Niche

All players have a place where they add the most value. If you were to look at a typical NFL team, this is super obvious. Lineman wouldn’t be great ball handlers and visa versa. Even going deeper, you could say that many quarterbacks wouldn’t make great running backs.

And even another level – not all players fit all schemes of playing.

For example, there was a player a few years ago who people loved when he was coming out of college. His name was Trent Richardson. Unfortunately, his career didn’t pan out as many people would have expected it to.

Why?

For one, we have to realize that the college game doesn’t always translate directly to the professional level. Not all great college players excel in the NFL. In fact, there are times when lesser known college players will be better in the NFL. In a few subtle ways, it’s a different game.

Trent’s strengths that led him to his success in college didn’t translate directly to the success in the pros.

Also, it didn’t help that he missed a good part of his transitional season due to injury. And when it was time to perform, he wasn’t as fine tuned as he could have been. (It also didn’t help that the leadership of the Browns is known for destroying potentially great players.)

When he got to the Colts, he still looked good on paper. So we were excited to get him. But as a fan base, we realized soon why the Browns allowed him to come.

Besides not having his skills fine tuned for the league, the scheme that he was a part of in college wasn’t the scheme that he had in the pros. Eventually, our leadership let him walk because he wasn’t doing what was expected of him.

 

Law of the Chain

You’ve heard the saying “You’re only as strong as the weakest point” about teams, I’m sure. And as we’ve seen in the example above with Trent, one could say that he was a bit of a liability to the teams that he was on and to himself.

But is it fair to put that responsibility on his shoulders alone?

Personally, I’d say he got screwed over by being in several systems who didn’t know how to place him correctly. We know he was gifted, so obviously the problem had to be placement related.

The evidence of this is that this past year he bounced back a bit in the CFL. I really think it’s because they knew what they were getting when he got him. Plus, he didn’t have all the weight on his shoulders that he did here. In the NFL you’re expected to be able to perform from day 1. People didn’t really ask why he was not performing to level he should. But had they, they would have realized that he needed more time.

In Maxwell’s book, he says that there are 4 questions to ask about a weak link:

Are they weak because they’re new?

If so, give them some time. (I argue he never had this time to adjust with him missing out on training camp and preseason).

 

Are they weak because they aren’t growing?

Find out why and help motivate them through the issues. In Trent’s case, he wasn’t growing because he had all the weight on his shoulders from having to perform to support friends and the teams he was a part of. He was being forced to be the answer for everyone’s problems.

 

Are they weak because they lack people skills?

Help them understand how they’re screwing up. Teach Trent to say no to his “friends” who were using him.

 

Are they weak because they lack giftedness in this area?

If they’re not meant to ever be in a particular position based on personality or giftedness, don’t push the matter. For Trent, what seemed like a gift issue was actually the other 3 problems.

 

One last thing to note about this law. Stronger members will tend to pick up the slack of weaker members. In our Colts example, Andrew Luck, (who’s a solid 9 when it comes to leadership qualities) many times had to over exert himself to make up for the lack of offensive effectiveness on the field. I believe that’s one reason, in the long run, the team imploded when he got hurt and had to miss time on the field.

 

Law of the Bench

When it comes to winning games, the 4th quarter is where it’s at. In 2017, the Colts lost most of their games in the 2nd half. Had the game ended in the first half, the team would have made the playoffs no problem.

But because the team was incapable of playing 4 quarters, they won all of 4 games.

Sure, you could say that it was because coach Chuck Pagano played too conservatively in the second half. But I think that the biggest issue was that when people went down to injury (which we had tons of injuries this year!), there was poor talent to back them up.

Heck, you might even say that in many of our positions we didn’t have the right talent in the first place!

What’s great about having our new leadership, is that they’re righting the boat. They realize that recruiting is just as important as training and dropping the wrong people.

Instead of keeping mismatched players around to fill the roster, I think Chris Ballard realizes that when you spend time with the best people, you don’t have time for the worst.

I mean, he seems to take a Jack Welch strategy to the team. Jack was known for getting rid of the bottom 10% on a regular basis during his time at GE. This made that company so much better during his time there. I think Chris understands the power of dropping people – especially for the right reasons. In the end, he gets stronger and stronger players which gives the team more options.

 

Action Steps

What a difference a change of leadership can make. To be frank, I’m kind of interested to know what Jim Irsay saw in Coach Pagano and Ryan Grigson when he initially brought them on. One thing that definitely was surprising when they first arrived on the scene was how they removed all the players from the previous team – even those that were actually good.

In hindsight, I’m not sure what to make of that. It doesn’t look like it’s going to pan out the same way with our new leadership – at least not quite yet.

Anyway, when it comes to your organization or small team, I want to make sure you have 4 takeaways from this post:

 

  1. Hire for strengths and natural gifts.
  2. If people aren’t performing to the level you’d expect, ask why. This is key. Maybe you can actually help them improve.
  3. If you believe they no longer express the gifts that you brought them in for, feel free to remove them. In the long run, it’s for everyone’s best interest.
  4. Don’t be afraid to look for team members who are better fits for where your organization currently is. Teams are organic and sometimes someone who was a perfect fit last year, might be in a different place this year than last.

 

Below, let me know what you think about these laws. Do they apply to anything you’ve had experience with? How so?

hospitality consulting

Mike Thorp – Less Talk and More Creation! – How Saying No to Gary Vaynerchuk Helped Launch a Hospitality Consulting Business (AoL 114)

There’s a reason that many businesses fail in the first several years of business.

Of course, finances might play a part in that. But I think that even having a revenue problem is the sign of a deeper issue.

The issue is simply that business ownership doesn’t necessarily make one a great leader.

And without the ability to paint a vision and help employees see what’s going on, of course a company is going to fold.

Today’s guest, Mike Thorp, helps restaurants with this problem. He says that what he does for his clients is a combination of Hell’s Kitchen and The Profit. He loves what he’s doing, as you’ll find out.

But doing his own thing – it came at a cost. As creatives, we find out that to create our consumption must go down. And sometimes, we have to cut it out completely.

That’s exactly what Mike had to do with Gary V.

So in today’s chat, we’ll hear all about what Mike brings to the table with his business, but we’ll also learn what motivated Mike to pull the plug on Gary.

Enjoy!

 

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How’d Mike get started in the restaurant industry? 9:43
  • How does Mike view leadership and culture in the restaurant industry? 15:16
  • What’s an important role he sees his company doing for local students? 22:02
  • Does he only work with local businesses around Grand Rapids? 26:53
  • What was his transition like going from corporate work to consulting? 30:43
  • What does Mike wake up for in the morning? 34:18
  • What lead Mike to write his viral post on Medium? 42:28
  • Why do so many people have trouble leaving the consumer mindset to becoming a creative? 50:37
  • What are some of the things Mike’s looking forward to? 52:39
  • What are his three top favorite books? 54:50
  • What’s a fact from today that would blow the mind from someone ten years ago.? 56:41
  • Smallest decision he’s made that’s made the largest impact? 57:08
  • What’s a life skill that he’s amazed people lack? 58:44
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 1:01:44

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

 

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Last Video You Have to Watch:

Cy Wakeman on The #AskGaryVee Show:

Danny Meyer – The Convergence of Casual and Fine:

Michael Shafer reviews the Oz Principle:

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

education reform

Education Reform: Why It’s Important for Creatives to Get Involved

With everything that’s been going on in the news cycle, I thought it’d be a great time to bring up the topic of education system reform. Seems this topic isn’t discussed nearly as much as it could be.

I believe that our current education system is part of the problem in both the National Socialist vs International Communist debate as well as people not seeking appropriate shelter from Hurricane Harvey. Personally, in my teens and twenties, for example, I wouldn’t have stuck around to get hit by a hurricane. And when it comes to protests, even when I felt the need to get involved with one, I would have ducked out whenever it got violent and the police showed up.

Today, in both situations, people are playing the role of victim and not taking responsibility for their own actions. They’re saying that the government needs to take more control and tell them or the other side what to do.

The question is… can you blame them? Not necessarily.

In recent years, it appears that the greater education system has practically said it’s ok to act this way. (Safe spaces anyone???)

However, I don’t believe that’s the truth. And in fact, successful people are only successful based on their own desires and efforts. They’re the ones who have put in the extra time and commitment to make their dreams come true.

Sure others help them along the way, but it’s because they made the initial effort to do more in life. Once they began on their own journey, they met people along the way who were going in the same direction.

So how can we make the world a better place? Help change how students are educated.

Changing Education for the Better

What does that even mean?

Since this post was originally published on October 14, 2010, I’ve heard of various schools doing better work with their students. Traditional schools are starting to make classes that help their students realize their full potential.

Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the norm.

In fact, in Indiana, we still have what are called Core 40 diplomas. To many, it might be considered common sense to educate people in a well rounded manner. However, sometimes that model simply doesn’t work. Some of the individuals who are on the route to get a Core 40 diploma might have done better in a field that school can’t even touch; such as learning how to be a performing artist, an athlete, community leader, or even being a great business builder. (Personally I’m a knowledge junkie, so school was always a drug for me… except for the tests!)

Discussing Possible Solutions:

In the below RSA Animate, I wanted to share with you a video which introduced me to a guy by the name of Sir Ken Robinson. Great guy and has totally changed my perspective in why public education needs to be separated from public schooling.

It was after listening to him, that I was able to start putting two and two together. Soon after, I was re-introduced to Gary Vaynerchuk (not the Wine Library version, but instead the version we know today). If you didn’t know, Gary is completely for Education Reform (start at 12:30):

And then, I was later introduced to the School Sucks Project with Brett Veinotte. Here’s the first episode of the show from 2009. Later in the show’s life, it kinda went away from why I originally tuned in – but those first 20 or so episodes are great material.

 

Something Else to Consider

In many states, the classes that are usually cut first in public schooling are not your STEM classes. They’re not the reading, writing, or social studies classes either. For many systems, they are the “optional” classes. This includes the art, the music, and other “special” classes. You can clearly see which classes are more important to various school boards based on the classes they cut. The problem is that there are students who excel in these special classes more so than the other classes they’re in. That being the case, you can probably understand why I’ve never really been a fan of the “No Child Left Behind” act.

Generally speaking, its result has been to limit everyone’s potential to the same standardized schooling.

So why are these classes the ones normally on the chopping block? I believe it’s because many standardized tests are primarily focused on testing upon vocabulary, math, and writing. The better these test scores are in primary schooling, the better a student can perform in secondary schooling. After being in secondary school myself as a student for 9 years, I realized one main thing about learning in a “formal” secondary education: it makes you better at following orders and instructions. It makes you better suited to work a job.

 

Changing the Education System

Government isn’t the Answer:

So, I believe it’s up to us – the Creatives, the Entrepreneurs, the Rebels – whatever you want to call us – to start coming up with alternative methods of educating those around us.

The world is moving too quickly to let the old system continue to be the primary method of education. Not only that, but those who are in control of it, have no problem teaching its students that it’s ok to rely on the government to provide security.

That’s not what the government is for.

We Need to Empower People’s Individual Strengths – Not Give a One Size Fits All Solution:

In the past five years, I have become even more aware that there are other talents that could be measured for intelligence. However, for one reason or another they are not. And, in fact, the evidence is piling up.

Outside of the types that IQ measures (being linguistic verbal and logical mathematical), nine different types of intelligence have been identified.

Many private primary and secondary school systems have taken note of this as well. They have started to focus on developing intellectual leaders in different fields of intelligence. I’m convinced that making this a vital part of education is the answer to making any country, including the U.S., a player in the new economy.

However, most students still go through the traditional education curriculum that is still rated by a very narrow measure. This worries me. I find it disconcerting that many students are still being taught and measured in a way that is only useful in following directions. The problem today is that with the today’s global economy, this mindset has given us a 10% unemployment rate.

I believe the longer that this goes unchecked, the higher our future unemployment rates will go. It will be the result of an ever increasing ratio of people who should be taught to excel at their strength vs those who are mentored in their natural strengths. In other words, there will be a heck of alot more people trying to take orders than giving them.

Conclusion:

So here’s the bottom line.

It’s been 8 years since I got my masters. It’s been 5 since I haven’t taught in formal education.

I don’t believe it’s totally fair to try and pin every one down in one or two measurements of intelligence. Especially when we’re told by so many people that we need to celebrate our differences.

But funny enough, that’s what the US’s Prussian Education based system focuses on doing.

We have to help others get more creative. Period. We can’t rely on the schooling system to do it. In fact, we have to separate public education from public schooling.

Lack of creativity is hurting the US. If the US is in trouble, the rest of the world can’t be doing so hot. People still come here to get away from the crap that’s going on in their homelands.

We have to remain the the shining city on the hill.

So that being the case – I’m curious. Are you connected to public primary or secondary schooling? Have you seen any signs of a change to focus more on building students in other types of intelligence? If so, what results do you predict from that change?

Dating for Alpha Women

AoL 040: Understanding Alpha Women and Maintaining High Creative Performance with Moe DeCarlo

To unlock this content, pledge $3 or more on Patreon