Unleashing Leadership: Unlocking Greatness and Embracing Change

Successful College Dropouts

February 28, 2024 Travis Maus Season 4 Episode 139
Unleashing Leadership: Unlocking Greatness and Embracing Change
Successful College Dropouts
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Imagine achieving monumental success without the foundation of formal education. That's the reality for visionaries like David Murdock, Larry Ellison, and Ralph Lauren. We celebrate these unconventional success stories, illustrating how a unique perspective and seizing opportunity can shape the world, proving that the application of knowledge trumps its accumulation every time.

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Speaker 1:

This is Unleashing Leadership and I'm your host, travis Moss. And welcome to my favorite day of the week. It is quote day and we're going to get right in. The key to good decision making is not knowledge, it is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter. That's by Milcom Gladwell, one of my favorite authors of all time. If you have my reading list, he's all over it. If you don't have my reading list, you can go to the website NQRmediacom. You can find the Unleashing show on there. On there. Very easy to find is the reading list and a couple of his books that are going to be on that reading list Talking to Strangers, david and Goliath, the Tipping Point, blink and Outliers.

Speaker 1:

Milcom has a very good way of questioning the world around him, where he says okay, I hear you, I see you, this is what you say is really going on in the world, but are there any other explanations for it? Is there anything else that we could think of? This is why this is happening, and he just has an interesting perspective and what he does is he teaches you that you can ask questions, that you can kind of challenge that status quo, that everything's not decided yet that sometimes people are forming answers to questions and creating de facto laws, not necessarily based on the information, but based on their own personal kind of needs in the situation. So he helps you take what appeared to be a finished conversation and go further, to see the world differently, to not accept that this is just what it is and that's it. So his quote.

Speaker 1:

Again, the key to good decision making is not knowledge, it is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter. It is not what you know, it is how you use it. Knowledge, by its very nature, is just facts, information and skills acquired by somebody through experience and education, which is very different than understanding, which is all about comprehension. You learn a fact, good for you, but how do you use the fact? That's comprehension. Let's just rest on this juxtaposition for one moment. Knowledge and understanding two different things. Experience or education and comprehension two categorically different things.

Speaker 1:

Why do smart people fail? Why are the experts wrong? Why does it always seem that we're kind of swimming upstream? We keep finding out what we didn't know, that we thought was the way the world worked. It kind of creates a fragileness a little bit. When you think about it.

Speaker 1:

We get hit with this. You know these strong beliefs and these strong convictions about how something has to be done or what you know is actually going on. We just didn't have enough information. Sometimes it's like the people who are telling us this is the way the world is. What they're really doing is they're telling all the people out there who are actually doing stuff you have to do it different. Then those people try to do it different, the people who are telling us about how the world is. They come back and they say you know what? I had it wrong. Now it's like this, it's like this now. And we go, okay, I guess I'll try to do it different. And then we try to do it different. And then they come back and say no, no, no, we had it wrong again and I have to do it like this. And we're like ping-pong balls and we're serving these people, basically that they talk, they make their observations and they talk and they demand, but they don't actually do. Everybody else is the one who's doing stuff. And why is this? How does this actually happen? Why is it that we have all these really smart experts who tell us how the world works and what you need to do and just think about business right, sell business orders, what do you have to do? We have all these experts trying to make a sound like if you just do this, this, this, it'll work. So I'm out there, I'm on the internet trying to figure out this knowledge thing. I'm trying to figure out, okay, what is knowledge actually? How do you measure knowledge? And I came across a website called emeraldcom and I think emeraldcom is trying to sell some of their knowledge tests and stuff like that. But this was a quote from their website and I paraphrased it a little bit. I cut out one little section because it was a section that kept referencing their test methodology and I wanted to get that out of there so we could just talk about would they consider knowledge?

Speaker 1:

Basically, and here goes, knowledge is often defined as a belief that is true and justified. This definition has led to its measurement by methods that solely rely on the correctness of answers. The correct or incorrect answer is interpreted to mean simply that a person knows or does not know something. Such methods of measurement have serious deficiencies that can be alleviated by expanding the definition of knowledge to include the test taker's certainty. The person's certainty about answers on a test captures important but now neglected dimensions of knowledge. A computer analysis of the person's answers and self-assessment of certainty responses provides multi-dimensional scores. That a person's knowledge excuse me, that remedies some of the deficiencies of knowledge assessment and achievement tests now employed.

Speaker 1:

So let me get this straight. I'm going to measure your knowledge by taking a test on facts, basically, and we realize that that's not good enough, because people can guess at facts, and so we have to ask how much do you actually believe you know that fact, which itself is a manipulating type of question, because if I don't know that I'm clueless, how do I say that I'm clueless? So anyway, so now that the measure of the knowledge, the measure of knowledge is can I guess through a test well, or can I answer fact-based questions well, and then, am I certain that I answer them correctly? Has nothing to do with the application, necessarily, of the knowledge in real world, and this is what I mean by that. So we're going to have a little bit of fun with this, because I'm sure that if you're an academia, you're like oh, travis, you're going down a path that you're not supposed to be going down. But what if the test that you are taking is designed based on knowledge that is actually lacking. What if there's holes in the knowledge? What if the body of knowledge, and whoever has put this body of knowledge together, doesn't understand that there's stuff they don't know? And what if the person taking the test actually has a deeper understanding of the subject matter because they have lived it and therefore they can make arguments about the actual application or some of the missing parts of the knowledge assessment that actually contradict the knowledge base? And this happens a lot. I've had it happen in my career. What if you understand the material so good that when you take the test you go that's not how it works in real life? Man, you could say that's a fact, all you want, but that's not actually how it works. What do you do with that then?

Speaker 1:

Education and knowledge do not mean that you will or will not be successful. It doesn't matter what you know if you don't understand how something exists. I had a teacher one time say Travis, you can see how things exist in space. It's like you could take anything and you could hold it up and, in your head, walk around it, look under it, look over it, look inside of it. You need to know why things exist. What is the faults, what are the allure of whatever this thing is?

Speaker 1:

This factor this item is, and one of the challenges with thinking that we have knowledge, thinking that we are the expert, thinking that we know what is to be known, thinking that we talk to all the knowledgeable people and we have all the possible answers and we can't solve the problem. So the problem is unsolvable. All of a sudden we don't realize that we could actually be wrong. And then there's people that come along and, by definition, they're not knowledgeable. They have no education on this. Yet somehow they changed the world. They were screaming louder and louder be quiet and sit down, let the experts talk.

Speaker 1:

But it's the non-experts that actually changed the world somehow. And that's because they understand something that other people don't. They're still flexible in the mind, they're still like Malcolm Gladwell, they're still asking questions about well, why does that work like that? Is there any other explanation to it? And even though you don't agree that there could be a different explanation to that, I'm still going to investigate. And then, when they see that there's a different explanation, they say you know, that's a crack in the foundation, there's a blind spot there. You can emphatically denounce it all you want, but there's a blind spot. How do we turn that blind spot into an opportunity?

Speaker 1:

Most of the time when somebody does something amazing, they don't do something that they just created out of thin air. They do something that was there all along, right, staring you in the face. It's just you weren't conditioned to see it that way, and I know it is important to get an education. You've got to be able to read and write. I mean, and these are, I'm telling you, it's getting tougher and tougher to find people who can read and write Like well, right, like if I was going to have you write me a paper. Just, the use of words anymore is becoming more and more difficult. Artificial intelligence is not a good essay writer, so we still got to be able to have some of these basic education skills. But it's not the most educated change the world really isn't. You can get all the advanced degrees that you want. In fact, that might keep you from changing the world. First of all, it's going to delay you. Second of all, it's going to narrow your mind to the things that you actually let in and you might say well, you know, that's not fair.

Speaker 1:

Here's all the smart people that do amazing things. Well, here's a list of the people, of some people, just some people. Here's a list of people that will surprise you. Some of the people on my list never went to school. Some of them dropped out of high school. They never made it through high school. I don't think any of them made it through college. Maybe they went back and got on a grade, eight degrees or something later on in life, but they're all. If you look them all up on the internet, they're all their Wikipedia and everything. They were college dropouts and yet they've all made an undeniable mark on the world Mark Zuckerberg, steve Jobs, michael Dell, jack Dorsey, henry Ford, richard Branson who is actually dyslexic, or is actually dyslexic he's still alive today. Paul Allen, oprah Winfrey I think, somebody that everybody kind of turns to and says this is a source of wisdom Tom Hanks, walt Disney, john D Rockefeller that was a surprising one to me.

Speaker 1:

David Murdock, larry Ellison, ralph Lauren, frederick Royce, george Eastman, colonel Sanders, kfc, steven Spielberg, joanne Rawling so that's, I might have said her name wrong there, but that's Harry Potter. Quentin Tarantino was shocked at this one. Benjamin Franklin, abraham Lincoln, andrew Jackson and I was really surprised. This one, albert Einstein. Now, before you get in an upward by Albert Einstein.

Speaker 1:

These were all people, along with many, many, many, many others, that came up on lists when you Google called dropouts or school dropouts online. I understand, though, that Albert Einstein was categorically a dropout, because he dropped out of high school but that, and he self-educated, but then he put himself, he got himself into college and he did go on to get his PhD. So the point here is not that these folks never got a college education or something like that. So the point is that it is not how categorically intelligent they are by standards set through academia that dictated their the impact that they left on the world. It is the way that they saw the world around them. It is their comprehension of the world around them. It's the cracks in the foundations that they saw. It's the opportunities that they were aware enough to take, see application of things they learned along the way. You don't have to actually know a lot if you can figure out how to apply what you do know. That's what makes a difference in the world is the application of knowledge, not the knowledge itself.

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