I make one statement in my “How to Be An Outstanding Organization!” speaking engagements that generates spontaneous applause—and it’s this:
“Outstanding organizations hire and promote character over credentials and college degrees.”
I suspect those who clap have been passed over for a pay increase and bigger title—or didn’t get hired somewhere—because they skipped college or didn’t attend the “right” school. Sadly, they’ve felt the pain of watching someone else win the opportunity they sought. Also sadly, the employer possibly missed out on the person of character desperately needed.
You know, the person who does crazy, unusual, and abnormal stuff like this:
- Shows up (on time), works hard
- Asks questions
- Cares, makes suggestions
- Adapts quickly to change
- Owns mistakes and results
- Demonstrates loyalty
- Tries new things, takes risks
- Serves people
- Tells the truth
- Radiates joy
- Seeks coaching
- Invests in self-development
- Possesses a mature attitude of “earning” over “deserving”
- Practices Personal Accountability rather than blaming and whining
If you come across this person, hire him/her today—even if you don’t have an opening!
The reality is this:
Organizations often fail to hire the best people because of artificial and arbitrary selection criteria.
This problem is founded in the requirement that candidates have a college degree. The truth is, not everyone should go to college.
What did he say!?!?!?
I know, I know … it’s easy to robotically ask a high school senior, “So, where are you going to college next year?” or congratulate one with, “You got accepted at Cornell? Good for you!”
But show me the young person who’s heading straight from high school to contributing to our society—a.k.a., working, paying bills, and supporting themselves—and I will congratulate them all day long.
My perspective on this whole college thing:
When I think, How did I go from working a boring desk job in the 1980s to loving life as an author and speaker? three words come to mind:
(Click each name to see who they are)
Without these men, not a single human being would be gaining value from QBQ! and Outstanding! because QBQ, Inc. would not exist.
Their teachings, mentoring, and coaching got me where I am and not one of these gents has a college degree!
Am I saying people shouldn’t go to college? No. But I am suggesting employers change their recruiting, interviewing, and selection processes—and parents ponder these questions:
Is college the best next step for this young person?
Will going to college build his/her character?
Will college enable my child to add value to the world?
Is the crushing debt incurred worth it?
Is my high schooler heading toward college just because I want them to or because peers are going?
And a question for employers everywhere:
Do our hiring policies, processes, and practices preclude us from procuring phenomenal people?!
I hope executives, managers, and HR folks will ask that question.
And, parents, we must rethink our thinking. It’s not true that our child must go to college. Maybe, just maybe, my high schooler should simply get to work.
Who knows, contributing to society might be the best education they’ll ever get.
Oh, one final thought: The “A” students wind up working for the “C” students anyway!
Your input and opinions are welcome. Feel free to comment below!
If you are not subscribed to our free blog emails, go here.