Full text of What is the Best Business Education? Run a Marathon by Andrew Johnston at TEDxYouth@MileHigh conference.
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As a business instructor at a community college, one of my favorite courses to teach is Intro to Business. It’s one of my favorite courses because in this class I assign the students a company project. In this project the students go out, they find a small business, they meet with the business owner, and then they share with their classmates key technical information about the business. Information such as: what’s the company’s product? How do they price their product, how do they promote their product?
It’s a great assignment because it really brings to life all the technical theory that the students have been reading about in their textbook. But you know what the biggest insight is from this assignment, you guys? The biggest assignment is when the students share with their classmates what the single biggest piece of advice the business owner has for a young person starting their business career. You know what that biggest piece of advice almost always is?
Before I tell you what it is, let me first tell you what it’s not.
Business owners are telling my students that success in business is not about being an expert at writing pivot tables in excel. They say it’s not about being a jockey at the ten key calculator. They say it’s not about being able to recite accounting regulations, no. Instead, what business owners are telling my students the key to success has everything to do with the development of this: character, life skills, things like passion for your work, work ethic, persistence, determination, and good old fashioned grit. That’s what business owners are saying is the key to success for a young person starting their business career.