3 Things They Don't Teach in School that We All Pay Dearly For

The 3 things are:

  1. Personal management: how to get things done and know what the right things are to get done
  2. Career management
  3. Leadership

As a result, most of us need to learn these on our own, on the job. If you really try to figure them out and do them well, it’s a painful process — especially if most of the people you are working with are in the same boat (which, since these things aren’t taught well in school, is usually the case).

There are good seminars and courses and training workshops on each of these areas for those in the workforce, especially if you work at a large corporation. The leadership teaching that is out there is often pretty good, because it emphasizes that leadership is about building people up just as much as making things happen. But even that is less effective without a broad set of foundational knowledge already in place that you can relate it to. If you start learning about leadership, for example, at 28, when you are put in a leadership position in your organization, you are still 14 years behind where you could have been (or 20 years behind). This makes the journey that much harder. Same with learning how to manage your career and manage yourself, even if you encounter the need to learn these much earlier (toward the end of college or shortly after).

I’m not saying that there aren’t excellent leadership opportunities available in the educational system; there are. And, that does a lot of good. (So things aren’t nearly as bad as they could be!) But I’m talking about explicit teaching on what leadership is, how to do it, and so forth, in addition to actual leadership experiences.

This has large costs to us as a society, as so many people end up spinning their wheels trying to figure out what direction to go long-term with their career, trying to figure out how to manage themselves, and learning how to lead that they could have spent actually leading and, in terms of their career management, avoiding some wrong turns.

And it’s not just the education system that has dropped the ball here. Churches have too. Churches are mandated by God to be led well and to develop leaders (that’s the meaning of Isaiah 32:1-8, if you understand it correctly, among other passages). Because of the priesthood of all believers, this means teaching all believers how to lead well, not just those in ministry. Yet, strangely, much of the time the church opposes leadership development because of the notion that it is somehow worldly or unspiritual.

This is a long-term problem. Obviously I have lots of thoughts on how this could be fixed, but this is enough for now.

  • http://www.christianhomeandfamily.com Carey

    Hi Matt, good comments. I don’t comment often but I do lurk about quite a bit :) – Anyway, my thought on this is that these are things that should be taught first and can be taught best in the home. Parents are responsible to do all 3 (the first one especially) for their children. But, given that not all homes are intact, I understand why there might be a need for such things in schools. I’d love to see a dialogue (maybe a future blog post?) about how parents can do a better job of this – biblically speaking and in other practical ways. Blessings.

  • Matt

    I definitely agree that these are (or, can be) taught best in the home and need to be taught there first. Excellent point.

    Thanks for commenting!

  • http://callmom.co Erin Lichnovsky

    I was forwarded this post and wanted to let you know that there is a strong group of long time homeschooling parents who have recognized this void in teaching and have put together a phenomenal pilot program for high school students in the Woodlands Texas area. The program is unprecedented, we teach all these areas, bring in strong leaders from every industry to speak and give hands on training, set it up in conjunction with personal mentor training and strengths testing, time management, leadership development, temperament testing, and so much more. The kids are thriving in the program. The program is called PAideia Plus and it is with the PACES program in Houston. You are so right, this can be taught in homes, in churches, and in schools. We really can change the tide of education! Thanks!!

  • Gary Roberts

    i have practically pleaded with some in the church to teach me how to lead, especially in my home and i’ve pretty much been told i’m on my own…

  • http://www.christianhomeandfamily.com Carey

    Hey Gary, let’s connect… I’d love to come alongside if we could figure out a way to do it!

  • David

    Do you happen to have links to some of the programs or resources that you feel do a better job at addressing the problems mentioned here?