Education is essentially the ability to retain information given to us that progresses the understanding of an individual in specific fields and the subsequent ability to recall that knowledge at given times. Our capacity is measured throughout the course of our education by certificates, qualifications, endorsements and testimonials.
Although I despised School with a passion, I acknowledge now that I probably should have applied myself a little more while I was there. Having said that, knowing what I know now, I realise that half of the tutors challenged with the duty to “educate” me, probably didn’t actually like children, so my “comprehensive” education was never destined to be that comprehensive from the off.
I think I was definitely one of those whose education started properly in the work place. Maths, the one subject I failed dismally in at school, turned out to be the one subject I would use the most in my early working years, so I had little choice but to train my mind, as bull**iting was not an option.
Pre-career, the most significant chapter in my life was a decision that was made for me. In my final year at school, with no desire to pursue a career in the medical profession, I was packed off by my parents to work in Psycho-geriatric ward for the summer at Chester’s Deva Hospital. This was the first point in my life when I felt I personally flourished and unconsciously grasped the concept of the values and benefits of “Education”. I was finally allowed to apply the previous information given to me and, away from the measuring eye of those I despised the most (my teachers), I was able to connect with reality. The production line of school had never permitted me to do this previously.
I guess in the greater scheme of things and considering my loathing for school, I did okay…just!
Without going into detail, my apprenticeship in my first real job was not an apprenticeship as we might recognise it today. I was completely hands on and mentored by people at the top of their game. Saying this, there were a number of skills that I already possessed that I was able to share with my colleagues and found that they were willing to listen and absorb. I progressed sensibly and proportionately and was allowed to contribute effectively to an industry that respected me as a hard worker and not just “cheap labour”! Don’t get me wrong though, I was still the first one to be given the sweeping brush and the one expected to make the coffee!
As my education progressed I was able to climb the rungs and achieve a level of leadership that suited my abilities. I had placed myself in an industry that resonated with me and learning was never a chore. Even as “the boss” of my department, I happily engaged with people who had a different skill set to me and learnt from them.
During Liverpool Business Week, Frank McKenna was asked what the route to success was. His reply was to surround yourself with people who are better than you. I would argue that you surround yourself with people who have different skills than you, and who are able to apply them with the same work ethic as you, thus taking ownership of their role. Frank McKenna can give most politicians on the block a run for their money, but I bet he can’t EQ a multi channel mixer or calculate the brail length for a hanging Frenchman with a 10 foot drift! (You would be surprised how useful that is!)
Education never stops; it’s how we best put it to use and how we recognise it in others…. simples!
How do we calculate success? Well that’s personal.