Consider these facts
More than 50% of all CEO’s of fortune 500 companies had a C or C average in college.
65% of all US senators came from the bottom half of their class.
75% of US presidents were in the lower half club in school.
More than 80% of American entrepreneurs never finished college.
Wole Soyinka professor and Nobel laureate graduated with a 3rd class in university of Ibadan.
Dangote the richest man in Africa never went to college.
Cosmos Maduka elementary school drop out and billionaire founder of the Coscharis Group.
Each time people talk about success and its antecedents, I hear a lot of statistics like above. People quote different sources to buttress the fact that success is not often determined by academic intelligence. In fact some go as far as stating that if you do not perform well in school is a pointer that you may/do not need academics to succeed. So we have a lot of academic potentials wasting away under the guise of “it doesn’t matter what I graduate with as long as I know what I want to do with my life”. While the argument may hold some water, oftentimes I am wont to believe that those who push such ideas do so in order to cover their academic incompetence. However, one needs to examine the premise on which such assumptions stand.
With the likes of bill gates, late Steve jobs, and more recently Mark Zuckerberg, topping the list of successful, wealthy dropouts, their stories seems to eclipse the list of successful, wealthy graduates. One also needs to analyze why the latter are sometimes less recognized and celebrated.
I believe, for every successful dropout, there should be at least 10/20 successful graduates if not more. The message that “if Bill Gates (or anyone else) can do it, you can too” need to be examined. Agreed that they are dropouts, was that the only factor that determined their success? The concept of such messages I believe is FOCUS ( spelt out Following One Course Until Success), without which no one can succeed in any endeavor with or without academics. These great men of our time were not only focused on their lives vocation, they had a definite purpose. For them it wasn’t for the money or fame (at least not in the beginning.) They only set out to achieve their heart desires. Something they had immense passion for. How many of those who tout such beliefs ever really make it like those they model? I can bet it with you that Bill Gates and others like him are not the only one who stopped schooling to pursue their perceived life purposes. How many of them do we know?
World over we have several successful men and women who went through school. Ben Carson is one. A neurosurgeon without match. Robert Rowling, the owner of the holding company controlling the Omni Hotels and Gold’s Gym chains. Jerry Yang, co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo! Inc, to mention a few. These people have made enormous impacts on our lives. However, they were not only successful because they went to school. Rather, other factors contributed towards their achievements. They were also resilient, focused and passionate about their life purposes. It is also obvious that even intelligence has a threshold, because there are far more intelligent graduates who aren’t successful either. So if intelligence gets you running up to certain speed and set you loose. Something else takes you up from there, what exactly is that thing? Divinity, Creativity?
Until we define certain concepts like success, understand our identity, and of course screen the people we lend our “ear time” to or read from, it won’t be long before we start having our best brains dropping out of schools.
So the question is; what really is needed to succeed in life? Common sense, practical intelligence, financial intelligence, creativity, attitudes or opportunities? Kindly use the comment box below to air your views. Thanks.