Potential

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It’s said that we don’t know what jobs will exist by the time our kids graduate. With technological evolution and globalization changing things so quickly, what is the most important attribute students should possess?

Claudio Fernandez-Araoz, who has evaluated executives for 30 years, says potential is the most important predictor of success. He defines potential as: “the ability to adapt to and grow into increasingly complex roles and environments.”   One of the traits he identifies in someone who has potential is curiosity, “a penchant for seeking out new experiences, knowledge, and candid feedback and an openness to learning and change.”

Creativity plays an important role in being adaptive. Successful people, when faced with failure, don’t give up. They try something different.

Creative people are “constantly open to spotting and engaging in new ideas and experiences, without the expectation that these experiences will lead to inspiration or immediate creative outcome.”

How do we foster these characteristics in our kids? Schools offer, or are a magnet for, things like STEM, design thinking, and teaching the entrepreneurial mindset. I’ve started a twitter list called K12 Entrepreneur to follow what’s up in teaching K12 students entrepreneurial thinking. There are some really interesting organizations like EdCorps, EcoRise, and Think Like a Genius. If you like, please follow it and make suggestions on who/what to follow.

Of course us parents can help provide environments and opportunities for our kids to be creative. This doesn’t mean we have to bring them to an art studio, even though that’s a good idea. It just means having experiences with them. It means doing something different.