Planning Your Life

In an interview at his alma mater, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about an assignment from an MBA course in which he wrote a plan for his next 25 years. It turns out his predictive skills were rather poor since “the plan was ‘reasonably accurate’ for 18 to 24 months after it was written”.

He told the students in the audience that the lesson he’s learned over time was that “the journey was not predictable, at all” and that “the only thing I believe you can do is prepare”.

The world is going to change many times, the environment’s going to change many times, the companies you work for are going to ebb and flow, you may wind up in the same company, you may not, you may wind up in the same career, you may not, you may wind up with the spouse you’re married to now, you may not.

A quarter century ago, someone who became a very successful business leader was unable to anticipate his life path more than two years out.

The world, both business and otherwise, moves much, much faster now of course.  However, we continue to operate our educational system as if we are completely sure of the knowledge and skills our students will need four to eight years down the line.

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