A foundational understanding of things such as marketing, finance and management science can be an extremely valuable asset, but what about those skills you won’t learn in business school? Here is a look at some of the most important skills that no professor will teach you.
3 Skills you won’t learn in business school:
- Communication: Sure, you might take a communications course during your marketing or human resources coursework, but real person-to-person communication is something you have to learn in the real world, interacting with real people. A great business owner can relate to and handle a wide range of different personalities and communication styles. This is something you are more likely to learn outside of the classroom.
- Creativity: What is the assumption that everyone else in your industry is making without knowing it? Henry Ford supposedly claimed that if he had given customers what they wanted he would have created a better horse. Business schools strive to teach innovation, but generally they work within existing paradigms. To start your own business, you may have to turn to more artistic fields to find the inspiration you need to break old molds. Steve Jobs studied calligraphy and Zen Buddhism. This helped him learn simplicity and design aesthetic—two things the current industry largely ignored. How will you make business into an art form? What’s the status quo that needs to be challenged?
- Failure: People can tell you about failure all they want, but until it happens to you personally it’s going to be tough to really understand it. In an academic environment everything is focused around perfection. An A grade means you made almost no mistakes. Starting a business will be a rude awakening after years of this mindset. Failure is part of the journey, and if you are going to succeed, the ability to cope with failure will be essential.
This is by no means a complete list, but it gives you a sense that a business leader’s education does not end after school. Constantly striving to improve and progress is perhaps the most important skill for excelling in any important undertaking.
Garland & Mason, L.L.C is a firm of New Jersey business attorneys with a passion for helping their clients achieve financial success.