Doug Mitchell, author, successful entrepreneur, geo-arbitrageur and author of the just-published The Multi Thread Marketer: How to Hire One or Better Yet Be One was guest on my radio show recently. You can listen here.
Doug currently is VP of Marketing at BirdDogJobs, an innovative 14 year old company who recently received venture funding to rebrand, relaunch, and dominate.
Doug spoke well and spoke passionately on the power of communication and collaboration in the workplace. And he spoke on the need for better communication skills being developed in our students now. I asked him:
We've reached the imagination moment in our show. Let's imagine President Obama has been listening. And he's calling you right after the show.
Doug, he says on your answering machine. Look, thank you for profiling Mr. Siroker and his success in my 2008 campaign. Another area we might have overlap is our understanding the need for stronger communication skills among our students. You write that your two favorite courses were typing and debating. They developed your strong communication skills that have served you well.
What if you and wife came out to the WH and met with Michelle and I. We'd want to hear your 3 ways we can instill the same strong communication skills in our students today.
What would be those 3 things?
And Doug offered 3 great ideas:
First of all I’d probably have to have it over cheeseburgers. I think the President likes cheeseburgers. So, we’d have some common ground there.
I probably have to say I’d take a little different approach on this one.
Let’s figure out a plan how to get out of the way and let states innovate 100% in education. Forgetting partisan stuff I think we have a big education problem and the feds aren’t going to solve it. That’s number one.
Number two and number three, I’d say just repeat number one. Here’s why. Nobody knows what really is happening at the state level and they can’t move quick enough for me here in the state of Iowa. If there’s anything I’d magically transform I’d take it down to the current Governor here in Iowa and say
Make your administration about education. Get a group of people who are doing, executing. Not thinking and writing academically and trying to make decisions for everybody. And then let’s run with it.
At the end of the day our kids are so much smarter than we give them credit for, right? My kids could do 100x more than the classes are teaching him. It’s not the classroom’s fault. It’s the system. But I think it’s our responsibility as parents and concerned citizens to create greatness in our economy and children.
We have to dismantle our system and learn how to create and think. So, if I had to craft a list of three, I’d probably have to say:
Here’s my book. I think these are the skills that people need to compete today. I don’t even touch on the things like innovation and creativity. There are hundreds of books on that.
I’d say let’s share the cheeseburger. And get out of the way of the state and see what we can do.
Want More from Doug Mitchell?
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Read transcripts from our conversation here.
Some may say this is inappropriate.
This is politics! And you never discuss politics at Thanksgiving Dinners, backyard barbecues and on a business radio show.
I disagree. As long as only politicians can discuss solutions for our country then those solutions and their interested audiences will remain off-limits, political, for those who make this brand, our country, run. And only politicians, these days that's only career politicians, can discuss those ideas and spoon-feed solutions to the public.
I see our times as an all hands-on-deck opportunity and not a crisis. That opportunity is for each of us to lend our hands, our conversations, our ideas to find and share solutions. In our absence those challenges are left to ideologues, vested interests and politicians of all stripes and partisan persuasion.
We...are the only ones with vested interests. And now we have, with social media and the urgency of today, the opportunity to reclaim our place at this table and discuss our ideas to solve our challenges. At the very least, we can listen to a discussion until we are ready to speak up.