BOOK REVIEW: Not Taught by Jim Keenan
Today’s lesson is on Survivorship Bias.
Survivorship Bias is the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that “survived” some process and inadvertently overlooking those that did not because of their lack of visibility.
Survivorship Bias is a common element in financial scams wherein the huckster will promote their successes and winning trades for all the world to see while quietly brushing their losers into the ashbin of history.
For the last couple of centuries another form of survivorship bias has been so prevalent in our economy that we never even noticed.
We were all sold on the idea that if we just put our time in long enough to be one of the survivors that we would be rewarded with the American dream – A big fat salary, a white picket fence and gold watch when we retired.
Buy and hold they said. You’ll get rich, they said.
All you have to do is serve your four years in college, maybe a couple of more in graduate school and you’ll be on easy street.
Get a job, show up on time, do what your told and don’t cause trouble. The rest will take care of itself.
All you gotta do is survive to thrive.
I’m not sure that was ever the case. And if it ever was, it sure isn’t now.
In his new book, Not Taught, Jim Keenan lays out in painful detail exactly why the old ways just don’t work any more.
No one cares what degree you have. They only care about whether you can do the job.
No one cares how many years you’ve been on the job. Experience doesn’t matter. Only expertise.
And no one cares how long or how hard you work. The cult of busy is dying a slow death. Hours are irrelevant. Results are the new time card.
I was watching the movie Office Space the other night and a couple of management consultants were brought in to turn the company around and they interview every employee with one all encompassing question “So what is it you actually do around here?”
Sadly most couldn’t answer.
Our education system, our culture, our parents, our government they’re all teaching us how to function in a world that no longer exists. The internet, computers, robots, globalization, they’ve pretty much eliminated any job that just required you to show up and do what you’re told.
If that’s all you bring to the table, there’s a computer, a robot or a 12 year old in Bangladesh who’s going to be doing your job soon.
That’s the bad news. The good news is, for people willing to learn the new skills, to embrace the new reality, the future is wide freaking open!
The skills Jim Keenan wants you to pick up on are thinking, learning, communicating, selling and branding.
My favorite line in Not Taught happens six lines into the introduction, before he even gets to Chapter 1.
Your most valuable asset isn’t your house; It’s your social media presence.
Your network is your net worth. Your ability to connect, communicate, convince and compel will determine your success in the new economy.
And here’s the part that really stings: they always have.
All that stuff about just showing up and doing what you’re told that the system fed us for a couple of hundred years, that was just a scam. Survivorship Bias.
And we bought into it while the people with the networks increased their net worth.
Read Not Taught and you can start turning the tables.
Terry Lancaster Helps Salespeople And Entrepreneurs Build Their Personal Brand, Find Their Authentic Voice And Tell Their Story To The World Because The Story You Tell The World Changes Your World. He’s A Personal Branding Speaker And The #1 Best Selling Author of BETTER! Self Help for The Rest Of Us.