There’s a lot that can be learned in college about running a successful business. Much of the time in college is spent analyzing the decisions made by others that came before. After all, hindsight is 20/20 and viewing an event from the past, all the while knowing the outcome, presents a different situation than actually living through it, with no idea of the end result.
When dealing with people, the very best manager education comes from actual time on the job, dealing with the people, than merely studying the actions of someone else in a different situation, even if the situation seems similar.
Business in general has changed a lot over the last generation or two also and the best manager education is timely, pertaining to current issues of culture and technology. People just don’t think about their jobs in the same light as their parents or grandparents once did so a fresh and timely approach to the world of business is very important in anyone aspiring to a position of leadership.
Of course, textbooks and lesson plans are being constantly updated, too, but the world of publishing moves slowly and the wise businessperson will maintain vigilance in manager education, using newspapers, trade journals, and networking contacts to keep current.
Most of us have had to become accustomed to someone new in a managerial position, someone with little practical manager education. We often judge these people rather harshly, assuming they are too inexperienced or too young to be effective.
Instead, we more readily accept someone whose on-the-job manager education has spanned a decade or so. We know that time and circumstance has tested their decision-making abilities and honed their people skills. These are career traits that cannot be taught effectively in a classroom.
Nevertheless, we’ve all got to start somewhere and the wise new manager will stand firm in his college education while relying on his real-life manager education to fine tune his own managerial skills. This is exactly what the more seasoned manager everyone misses did and it will work for the new manager, too.