Reading people is a lost art. Some people are good at it. I’m not one of them. But I’m trying to get better at it. Some of the best people readers you’ll meet are in Human Resources. They probably don’t start out being good at it. It’s a learned skill.
However, I’ve spoken with HR recruiters who suck at reading potential employees. This week I heard two phrases. They were eye-opening. If we use these two phrases when meeting, interviewing, and negotiating with people, it will improve our awesomeness.
Don’t confuse education with intelligence
I heard this phrase at work this week. I looked it up online. It’s a popular phrase, but it’s uncredited. Sorry.
This is a very important point. Most of us get it wrong. Some of the smartest people I know didn’t go to college. Some of the dumbest people I’ve met are Ph.D. graduates. Anyone can go to college, but college doesn’t make them smart.
I just finished reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I highly recommend it. In this book, Robert talks about how his Rich Dad (actually the dad of one of his buddies) was wealthy, but uneducated. While his biological dad was very educated. The way he tells the story, you’d think his ‘Poor Dad’ or his biological dad is actually wealthy. He lived in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood. He worked as an accountant for a while, for the teacher’s union, and the city government. Sounds like a pretty good life. However, he didn’t really have any money. He worked hard and long to make other people wealthy.
The ‘Rich Dad’ in the book was financially intelligent. He owned real estate. He owned grocery stores. He owned cleaning companies. He owned construction companies. But he didn’t go to college. He was a millionaire.
I don’t believe Robert actually thought his biological dad was ‘Poor’ but it’s a good title for a book. Throughout most of the book, he actually calls the two men his ‘Rich Dad’ and his ‘Educated Dad.’ That’s pretty telling, isn’t it? His educated dad had no money. He wasn’t financially intelligent. Even with a CPA, a Bachelor’s Degree, and a Government Job, he wasn’t financially intelligent.
I’m not saying college is unimportant. I went to college. I learned a couple of things. Mostly, I learned my alcohol tolerance. I learned how to meet people and interact with them. I learned how to negotiate with professors about missing deadlines. I learned how to save money to pay cash for tuition every quarter. But I didn’t learn a ton from the actual classes I took. I don’t believe college made me any more intelligent. Intelligence is your capacity to think logically, solve problems, and recall learnings from your past or your studies. Education does not teach you intelligence. Don’t confuse education with intelligence.
Intelligence plus arrogance equals ignorance
Have you ever seen Shameless? It’s a TV Show on Showtime. It’s hilarious. There is a lot of sex, violence, alcohol, drug usage, and cussing- my five favorite things (that’s a joke, only 2 of those are my favorite things). The show follows a very financially depressed family in Chicago. They hustle to make ends meet every month. The show is very motivating. It’s also very funny (did I say that already?). You should watch it.
There’s a character on the show named Philip. He goes by Lip. The kid is a genius. He aces every high school exam he attends (not many). He sleepwalks through a few semesters of college as if he doesn’t have to try. But, he has to contribute to the family expenses. So, he gets a job. He sells drugs. He takes tests for people. He sleeps with his professor. At some point it all catches up to him and he gets expelled.
Lip is an intelligent person. He knows he’s intelligent. He becomes arrogant about it. HIs arrogance, combined with his extreme intelligence creates ignorance. If you watch the show, you’ll know what I mean. He does a lot of dumb stuff. I watch this show and think “Lip is going to get out of the game.” Or “Lip is going to start a tech company, become a zillionaire, and go back to Chicago to save his family (at least Ian and Liam) from poverty.”
Right when the show gets to a point where you think “This is it!! Lip is going to hit it big!!” He does something dumb like post nude photos of a prof he’s nailing or get busted by the police because his girlfriend locked the getaway car doors. Lips intelligence, combined with his arrogance, makes him one of the most ignorant characters on the show. Because of arrogance, he will always be stuck in poverty.
What’s the point?
Education is important. Self-education is most important. Learn as much as you can as often as you can. Don’t let your newfound education go to your head. If you become arrogant with your intelligence you’ll be nothing but ignorant.
If you read to here, thanks. I appreciate you. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think of these phrases. Tell me what you think of Shameless. Tell me what you think of education. Tell me what you think of this post. I read every comment. They will all make me a better writer.