As part of my business practice I have started a few years ago to give all CEOs and other close associates I work with a book for Christmas. I do this because I like sharing something and also take the opportunity to let others learn a few things that I think are worthwhile or feel we need to pay attention to.
It started with Sonia Arrison's 100+ which talks about how we will all live much longer, followed by Brett Wilson's Redefining Success in 2013. Last year it was Zeke Emanuel's Brothers Emanuel which describes the journey of three incredibly successful brothers one of whom became Obama's chief of staff and Mayor of Chicago. All of these books of course had a deeper message about learning and education.
The one that contained a really direct point of view on education was Brett Wilson's book and here is what I wrote in the letter accompanying each book:
Although I do not watch TV anymore (old media!) I did notice that Alberta-entrepreneur Brett Wilson had become some sort of a celebrity in Canada. As I found out during a book lunch he gave in Vancouver last month, Wilson has a lot more to talk about then just business and making money. His personal journey through many ups and downs combined with his focus on integrity and giving back are worth learning from. More than that, he points in the direction of how the next generation should take on the economic challenges ahead and that being an ‘entrepreneur’ is an attitude that applies not just to business, but to any job or role in society. All of this impacts how we look at education, the way we do business and how we shape the communities we live in.
West Vancouver's superintendent of schools Chris Kennedy wrote a blog post about the book and you can find it here. Excerpt:
Wilson argues for the importance of “teaching marketing, entrepreneurship and philanthropy beginning in elementary schools and continuing into all higher learning, either academic or in the trades.” Given the excitement and engagement with Me to We, and similar movements often done as an “add-on” to curriculum, he makes a persuasive argument that these areas should actually be part of core schooling – a course, he suggests, in changing the world. Wilson says that the ways in which anyone can make an impact on, or in, the world comes down to offering their time, money or leadership.
I would say read both Wilson's book and Kennedy's blog post. As for this year's Christmas gift, lots of candidate books and no decision has been made as of today, but I will make sure to blog about it on this site once it has come out as the annual Christmas gift.