A lot of emphasis in school is placed on tests. Tests, while well intentioned show how much information has been retained after hours of memorization. The one caveat is can the test translate into true understanding.
While I definitely understand the need for testing; students need to be aware that A’s in school are just the beginning of reaching mastery in a given profession.
I was recently reading an article about football players that were preparing to be drafted and play professionally. The athletes that hadn’t been on national television and on the bubble of being drafted and not being drafted clamored at the prospects of showing their talent to any scout that would give them a chance. While the athletes that played at the high profile institutions were in discussions with their agents as if they would even show up to various events to be “tested”. I don’t begrudge the athletes, a poor performance would reduce their draft stock. Which really turns the “test” into winner takes all approach. These athletes could lose millions of dollars by being off a tenth of a second.
When I was a student, the semester started with a syllabus. Typically I saw four tests, maybe a few quizzes, and the big daddy of tests, “the final exam” on the schedule. Typically a test would be 10 percent apiece, while the final maybe 20-30 percent of your final grade. Personally, this often led to test fatigue for me, as I would do okay on the tests, but looked towards the final exam to give me the jolt I needed to get the A. I had other classmates make A’s the entire semester only to bomb the final exam. And be happy making a low A or high B as their final grade. It sort of became an academic exercise of sorts for some; wondering how many 100s they can make, to only bomb the final. It was done to mock the process in a way, and demonstrate that they didn’t have to study for the teachers final.
What’s the point! The point is that these “final exams” we have setup, whether they be academic in nature or for athletes to get drafted are flawed methods of determining lifetime performance. The tests in a way makes some of the the students forget the process. For the football players, I completely understand, the process is flawed. A bad test would definitely decrease their stock. However, someone with clout has to recognize the flaws and adjust. The final exams for students, for athletes, and in business deserve an asterisk if you’re attempting to turn that final into a comprehensive story of a persons future lifetime performance in life or sport.
As with every profession, “Consistency” is the currency of business. We consistently know what McDonald’s fries taste like whether we pick them up in California or Georgia (hold the salt 🙂 smile). And because of that consistency, it induces the consumer to seek out the product and purchase. The same thought process must be taught in school and in life.
You need good form, technique, and consistent practice to catch a ball and put balls in a hoop. You need discipline, the ability to serve customers, and provide consistency in providing quality products to be successful in business.
Give me the guy that ran the 40 yard dash 4.2, 4.3, 4.2 over the guy that ran 4.0 once. Give me the young man or woman that shows up to work ready to perform daily every day, every year and shows up rain or shine over the person that is a high performer but calls out every three weeks.
I’ll end this post with a question for you the reader and also for myself. How can we begin to quantify an employee’s consistency with metrics? For that matter, how can we quantify the managers consistency, or even ownership’s consistency over the course of business period?
Thanks for spending a moment with me. Peace!!