If ever there was a perfect example of the nature vs. nurture argument — which one most defines us as individuals — business is it. Despite what college teaches us, the most important lessons in the business and working world usually come from what college doesn’t teach us. Business classes nurture us with theory and history; economics classes with a practical understanding of the numbers. But life give us experience, and it is our nature that determines how we deal with them.
We were curious what successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople learned outside the classroom that has made the difference for them. We posed a simple question — If you could teach a college course in something that you wish you could have learned in school, what would it be? We made an effort to steer clear of the usual college classes and culled responses geared toward more itangible things.
The idea for the following collection began with U.S. 1 Preview editor Jamie Saxon, who has long-regretted not taking a course at Tufts University on decision making as a necessary component of work life. College, after all, gives us many options, but few tools to help us decide.
Following is our collection of responses from entrepreneurs and executives, in the writers’ own words The responses run the gamut from the scientific apporach (by Michael Paluszek of Princeton Satellite Systems) to the spiritual (by Bob Carr of Heartland Payment Systems).