PLAY, PASSION AND PURPOSE ARE THE FORCES THAT DRIVE YOUNG INNOVATORS.

In this groundbreaking book, education expert Tony Wagner provides a powerful rationale for developing an innovation-driven economy. He identifies a pattern in the lives of young innovators — a childhood of creative play leads to deep-seated interests, which in adolescence and adulthood blossom into a deeper purpose for career and life goals. Play, passion, and purpose: these are the forces that drive young innovators.

More than a book about innovation, Creating Innovators pioneers an entirely new reading experience. Noted filmmaker Bob Compton, who teamed up with Tony to make the movie “The Finland Phenomenon,” has produced more than 60 original videos that expand on key ideas and passages in the book through interviews with young innovators, their parents, teachers and mentors.

Stop being a sheep, be a philosopher

This six part series on philosophy is presented by popular British philosopher Alain de Botton, featuring six thinkers who have influenced history, and their ideas about the pursuit of the happy life.

Episode 1: Socrates on Self-Confidence – Why do so many people go along with the crowd and fail to stand up for what they truly believe? Partly because they are too easily swayed by other people’s opinions and partly because they don’t know when to have confidence in their own.

Your weaknesses can be turned into strenghts

Dave Kerpen

We all have weaknesses, and we tend to try to work on eliminating them – on changing ourselves in order to become better. But change is difficult- very difficult. What if instead of trying to eliminate our weaknesses, we embraced them for what they were?

Several months ago, my friend Ben Rosner, CEO of e-home and a fellow member of Entrepreneur’s Organization, led an activity on weaknesses and strengths with my EO Forum group, based on the excellent Freak Factor manifesto by David Rendall. I found the activity to be so insightful and inspiring, I did the activity with my team at Likeable Local- and then with our team at Likeable Media. I thought I’d share it with you here as well:

Think about your biggest weaknesses at work and in life. What qualities are you most unhappy about? Of the following list of 16 typical weaknesses, look carefully and choose the three that resonate most with you:

1) Disorganized
2) Inflexible
3) Stubborn
4) Inconsistent
5) Obnoxious
6) Emotionless
7) Shy
8) Irresponsible
9) Boring
10) Unrealistic
11) Negative
12) Intimidating
13) Weak
14) Arrogant
15) Indecisive
16) Impatient

Got your three biggest weaknesses? Great. (Don’t be too depressed, the rest of this activity is more fun). Next, look at the below list, find the same three weaknesses, and look at the traits to the right of each of your three biggest weaknesses:

1) Disorganized —> Creative
2) Inflexible —> Organized
3) Stubborn —> Dedicated
4) Inconsistent —> Flexible
5) Obnoxious —> Enthusiastic
6) Emotionless —> Calm
7) Shy —> Reflective
8) Irresponsible —> Adventurous
9) Boring —> Responsible
10) Unrealistic —> Positive
11) Negative —> Realistic
12) Intimidating —> Assertive
13) Weak —> Humble
14) Arrogant —> Self-Confident
15) Indecisive —> Patient
16) Impatient —> Passionate

The three qualities to the right of your three weaknesses are all strengths.

Hidden in your weaknesses are your strengths.

Every weakness has a corresponding strength.

The idea here is simple: Instead of trying to change your weaknesses, accept them. Don’t try to fix them – it’s too difficult. Instead, be sure to leverage your associated strengths. You can look to colleagues, direct reports, and even supervisors to fill in the gaps where you are weakest. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help- they can add value where you are weaker. But be sure to embrace your strengths, and build upon them. After all, your strengths (even those disguised as weaknesses) – will get you far in your career, and in life.

—–

Now it’s your turn. Did this activity resonate with you? Were the strengths corresponding with your weaknesses accurate? What are your greatest weaknesses – and strengths? What are the takeaways for you at work and in life? Let me know your thoughts in the Comments section below! And here’s to your secret strengths!

It’s high time we thought about a revolution in education. Sugata Mitra, the new prophet?

The Victorians were great engineers. They engineered a [schooling] system that was so robust that it’s still with us today, continuously producing identical people for a machine that no longer exists.” — Sugata Mitra

“It’s quite fashionable to say that the education system’s broken — it’s not broken, it’s wonderfully constructed. It’s just that we don’t need it anymore. It’s outdated.” — Sugata Mitra

“In nine months, a group of children left alone with a computer in any language will reach the same standard as an office secretary in the West.” — Sugata Mitra

“It took nature 100 million years to make the ape stand up and become Homo sapiens. It took us only 10,000 to make knowing obsolete.” — Sugata Mitra

“My wish is that we design the future of learning. We don’t want to be spare parts for a great human computer.” — Sugata Mitra

Education is a self-organizing system, where learning is an emergent phenomenon.” — Sugata Mitra