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Do Grades really Matter?

I found the following really interesting. Seems like a lot of world and business leaders were either mediocre in their studies, or complete dropouts [like Bill Gates and others]

From an article by Maclean’s:

A growing body of evidence suggests grades don’t predict success — C+ students are the ones who end up running the world

SARAH SCOTT | Aug 30, 2007 |

Back at Thornhill high school in the early 1970s, Mike Cowie and his brother Mark didn’t pay much attention to their school work. For one thing, the identical twins were working at a garage after school to pay for their cars. They were bored in the classroom and didn’t see any practical point in the curriculum. Why, for example, should they memorize a bunch of “common musical terms” from an eccentric music teacher who claimed he let his dog sit in the driver’s seat on the way to school? They emerged from high school with C-pluses and a few Bs, just enough to get into university. Their father gave each of them $600 for tuition on one condition — they get out of town.

Now, their old teachers may be surprised to learn that the Cowie brothers are among Canada’s most successful commercial real-estate brokers, doing mega-million-dollar real-estate deals for corporate Canada. From their modest offices in downtown Toronto, they can see some of the high-rise buildings they’ve helped clients buy, sell, lease or build. You’ve got to be able to read people, says Mark. “I look for little signs” — how they sit, how they hold their arms, what they do with their hands, which way they look. Just recently he saw a potential deal start to crater when a developer failed to look a prospective client in the eye as they were shaking hands. “I can understand inflections, how people say things,” says Mark. “You can tell if they’re hesitating.”

The Cowies’ success is the story your high school teacher may not want you to know. It’s the triumph of the C+ student, the guy who won’t be voted Most Likely to Succeed. He’s bored in class, and comes home with withering report cards that say things like, “If only he tried harder.” His eyes glaze over as his high school English teacher tries to whip up enthusiasm for Shakespeare. He gets lousy marks because he does not want to deliver what the teacher demands. But then, in university or maybe later, he turns on — and becomes so successful that the school brings him back to give speeches to the kids. High school marks, it turns out, do not predict how well you’ll do later in life.

Read the rest here.


Filed under: Current Affairs, Leadership