Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a high school citing 11 Rules that you will not learn in school. For example, Rule 8 states that “Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.”
First, I don’t think that this Rule bears much resemblance to real life, since most schools do have winners and losers (i.e. valedictorians and high school drop-outs). Additionally, Gates points out that in real life people aren’t given multiple chances to do things correctly (and consequently children shouldn’t get a second chance…learn it the first time or you’re doomed for failure in his message). First, it’s normal for people to fail a time or two. Can you imagine having to succeed at everything on the first go around? If that were true, no one would have a divorce, we would all raise perfect children, and we would never have to ask someone how to send a fax. Second, and more importantly adults constantly fail at work (since allegedly school and work should be treated the same according to Gates). If people were fired every time they made a mistake, company turnover would be constant. Time to rethink your motivational speech to have achievable goals.