Wit & Wisdom

Game Changers & Tales of Triumph and Woe

Tom Friedman: Think Like an Immigrant

CJ Westerberg, January 13, 2015 10:12 PM

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 "I know one thing - that we aren't telling people the truth -
when the President stands up and says if you just work hard and
play by the rules, you will be in the middle class. 
Good luck with that."
 -Tom Friedman, NSVF Summit, May 1, 2013 (14:00)

Five Ways to Succeed in Life and Work
Videos Below


by C.J. Westerberg

NYTIMES columnist Tom Friedman shares with the audience five ways to succeed, which is the same advice he gave to his own daughters, according to Friedman in this clip below at the 33:00 minute mark:

1)  Every day in every way, think like an immigrant.
"There's no legacy spot for me."  I better figure out what's going on in this world and I better pursue it with more rigor and energy than . . .
"New immigrants are paranoid optimists."
Stay hungry.

2) Think like an artisan.
"Take pride." 
Do your job every day as if you will put your initials on it.

3) Think like a starter-upper.
The new "f' word is "finished".
Reid Hoffman said "Everyone should always be in beta."
Always see yourself as a work in progress.

4)  PQ + CQ trumps IQ.
"Persistence + Curiosity is always greater than IQ."

5) Think like a waitress at Perkins' Pancake House.
Think entrepreneurial.
Friedman's anecdote in video clip is priceless.



(Note: This post (above and below) was written by C.J. Westerberg and originally published by The Daily Riff in Spring 2013 with minor updates.)

Last week I attended the New School Venture Fund (NSVF) Summit for the first time and am glad to see that most all of the keynotes and sessions are now available if you missed the live-streaming or the event. Topics range from Common Core and global comparisons to sessions like "It's time to give up on ____ and replace it with ______"  featuring several speakers such as Larry Rosenstock of High Tech High, Anne Friedman of SEED, and Rick Hess of AEI.  The latter session was clever-smart since we so often hear the cries of higher standards! higher-level math! more science! learn coding! character skills! projects! --- layering more and more to-dos onto teachers and students without having as many serious conversations as to what we can and should eliminate. 

Main keynotes were Secretary Arne Duncan being interviewed by Laurene Powell Jobs;  AFT Head Randi Weingarten; uber-game developer and Zynga founder, Mark Pincus, and Coursera founder, Andrew Ng, in a conversation with Kleiner Perkins' John Doerr about what lessons educators may take away from  gaming development, and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman in a conversation with NSVF CEO & President, Ted Mitchell. 

Riffing about Friedman is always tempting because his columns are often filled with pronouncements that can be unsettling or welcoming, depending on your perspective. Plus because he is an entertaining and adept speaker while tackling even serious subject matter, we chose to highlight his talk for this post's focus. (Interview clocks in at 38 minutes but moves along quickly and the Q&A afterward is not a series of softballs making it time worthy.) 

Friedman does get caught at times between his gotta-be-innovative and gotta-have-higher-test-scores-because-of-global-competition alerts.  Are these "lessons" sometimes at odds . .  such as fail as an entrepreneur but don't fail at tests? Or, at least in doable execution at the ground level in a learning environment as illustrated in these two back-to-back Friedman editorials here and here.

Back to the NSVF Summit. 
Here are a few choice moments in the first video below:


14:10 You now need to work harder, think faster, re-learn quicker, re-engineer yourself more often, and re-write the rules and you'll be in the middle class (rejoinder to quote
at top of post).

18:00  "Parenting, teaching and political leadership that inspires self-motivation is more important than ever." 

"And if all we're doing is plucking young students in front of a computer and say 'learn at your own speed' and you're missing those things that inspire young people to learn how to learn, to love how to learn." (sic)

"The ability to learn how to learn is the new literacy."

"Go around to all your friends and ask them just one question. 
Who is your favorite teacher?
And take their course whatever it is." 

"I really think the first place you learn how to learn and love how to learn is from a great teacher."

22:00  "The world doesn't care what you know; it only cares about what you can do with what you know."

26:00  Those teachers may be outside the classroom such as during internships

33:00  Here,Tom Friedman shares with the audience five ways to succeed: (the same advice he gave to his own daughters):

1)  Every day in every way, think like an immigrant.
"There's no legacy spot for me."  I better figure out what's going on in this world and I better pursue it with more rigor and energy than . . .
"New immigrants are paranoid optimists."
Stay hungry.

2) Think like an artisan.
"Take pride." 
Do your job every day as if you will put your initials on it.

3) Think like a starter-upper.
The new "f' word is "finished".
Reid Hoffman said "Everyone should always be in beta."
Always see yourself as a work in progress.

4)  PQ + CQ trumps IQ.
"Persistence + Curiosity is always greater than IQ."

5) Think like a waitress at Perkins' Pancake House.
Think entrepreneurial.
Friedman's anecdote in video clip is priceless.


Glad I went. 
Met some great people who shared some tales of triumph and woe, including entrepreneurs and educators in the trenches.

Also was happy to meet some of the people we read and write about in The Daily Riff.

Let us know what you think.
Videos below plus more here on the NSVF site.
###
Related The Daily Riff:
Boston: A Gollum Moment for Media? And nostalgic for Tom Friedman?
Revolution Hits the Universities - Tom Friedman is very bullish about MOOCs

Other related articles:





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The secret message communicated to most young people today by the society around them is that they are not needed, that the society will run itself quite nicely until they - at some distant point in the future - will take over the reigns. Yet the fact is that the society is not running itself nicely... because the rest of us need all the energy, brains, imagination and talent that young people can bring to bear down on our difficulties. For society to attempt to solve its desperate problems without the full participation of even very young people is imbecile.
Alvin Toffler
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