Bending the rules

I was doing some reminiscing this past week, which is always a dangerous thing for me. I came up with a pretty crazy idea. Are people who cheat in school better managers in the professional world?

We all know it’s very tough to move ahead. There is a socio-political game that take a great deal of time and energy to play.

I remember back in school, I rarely cheated off of others. I spent time doing work, putting effort in, and earning my results. But what about those who did cheat. The person who copied their term paper from someone else got the same ending result, however, they weren’t required to put in the same investment of time as I did.

Yes, it is important to actually know what you are talking about, it’s easy to see through people putting up a front. But let’s overlook this for a second.

There is a life skill being used by these cheaters that puts them a step ahead. They are using other people as resources to get a desired result. In my last post, Execution is Everything, I talked about how important it is to execute on an idea. But how many ideas can you execute at once? What if you could execute multiple ideas simultaneously.

If that were the case, through the law of averages, you have more of a chance of one project succeeding, now with a much shorter time span, because you have multiple projects going on at once.

So, back to the example. Here I spent hours studying (sometimes), and achieved a passing grade. On the opposite end, our “Cheater” spent a fraction of the time finding the answers, making a key, copying a paper, paying someone to write an essay, and can now focus on something else. What if, instead of going to the bar instead of studying, our cheater used their free time to jump forward through multiple classes, or focus on a side business.

By leveraging knowledge resources, our cheater moves ahead at a faster pace then those doing the work. Is it honest? No. Is it Right? Probably not. But there is a positive skill you CAN pull from this. Learning to leverage other peoples knowledge, and outside resources, is a skill which I feel is almost COMPLETELY lacking in today’s education framework. I know I’m late to the game in learning this fact. You can’t do everything on your own, and being able to form a group and harness collective abilities is crucial to succeeding.

What if, you had a group of cheaters, with a group of unrealistically difficult classes. Each group member can now focus on a single topic, mastering only a fraction of the skills. Now the team relies on each other to succeed in all subject, and collectively moves forward.

We have a word for this kind of cheating in business, it’s called collaboration, and we should all learn to be better at it.

I actually couldn’t find any good articles on this topic. Maybe it’s too far out there, but hey, every idea starts somewhere.

Interdependent people combine their own efforts, with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.

-Stephen Covey

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