Education now, and why I expect my courses and book to make history

April 4, 2017 by Joshua
in Education

100 years ago, in education it was important to learn to produce physically—to work in a factory, on a farm, etc. People could succeed in life by becoming manual laborers.

50 years ago it was important to know things, to process information. People could succeed by becoming knowledge workers. You could still learn manual labor, but you’d end up working for knowledge workers.

Today, machines and computers are better in both of those domains—physical labor and processing information. Where they aren’t, they’re closing in.

But people still need food, protection from the elements, and other goods and services. You still need to give the economy reasons to distribute what you need to live to you.

The needs of the next decades are to show that you belong as part of a community—in other words, to practice the social and emotional skills that make people want you around. These skills include things like identifying and solving problems, creating teams and leading them, and creating meaning and value for yourself and others.

My courses teach those things beyond what I’ve seen any other course do. That’s why students and clients give testimonials like

“This is one of the greatest classes I have ever taken. It was engaging, thought provoking, challenging, and fun. Josh is an incredible teacher, mentor, and friend to everyone in the class who is passionate about the subject matter. If I could take this class all over again, I would”

and gurus like Marshall Goldsmith say things like

“His insight to give a progression of exercises to practice is a once-in-a-lifetime game-changing advance in our field everyone else will follow. It’s better than business school courses.

You can still learn intellectual skills and be a knowledge worker, but you’ll end up working for people with social and emotional skills, who will enjoy their lives more. I’m not sure what purely manual labor skills will get you.

I expect other educators will learn to teach the skills of tomorrow. I believe my book will help that transition.

If you’re looking to work in the future, I recommend my courses and book, and not traditional, lecture-based, compliance-based education.

Learn to make Meaningful Connections

with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.


  • Step by step instructions
  • Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
  • An excerpt from my book

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5 responses on “Education now, and why I expect my courses and book to make history

  1. Definitely agree, I really like the last line about avoiding “traditional, lecture-based, compliance-based education.” As a former educator I often struggled asking the question “what skills will students need in the future” and it is a really tough question. The skills you laid out here are definitely timeless, the only addition I might add is “self-discipline.” As you’ve pointed out in previous posts, physical activity (and the discipline to carry it out) has 2nd order effects for all endeavors, including leadership and near and dear to my heart – innovation. I’m certain you get countless great ideas during the many exercises you suggest, and that would be a great lesson for any student.

    • I agree about self-discipline and I’ve started working sidchas into my leadership classes, which students seem to appreciate. I also consider athletics and art — their practice, including public performance or showing, and not just art appreciation or art history — important to learn to perform, handle criticism, express values, and so on.

      Schools from kindergarten through college and adult learning tend to cut these activities since they aren’t tested and don’t superficially apply to technology and other areas that obviously apply to GDP growth. I hope to help reverse that trend.

      • Wow. Thank you for your reply and link to that article, these sidchas are a perfect framework for developing the base for… well anything.
        As you point out, convincing school boards to value these skills (and thus teach them) could be a tremendous boost to our education system. I look forward to finding ways to help spread your message on this…

        • I consider the sidcha concept one of the most important in personal development. I’m glad you see value in them. I hope you find a sidcha or two for yourself if you don’t already have any.

          Thank you for helping spread the message. Please let me know if I can help you help me. I’ll be happy to.

          • Thanks, I’ll keep re-posting things as I’m able and will let you know if I come up with any other ideas. Promoting leadership and innovation is a win for everyone!

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