Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Analysing and predicting career success

My apologies for not posting sooner but the pre-Christmas rush has really kicked in for me over the last few weeks. I did find the time to read a great article today on the subject of selection, recruitment and training for success: Most Likely to Succeed.

The article looks at best-practices in the selection and development of financial advisors, comparing them with lessons being learned about talent and success in the disciplines of teaching and pro-American football. Education and professional sports might seem careers so far apart that comparisons between them are abstract at best but, as the author's analysis fluently points out, common to both professions is the fact that past experience is no reliable predictor of future success.

This article also suggests that teacher quality has the heaviest influence on pupil performance - greater even than class-size or overall school reputation. If you are like me, you might also be left thinking about the level of discipline - and somewhat Darwinian nature - behind success as a financial advisor in the best-in-class environment in the example. The 'new-to-me' fact that impressed me most however is that all quarterbacks drafted into the NFL have to sit a mandatory IQ test (the Wonderlic Personnel Test) and that a high score in this test does not directly relate to a successful career as an NFL quarterback. This relationship is definitely something that the industries of education and sports could learn from as they both strive to improve levels of professional success.

Finishing this post as it was started, I send my apologies to Malcolm Gladwell for borrowing so much from his work lately but his recent comparisons and insights on the subject of success fit so well with the central themes of this blog. Until this changes or MG personally tells me to stop, my aim is to continue :)

As always, thank you for reading and commenting!

Best Regards


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