Skip to main content


It was decades ago that I was in grammar school.  Things were significantly different then than they are now.  Of course computers and smart phones were not even in our line of sight as they are today.  I am not questioning the digital revolution one whit, as I believe it is integral to our growth as people, our growth as an economy as well as our growth globally.

But I am dismayed by our departure from grammar school years of some of the basics that we used to go through.  I remember one class in particular in 7th grade (about age 12) called Home Economics, in which both the boys and girls had to take.  It was a school year long class and included cooking, sewing, electricity and plumbing.  We all had to learn how to cook some basic foods and as part of the class had to cook a hot lunch for ourselves.  And I am not talking about just opening a can or defrosting something.  I already knew how to pretty much do all of that because I liked to cook at home.  We began the electricity segment by learning about AC/DC currents.  We wired our own lamps using some kind of jug or vessel of our choosing and our own lamp shade.  I had never done anything like that so it became a new notch in my belt.  Then came sewing.  I learned to sew a button on, how to iron a shirt, darn a sock and how to operate a sewing machine.  Another notch was basic plumbing.  All good basic home skills that I can still use as of this day.

But I have noticed a great deal of angst on the internet about how poorly prepared the average young person is in joining the US job market today.  I cannot speak for other countries.  The following is not a complete or exhaustive list but it begins making the point,

1) Basic Money Management Skills

2) Build and Keeping Good Credit

3) Basic Home Budgeting

4) Taxes

5) Nutrition

6) Time Management

7) Self-Defense

8) Self-Confidence

9) Picking the Right Career

10) Cooking

11) Sewing

12) Basic Electronics

13) Proper Research and Study Skills

As I said previously this is not a complete list so I'd love to hear from others about their thoughts about additions and/or deletions and why.  

I also remember 8th grade where we had to do 3 research projects in order to graduate.  This was public school, not private, not parochial, not home schooling, and at that time we never heard of charter schools.   One was to complete a family tree going back as far as we could to the great-great grandparent level if we could.  The second was to write an autobiography.  The third was to do a scrapbook on The City of Chicago.  Do eighth graders today do anything like these three projects?  Just wondering?  What we did not have then was the learning of a second language.  In those days in Chicago that was under the purview of High School.  Something I know I missed.    

Bob Jacobson

August 31, 2021


Popular posts from this blog

The Flaw Of Averages

Yes, this post will be primarily a copy of a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article.  The article is the point of this blog. Over my decades in consulting, one of the major requirements in our niche was to insure that our clients received the savings we had forecast that they would achieve in a mutually agreeable manner.  In the very beginning, when I started back in 1974, computers were not easily available or accessible as they had to be huge room-size machines and many clients did not even have them.  So we used adding machines with paper tape to the shortly thereafter personal hand held-calculators.  Personal computers starting with the very first Apple or Radio Shack model proved far superior but had minimal calculating capacity.  None were perfect and because of this limitation, a straight line average over a years period was typically used to compare history to current and prove savings had been achieved.   I found well into my career that straight-line bases had fallacies in the

What are the most In-Demand Skills and Traits that a CEO should have?

  Recently I have been doing a great deal of research for a Zoom Class that I am doing relative to the CEO role.  Having reviewed literally hundreds of articles, I came up with the following list of Skills and Attributes that all CEO's should theoretically have.  This list came from me and the authors of the various articles I have read.  The compiled list of 23 traits or skills, in no particular order, are: 1)    Active Listening 2)    Empathy 3)    The ability to share messages and make complex ideas understandable to everyone (storytelling). 4)    Strategic Thinking Skills 5)    Creativity 6)    The ability to inspire and convince others. 7)    Flexibility 8)    The ability to turn information into action. 9)    Project planning 10)  System development 11)  The ability to assess an employee's strengths and weaknesses. 12)  Time Management 13)  The ability to build and inspire trust. 14)  Strong communications skills 15)  Positivity 16)  Reliability 17)  Management skills (Fi

Do You?

 Do you procrastinate?  I know I do it more often than I would like to admit.  We all have a tendency to procrastinate.  Very recently, I saw this photo in a LinkedIn post.   To be legally clear, this is a billboard type advertisement by Nike. They are very famous for their "Just Do It" slogan.   Now they have two and they have combined both into an even more powerful expression. The definition of "procrastinate" from the Oxford dictionary is: "to delay or postpone action; put off doing something."  It is like the old colloquialism "Manana."  Mañana is tomorrow in Spanish.  We all do it to one degree or another.   From a business perspective, to procrastinate is a terrible situation if you or a great many people in a company or organization do it.  If it occurs too often or too much, then what does it do:  it has the probability to DELAY MOST EVERYTHING.  Is that what you really want?  No, I doubt it.  It very well may hurt you, your colleagues,