“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein
How much experience do you have is a question that is often posed to job applicants, and lack of experience is the main reason why many applicants do not get an interview. It also prevents entrepreneurs from getting access to capital to start new businesses and current employees from being promoted. The over-reliance on experience as a selection criterion results in missed opportunities for individuals, organizations and society.
I suggest companies re-think their insistence that all applicants must have experience before even considering people for non-technical jobs and new ventures. Note that the unconventional leaders below had no experience when they started their business. Additionally, some did not have a formal education or a degree in business either. However, they are all unconventional leaders who focus on creating the best companies and products.
- Dropped out of high school
- No managerial experience when first started
- No expertise in most businesses owned
- *Has dyslexia
- Founder and Chairman of Virgin Group
- Over 400 diverse companies
- 50,000 employees
- Company worth $8 billion
- Net worth, $4 billion
- Knighted in 1999
- College drop out
- No management or marketing experience when first started
- Founder and CEO of Facebook
- Net worth, $7 billion
- Company worth $50-60 billion
- More than 500 million users
- More than 1700 employees
- Offices in 12 countries
There are many other examples such as Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines), Guy Laliberté (Cirque du Soleil), Tony Hsieh (Zappos), Ted Turner (CNN), etc.
The conventional leaders below had tons of experience and university degrees and look at where it got them! …but since they are wearing suits, they must be professionals! Read my article about experience and innovation, click here.