Skills Today’s Graduates Need to Succeed


I graduated from college with good grades, but not straight As. Part of the reason was, I worked two or three jobs every year of my college life. I worked as a cook in a country club, I worked part-time in the library, I worked as a part-time youth director, and I worked at a fast-food restaurant. While I appreciated my professors and classes, I felt I learned as much on these jobs as I did in the classroom. Six of my fellow students graduated with straight As but could not find a job for several months. Upon my graduation, I was choosing between five job offers.
As I reflect on this, I’m reminded of how important it is to think holistically as parents, coaches, educators and youth directors. Employers tell me they don’t ask about a graduate’s GPA in job interviews. They do ask about how they’ve practiced soft skills needed to collaborate on a team. The new hire discovers a classroom often looks very little like a work room. The National Center for Education Statistics, the Journal of College Student Retention, and the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice have all published research saying students can benefit from having part-time jobs. In fact, studies show working students often make better grades.
My friend, Dr. Debra Murdock, recently shared the skills graduates need to succeed. They have changed a bit over the last several years. Almost none of them are about academics:

Skills graduates need in 2015

1. Complex problem solving

2. Coordinating with others

3. People management

4. Critical thinking

5. Negotiation

6. Quality control

7. Service orientation

8. Judgement and decision making

9. Active listening

10. Creativity

Skills graduates need in 2020

1. Complex problem solving

2. Critical thinking

3. Creativity

4. People management

5. Coordinating with others

6. Emotional intelligence

7. Judgement and decision making

8. Service orientation

9. Negotiation

10. Cognitive flexibility

Notice the two new skills that made it on the top ten list in 2020.
Emotional intelligence. Employers agree that the graduate’s IQ might be high enough to do the job, but their EQ may be lacking. Emotional intelligence is what we mean when we talk about “social and emotional learning” (SEL). The issue has been politicized by so many that we lose sight of what these competencies really mean. It means we develop self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management skills in our students. That’s what educators ask us to help them do when they utilize our Habitudes® for Social and Emotional Learning.
Cognitive flexibility. This is sometimes known as “cognitive shifting.” It means how well a student can deliberately switch between mental processes to generate appropriate behavioral responses. We shift our body to change direction. We shift our car into a new lane to avoid danger. We can also learn to shift our thinking process to become more adaptable to the situation at hand. This is what we mean by cognitive flexibility. It’s what I talk about in my book, Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership. We must read the people in front of us before we lead them.
When students get “stuck” (which has happened more since the pandemic hit us), they can become paralyzed and fail to adapt to a new environment or to new pressure. When anxiety is high, flexibility can evaporate. We must move students from FRAGILE to AGILE.
When students focus only on academics and fail to develop interpersonal skills, they become less attractive to an employer. There are few realities more common than a graduate who has a high GPA but who cannot work well with teammates or model social skills.
What Predicts Success After Graduation?
Organizational psychologist Adam Grant writes, “The evidence is clear: academic excellence is not a strong predictor of career excellence. Across industries, research shows that the correlation between grades and job performance is modest in the first year after college and trivial within a handful of years. For example, at Google, once employees are two or three years out of college, their grades have no bearing on their performance.”
What does help is first-hand experience.
In fact, when former Boston University student Melissa Cottrell was in school, she said that working part-time actually helped her become more disciplined. “The busier I am, the more focused I become,” she told BU Today. “Working really makes you more structured; you have a lot of things to do in a short amount of time, so it’s important to keep up with it all.”
Dr. Grant continues, “Academic grades rarely assess qualities like creativity, leadership and teamwork skills, or social, emotional and political intelligence. Yes, straight-A students master cramming information and regurgitating it on exams. But career success is rarely about finding the right solution to a problem — it’s more about finding the right problem to solve.” This may explain why Steve Jobs finished high school with a 2.65 GPA, J.K. Rowling graduated from the University of Exeter with roughly a C average, and the Rev. DDrMartin Luther King Jr. got only one A in his four years at Morehouse.”
Let’s commit to building social and emotional skills, as well as cognitive flexibility in our young people. If we will, they stand a better chance at making straight As in life

Dr Tim Elmore

Image: courtesy, of Google

Raising Godly teens; my teaching at The Covenant Nations


It was an amazing learning moment together with the Teen teachers and
Parents of The Covenant Nation on Sunday, June 12, 2022One of the prerequisites to leading today’s teens is for all handlers to learn the art of hearing from God in the way the teens should go. Jesus
admonished us in His word in the Gospel of John Chapter 10 “….I know my sheep, my sheep know me, they listen to my voice, the voice of
strangers they won’t hear…….”

A metaphor to drive this passage of the Bible to make it relatable is

John Wooden is the head Basketball Coach of the University of California at Los Angeles. He prepares his players to hear his voice during games by rolling up a program and talking through it at practice. During games, they could distinguish his voice from the crowd. Spiritual
leaders (teachers, parents, coaches) do the same with God to lead the teens

Two of the attributes of John Wooden that stood him out are; that he focused on the process rather than the games. He also taught his players how to listen to him.

So far the feedback has been awesome from the parents and teachers who made themselves available for the engagement in the two services.

Many thanks to the JESUS TRIBE department of The Covenant Nations for the invite

Our number one job as leaders to the teens is to learn how to be attentive to God because the ministry of parenting starts in God, continues in God, and ends in God.

Please, watch the full video of this teaching on my youtube channel

Thank you



Generation Z

This is the generation of the society that neither many of our parents prepared for nor our government at all levels deployed educational curriculum to mitigate against the myriads of challenges the generation would face 20 – 40 years ago.

We were just on autorun. We deal with situations as they come. This won’t deliver the desired result for our children. It has never worked.

But these kids need us to be intentional about equipping them to navigate ever-increasing social ills that are staring at them in the face. They need us to prepare them BOLDLY for the future, to explore new places, skin their knees, so they are not clamped by the fear and anxiety as they enter teenage and adulthood.

We neither parent for today nor yesterday. This has been my agelong philosophy.

We failed to script an educational vision for Nigerian kids decades ago and we are painfully paying hugely for it now. SAD

Ever wondered about the unending thuggery, rituals, killings, and maiming among our children across schools and homes?

So for the next FOUR Mondays beginning from today; January 31, 2022, I shall be devoting my teaching from the stable of #legacyhut on our teenagers. Topics and questions will be entertained in this session.

Please, I will implore we forward our questions to my DM before the session starts so we can deal with them robustly in the session.

See you at 5:pm.

Thank you.


Teens and sex

Every parent and adult around teenagers should visit my YouTube channel and watch this conversation; a response to a mother’s question;

“How do I guide my teen daughters in the choice of their boyfriend ”
Amazing feedback we have received so far.
We are waiting for yours 😀

Pls, click the link

Thank you




Adejoke (not real name)was a Senior Secondary School 3 graduand when the pandemic hit in 2019 and the school was closed all students were sent home.

She lost momentarily her friends, gist, her favourite teachers, she could not converse with them phyisically.

Virtual conversation to her was not commanding enough to replicate the flavour of physical interaction.

The last loss was the final year prom she and her friends had dreamt and prepared for.

She also lost in-person graduation ceremony.

Adejoke admitted that while this certainly wasn’t the
end of the world, it did cause her to stop dreaming. That inevitable moment, she began battling depression, and her mother grew worried.

One day, she randomly saw a news story on television about her local hospital’s need for help.

Medical staff were going without meals as they worked around the clock to care for patients who’d been infected by the coronavirus.

Suddenly, Adejoke lit up. Instead of being absorbed by her own losses, she became captivated by those who were in worse shape than she was. This need nudged her to bounce back and bet on herself.

What did she do?

Adejoke called a young woman who HAD HELPED HOSPITAL staff in her area and inquired about what steps she took.

Then adejoke went to work herself. She launched a website page to garner donations.

She visited restaurants and grocery stores and asked them to donate food.

Then she rounded up a bunch of student volunteers to make meals and deliver them to the hospital. Those teens placed the meals under the curtains or just outside of doors so workers could continue serving patients while they ate. Everyone won. The staff were fed, the patients were cared for and Adejoke bounced back


A thought conceived after hearing the news on TV of medics in need of help made Adejoke bounce back and she quickly remembered a woman WHO HAD HELPED HOSPITAL staff in her area in time past became a source of inspiration for her to recall herself back.

An act of kindness once rendered by an adult or anyone around us could serve as an impetus for a depressing mind. What this means is that whatever we do around children and teenagers can either make them victims or victors

Let’s ponder on these home play;

1. Have you spotted this kind of melancholy mindset in any teenager or student?

2. What’s been your mode of operation to rekindle the passion in teenagers?

3. What new idea(s) entered your mind as you listened to this story.

Let’s attempt this.

Thank you for listening to my story