Monday, February 2, 2009



The classroom can be defined as a room in a school environment where learning takes place. While a boardroom is a room set aside for use by the board of directors of a company or business. Moving from the traditional classroom to the boardroom is no mean feat, as it requires a rebirth in our mindset, a paradigm shift, and a victor’s mentality. Its no longer news that the average Nigerian graduate as been tagged :”Unemployable”, because irrespective of the years they’ve spent in the classroom, they lack the requisite skills necessary for victory in the battlefield called the boardroom. The movement from the classroom to the boardroom without a re-orientation about the real world board room experience is just like pouring new wine into old wine skin. It will burst and the content will become a waste. This is the same way our graduates are bursting in life, running the rat race. Even if they win the rat race they will still be rats not eagles.

Education is nothing if it fails to teach the beliefs and skills which prepares you to live successfully within your lifetime. A question we must always ask ourselves is: How as my education helped me live life to the fullest? If you walk into a classroom today, I doubt if you will find much enthusiasm and excitement , too often you find boredom and fear. Students are driven not by the excitement of learning , but by the fear of being wrong. On the other hand, if you walk into a boardroom, you will find great minds soaring together on the same wave length , rubbing minds and creating solutions that will better people’s lives. A myth that is eating deep into the fabric of our society is that if you do well in school , you will do well in life. But we all know that believe is outdated and obsolete. Doing well academically, is not a guarantee for success in the real world.I,ve met individuals who were brilliant students in the classroom, but are no where to be found in the boardroom. Such people have concluded that the classroom knowledge is enough to win in the boardroom.

Everyday, graduates experience the contradiction between what they are taught in school and what they see in the real world .Let’s quickly examine some of these contradictions.

1.In the classroom your lecturer is responsible for imparting knowledge to you, in the boardroom you take responsibility for your learning. Majority of our graduates only depend on what the lecturers has taught them, but to be ahead of the pack in this information age, you need to consciously drink from the well of personal development. Personal development is beyond what you are being taught in school, its about applying yourself to life, books and resources that will jumpstart you into success. Most graduates think learning ends the day they write their final exams.Continious and never ending improvement must be your watchword for unlimited success in the boardroom.

2.In the classroom, you might not necessarily have passion for your course of study, but in the boardroom passion is the music of the song you must sing. Often times, a chord is stuck in me when I see people jostle for jobs that are not in harmony with their natural giftedness. A large percentage of the Nigerian students will be quick to tell you the fact that they were not admitted for the course they initially wanted to study. So all they engage in throughout their stay in school is to read, cram, pass, and forget. It is not advisable to take this habit into the boardroom. There is no point killing yourself over a career or job that doesn’t excite nor does it makes you motivated and fulfilled. In the boardroom, it’s the love affair you have with your career that takes you far in life.

3.In the classroom you are asked questions that you provide answers to, in the boardroom, the answers(solutions)you provide to questions(problems)determines your relevance. We all know that you are paid in proportion to the problems you solve. Its pertinent to have a problem solving habit which will make you a sought after person in the boardroom. You need to initiate a problem solving campaign , if you must be on top of your game in the boardroom.

4.In the classroom, your course mates are your competitors, in the boardroom you are your own competition. Yes! it is good to conquer your course mates in the classroom by reading hard and graduating with good grades .But in the boardroom, you need to constantly break your own records, conquer yourself and resolve not to be complacent.Complacency leads to stagnancy.

Tiger woods, the world class golf player once said: “The most important thing is furthering yourself and making yourself a better person.”Remember he who stops being better stops being good.

5.In the classroom majority of the lecturers embrace the old techniques of lecturing and imparting knowledge, in the boardroom innovation is the name of the game. In the classroom, its a common sight to see lecturers using the lecture notes they’ve been using since their appointment into the university. The only difference is that the lecture notes is now looking tattered and crying for help. It is rather unfortunate that graduates take this thought pattern into the boardroom without updating their skills and honing their craft. The boardroom is governed by enterprising individuals who have refused to dance to the beat of conformity and mediocrity.

Dear reader, Nigeria needs you to stand up and raise the standards of our education. You too can move from the classroom to the boardroom, if only you apply the thoughts I have shared with you.I will read your success story. Go and rule your world!

Kehinde Ajose is a certified career coach, motivational speaker, and syndicated columnist. He is reachable @ 08024212530 or