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Why CVs Don’t Matter
CVs don’t matter.
I have said it before, and I will say it again.
From my experience as a CEO, I can tell you that CVs are poor predictors of success in life.
I don’t believe in fancy degrees or paper credentials. Over the course of my career, I have met many people (with the most incredible degrees and/or world-class Fortune 500 experience) who are idiots in life. I have also met many people (without any education or any world-class Fortune 500 experience) who are superstars in life. (Of course, I have also met people from all parts of the spectrum, including superstars with all of the right degrees and idiots without any degrees).
My point is that we should never judge a book by its cover. Someone with a degree from Harvard or MIT (or from any top school) is not necessarily smart. They might be good test takers and thrive in academic environments, but those skills do not necessarily translate into real-life success. The reverse is also true. Someone with only a diploma (or a degree from a lower tier school) is not stupid. They might not succeed in theoretical academic work, but they more than thrive in real-life, common sense work. There are many types of intelligence, rates of maturity, and reasons of circumstance.
To be clear, a CV is very useful to understand what skills and experience a potential candidate has. It sheds some light on the past, but it is not a good predictor of the future. You see, a CV fails to capture fully the most important things in life such as integrity, resilience, hunger, character, intellectual horsepower, emotional intelligence, street hustle, humility, empathy, passion, work ethic, and many other things that are essential for success.
Ultimately, our greatness does not show up on a piece of paper. It shows up in our pivotal choices in life and the stories behind them. I want to hear about the time you got bullied, and what you did. I want to hear about the time you cried because you fought for a dream or a belief. I want to hear about the time you failed miserably and what you learned. I want to hear about how far you travelled in life on nothing, but integrity, grit, courage, and hard work. I want to know about the circumstances in which your life unfolded in the best and worst of times – and how you reacted and what you did.
For me, a rockstar is someone who wants to achieve the extraordinary, someone who is ready to climb the biggest mountains to unleash his/her potential, someone who lives to defy odds, someone who is willing to make the toughest sacrifices for a dream, someone who dares to be an original.
You see, the world does not need more mindless sheep who chase after social status, material things, paper credentials, and other meaningless stuff. No, the world needs more original souls who are alive – truly alive – with passion and grit to help make this world a better place. #WeAreONE
Chatri Sityodtong is a self-made entrepreneur and lifelong martial artist from Thailand. His rags-to-riches life story has inspired millions around the world on BBC News, CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, and other major media. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ONE Championship, Asia’s largest global sports media property in history with a global broadcast to over 2.6 billion potential viewers across 140+ countries around the world. Forbes most recently selected Sityodtong as one of Asia’s next generation tycoons. He was also named “Asia’s King of Martial Arts” by the Financial Times and the “3rd Most Powerful Person in Sports in Asia” by FOX Sports. He is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Europe’s top business school. Sityodtong holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.