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Common Sense

Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, father of the nuclear submarine, was skeptical of business school graduates. Having interviewed some 14,000 of them over a period of years, he found them fluent in the jargon of systems analysis, financial manipulation, and quantitative management (whatever that is). But he claimed that they just don’t know the score. He felt most of them had an unrealistic impression of what is involved in business and little appreciation of the importance of technical knowledge, experience, and hard work. “What it takes to do the job will not be learned from management courses,” said Rickover. “It is principally a matter of experience, the proper attitude, and common sense—none of which can be taught in a classroom.”

Bits and Pieces, July, 1991