Saturday, January 2, 2010

Remarkable, Religious Young People

Dan Senor and Saul Singer have a new book about a deeply religious group of youth. These young men and women have formative experiences between the ages of 18-22, when they receive "training in teamwork, mission orientation, leadership, and a desire to continue serving" their faith. Their "service produces a maturity not seen in [their] foreign peers who spend that time in university. 'They’ve got more life experience,'" says one executive impressed by their maturity. While "perspective typically comes with age," these youth "get perspective at a young age because so many transformational experiences are jammed into . . . their late teens and early 20’s." As a result of these remarkable experiences, the young men and women studied by Senor and Singer are remarkably successful in the business world and are responsible for creating a disproportionally high number of start-up tech companies, hence the title for their new book: Start-Up Nation.

What, you thought this post was about Mormon missionaries? Nope. But the work of Senor and Singer highlight many of the reasons that many returned missionaries should be successful in their own forays into post-mission careers. Not that I would necessarily recommend business as a career path; indeed, it seems to me that Jeff Benedict's The Mormon Way of Doing Business would have provided better counsel if it had been titled, The Mormon Way: Eschewing Business, but my tirade against the business world will have to wait for another day. For now, you can enjoy a Q&A about Start-up Nation over at the Freakonomics blog. The companion book on ex-missionaries is waiting to be written (and would surely include a large section on the PEF).


Jo Jo said...

You are soooooo different from me! Where do you find this stuff? Good stuff that is. Thanks for leaving me two messages. We're back.

Jenny said...

So get to work and WRITE IT!!
(you can!)