Select Page

We’ve all heard it said that people like Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and Andrew Carnegie have impeccable, “business acumen.”  Usually, people might think that it just means someone who is smart and business savvy.  The actual definition of “acumen,” however, is, “the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions, typically in a particular domain.”  So, business acumen is not only one who makes great business decisions, it is also someone who makes those decisions quickly.

Many people are overtaken by time, letting it control them instead of them controlling it.  If, for example, we take a look at Steve Jobs, however, he used time like a sword in his hand.  With each passing year in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, he created newer and more intelligent technology than most all of his competitors and took the market by storm with Apple products.  He could have had all the business insights in the world, but, if he didn’t use those insights to make business decisions quickly, Apple would’ve lost out on the booming marketplace.

Now that we know what business acumen, we need to think, “How does that translate into teaching a teenager to develop business acumen?” For starters, if teens do not understand money, they will not understand for-profit business.  So, that is step one–get them enrolled in some type of personal finance course.  Step two would be to teach them how to creative problem solve in the context of business brainstorming sessions, because that is the birthplace for all companies’ and organizations’ missions and visions statements.

Step One: Enroll teens in a personal finance educational track that increases in difficulty each subsequent year in high school.

Does your teen not attend a high school in “Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, and Utah?” Then, they are not required to take personal finance courses in high school.  If you live outside of these four states, it is important for you to get them enrolled in a personal finance course.  Why? Alexandra Pannoni of US News shares some insights, “Julie Felshaw, an economics and financial literacy specialist with the Utah State Office of Education, says,… ‘[Teenagers] can get themselves into financial difficulties early on and it could take a very long time for them to restructure their lives and get back on track.’”  That is why getting teens into these courses is essential for the success of their financial futures.

Ways to Meet the Need

  1. Check out the, “Lesson Plans,” from Practical Money Skills, which, “offers interactive tools and educational resources to help individuals and communities build stronger financial futures.”  They have formal accolades from nineteen renowned organizations/companies, showing their validity as a program.
  2. Also check into the, “Personal Finance for Teens,” program through the High School Financial Planning organization.

Come back in a couple weeks for Step Two in part two of “How to Teach the Art of Business Acumen to Growing Teens!” In the meantime, follow Synter Resource Group online on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!