In the hyperconnected new world order, "average is officially over," writer and columnist Thomas Friedman told 2,100 listeners at the Sacramento Community Center Tuesday night.
The Chinese have already figured this out - about a third of the growing number of Chinese applying to Grinnell College in Iowa have perfect 800s on their math SATs, Friedman said. Meanwhile, the Unied States has a 25 percent high school dropout rate, which Friedman called "a shame, travesty and a danger to our future."
Woody Allen once said, "90 percent of life is just showing up," but in today's increasingly competitive world, "you only hire somebody if you absolutely have to," Friedman declared. "You've got to be creative, non-routine. You're going to have to bring something extra to your job."
There are many ways "to find your 'extra'," Friedman said."Be a 'chief innovation officer'..." Creativity, communication and collaboration are key - so are problem-solving and the ability to redesign your job to stay relevant, he said. "The world only pays off what you can do with what you know."
Friedman offered these five tips for success in the new world order:
1) Think like an immigrant. "We're all immigrants to the hyper-connected world," Friedman said. "Stay hungry! Realize, 'There's no legacy spot waiting for me.'"
2) Think like an artisan. Take pride in everything you do, everything you make.
3) Always see yourself as a work in progress, "never think of yourself as finished. The new literacy is the ability to learn and relearn." He added last year "I got in trouble when I said I never looked at Facebook, never seen Twitter..."
4) PQ (passion quotient) and CQ (curiosity quotient) beats IQ every time.
5) Think like the waitress at the Pancake House in Minneapolis. She brought a friend of Friedman's extra fruit with his breakfast. "She told my friend, `I gave you extra fruit' and she got a 50 percent tip."