Elite education is more easily available than you think.

What differentiates the education received in the 20-or-so elite boarding schools that produce almost all our leaders?

Here’s John Taylor Gatto outlining some of those differences:

(Clipped at 6:33)

The four skills of leaders:

  1. Active Literacies
  2. Decision-Making
  3. People Skills
  4. Self-Directed Learning

Each one of these skills is worth deep study, but for now, I want to share the simplest way I know to get started.


How Train Yourself in Active Literacy

The Active Literacies = The ability to speak effectively to any kind of group and the ability to write effectively to any kind of reader.

Speaking and writing are distinct but overlapping. Once you can write well, you’ll be more likely to speak well.


Keeping any consistent daily practice is a beautiful thing. I would suggest one of the best ones to begin is to write 300 words a day. Peter Shallard chose 500 words a day, but according to Gatto:

“The secret to becoming a very, very powerful writer is simply to write 300 words a day.”


If you can do more, do more.

In the 1940s Harvard required a 1,000 word paper every single day from their Liberal Arts students (back in the days when the liberal arts were more than a neomarxist training program).

None of those papers were even read!

These essays were slid into a locked box. There were rumours among the students that they were being used to plot their futures, but they were just burned.

Many magnificent writers came out of that practice. Harvard knew that the skill of writing persuasively was more important than what was written.

And the best way to learn to write persuasively is to simply practice.


That’s why it’s not enough to journal every day. I keep a journal myself and have done for many years. However, there’s something different about writing something for publishing. You keep it tighter, you think about the sequence of ideas, and you try to keep it interesting.

So, 300 words of brain-vomit won’t do the trick. It needs to be 300 words of publishable content.


Rise Up

We don’t need to have been born in elite circles to get a lot of the benefit of elite boarding schools. Our kids are in an even better position if we teach them the 4 skills of leaders.

The study of how to become a leader is not secret. It’s been written about for thousands of years. We just need to take on the responsibility of teaching ourselves what was kept from us as children.