In my work as a healer, as someone who also embraces the excitement of being an entrepreneur, I have a maxim for CEOs and business owners in general: Always choose the cure over the credentials. Which is to say, we need to reduce our obsession on credentials – we too easily mistake where someone went to college or graduate school, or how many honors (preferably from an Ivy League university) a person has – instead of focusing on the “cure,” the ability to resolve a problem, positively change a situation and create lasting innovation.
For me, the choice between credentials versus a cure is a literal one because, as the Founder and Director of The Holistic Sanctuary, I seek to permanently end addiction – to cure people, naturally and without the use of any prescription medications – so patients may have a second chance at life. I am not, therefore, someone who succumbs to titles, diplomas, certificates and licenses as a license to suspend common sense and deny individuals the one thing they need: A cure, a safe and all-natural one, which repairs and rejuvenates the brain, thereby stopping the relapse-to-rehab revolving door of destruction.
So, while I have a strict separation between a cure and a stack of credentials, no doubt all of them earned through hard work and study, my advice to CEOs and readers of this column is simple: Credentials alone do not produce cures – and by cures, I mean answers to complex questions of leadership, business development and marketing – particularly if the credentials reinforce the wrong beliefs, outdated methods, ineffective techniques and repeated losses.
Phrased as a question, the point is even more direct: Do you want to succeed – do you want to cure and thus correct a broken system – or would you rather have the most credentialed team, the best and the brightest group that ever failed at a specific task? For, there is no glory or prestige in defeat; no one wins clients or respect by saying, “We have the smartest people available, so we can help you go bankrupt and collapse.”
I write these words from experience – the deep personal experience of dealing with conventional drug rehab centers, where highly trained doctors repeat the same refrain – in which, at this very minute, someone else has to hear a similar statement: That addiction is an incurable disease, for which patients must consume a variety of prescription medications (with potentially toxic or lethal side effects), followed by enrollment in a 12-step program, and acceptance – resignation, really – about their “new life,” which is no life at all. Between the physical pain and emotional agony, including the financial strain on a family's savings, credentials trump the acknowledgment or search for a cure.
Put aside, for a moment, my successful cure – as well as the independent, unsolicited video testimonials of my patients – and ask yourself, as CEOs (and as representatives of companies in a variety of industries), the following question: Why would you allow your credentials, which should validate your emphasis on education, to perpetuate your ignorance? The answer to that question is one of the chief reasons some businesses flourish and others, those emotionally attached to antiquated ideas, fail.
To be clear, I do not seek to attack the medical profession, hospitals or health care in general. We need gifted surgeons and dedicated nurses, compassionate caregivers and loving volunteers. I salute these individuals – the men and women who perform lifesaving operations – and respect the great investment of time and discipline necessary to earn a medical degree or a doctorate in, say, mathematics or engineering. Knowledge is power, indeed!
But knowledge is not static – new discoveries emerge all the time – so I recommend thinking of knowledge as a metaphor for how you run your business. For example: My thirst for information, including a half-decade spent researching, testing, refining and carefully applying my all-natural cure (the “Pouyan Method”) for addiction, reflects the fact you must never forsake a proverbial (or literal) cure for the false allure of credentials.
Instead, you – or rather, we, as business leaders – need to distinguish between the philosophy or mindset responsible for a credential and its actual relevance. Remember: A degree is not a guarantee of a cure, as if a framed certificate is all you need to solve serious problems and profound issues of personal health and professional success.
If CEOs adopt a new outlook – call it the Campaign to Cure – then they open themselves to innovative ideas, revolutionary concepts or alternative – and potentially superior – means of helping people.
In the end, this assistance, which starts with humility (of all the knowledge we have yet to absorb) and our emphasis on answers (or cures) over credentials, will transform the way CEOs lead and the way businesses operate. Those achievements are cause for celebration and respect.
Johnny Tabaie is the Founder and Director of The Holistic Sanctuary, home of the exclusive, all-natural and proprietary Pouyan Method, which enables patients to permanently end a variety of addictions.