Postcards

How the power players do it - by Fortune senior editor at large Patricia Sellers

Power Point: Find out what you are good at

October 12, 2009: 7:01 PM ET

"Ultimately if you can put a wall up, if you can paint, if you can work with other people and, most important, if you find out what you are good at, that's the key."

-- British chef Jamie Oliver, in the New York Times Magazine, challenging the myth that a traditional education is the only way to be successful.  Today Oliver's hyperactivity is his trademark but as a child he was branded "special needs" and pulled from regular classes to learn to read and write amidst classmates' taunting. "We're not supposed to be all academic. What is education? A bunch of stuff that people think we should know."

Oliver, who was working in the kitchen of his father's pub by age 13, recommends starting early. "Kids can do detailed, technical things, and they can do them well. Have you seen them on skateboards and surfing? It doesn't have to be a BMX, it can be a pot and a pan and a knife." Time to put your young ones to work in the kitchen! --Jessica Shambora

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