Everyone Has Genius

An Education Innovator Finds His Calling.

Months into a dream job launching a progressive school in Taiwan, Patrick Ko was struggling.

It was very high-profile, and we were trying to do too much too fast,” recalls Ko, who studied at TC’s Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership and spoke at Convocation in 2010.

Then Ko read the organizational guru Stephen Covey’s The Leader in Me—“an operating system for schools that says, basically, ‘Everyone has genius, and the teachers’ role is to unleash it.’”

The message struck home. Born in Taiwan to parents who met in graduate school in the United States, Ko lived with an aunt in Los Angeles during sixth grade in order to learn English. “It opened my mind,” he says. “It’s not common now, but in Taiwan, teachers sometimes beat us with a stick for low test scores.”

After studying economics and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, Ko interned with Goldman Sachs in Tokyo, but was unhappy. So he backpacked across Asia, teaching in Nepal and Thailand, and felt “this sense of reward, like a fish finding water.”

A few years later, he quit a high-paying job in Silicon Valley to teach, and eventually discovered the Klingenstein Center, where he wrote most of his papers on Taiwan.

Today, Ko is thriving as both a teacher and a CEO, having successfully pitched Franklin Covey (the late author’s training and consulting firm) to represent The Leader in Me process in Taiwan.

“I used to think, ‘I have worth, and I am here to change you,’” he says. “Now, I understand that all people have unique worth and potential, and my mission is to communicate this fact to help them attain greatness.”

(Published 6/5/2015)

Published Monday, Sep. 21, 2015

Everyone Has Genius

An Education Innovator Finds His Calling.

Months into a dream job launching a progressive school in Taiwan, Patrick Ko was struggling.

It was very high-profile, and we were trying to do too much too fast,” recalls Ko, who studied at TC’s Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership and spoke at Convocation in 2010.

Then Ko read the organizational guru Stephen Covey’s The Leader in Me—“an operating system for schools that says, basically, ‘Everyone has genius, and the teachers’ role is to unleash it.’”

The message struck home. Born in Taiwan to parents who met in graduate school in the United States, Ko lived with an aunt in Los Angeles during sixth grade in order to learn English. “It opened my mind,” he says. “It’s not common now, but in Taiwan, teachers sometimes beat us with a stick for low test scores.”

After studying economics and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, Ko interned with Goldman Sachs in Tokyo, but was unhappy. So he backpacked across Asia, teaching in Nepal and Thailand, and felt “this sense of reward, like a fish finding water.”

A few years later, he quit a high-paying job in Silicon Valley to teach, and eventually discovered the Klingenstein Center, where he wrote most of his papers on Taiwan.

Today, Ko is thriving as both a teacher and a CEO, having successfully pitched Franklin Covey (the late author’s training and consulting firm) to represent The Leader in Me process in Taiwan.

“I used to think, ‘I have worth, and I am here to change you,’” he says. “Now, I understand that all people have unique worth and potential, and my mission is to communicate this fact to help them attain greatness.”

(Published 6/5/2015)

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