Entitlement is a thing that gets frowned upon. It is the internalized belief that says, "Yes, this is owed to me. Yes, I am deserving of that." But the idea that you are owed something by society is a pretense that is rightly scorned. You aren't owed anything. However, I have to say that having a sense of entitlement appears to be a handy skill to have, despite its dubious social acceptability.
Today, a friend asked me if I thought college was a valuable experience. I responded, "I think what was valuable was the sense of entitlement I developed." Saying that aloud startled me. Could I really mean that?
Once upon a time, I was a shy teenager who had lived a simple life in the suburbs of San Francisco and Vancouver. I worked intensely to get into and through NYU, Penn, and Y Combinator. I had taken on a lot of debt. And yet, I was claiming that my chief extraction from all that toil and tuition was a sense of entitlement? I have come to conclude that, yes, this is my true stance. Entitlement is ultimately why my alma maters mattered.
The point of business schools is to take in timid nerds like the one-time me and churn out entitled brats like my present-day self. Go to any elite business school's website and you'll find a tagline that screams entitlement. Stanford's, Penn's, and Harvard's business school taglines are, respectively:
"Change Lives. Change Organizations. Change the World."
"Incubating Ideas. Driving Insights. Creating Leaders."
"We educate leaders who make a difference in the world."
How do you lead? How do you make a difference? How do you change the world? Maybe it starts with believing you can. Who in their right mind believes they, a single schmuck, can bend the future to the one they envision, can inspire legions of disciples to acquiesce to their demands? Entitled people, that's who. People who expect greatness to fall in their laps and whine about it if it does not.
Business schools' dog-whistle taglines whisper to their prospective applicants, "Hey you, aspiring corporate ascender: chill in our walled gardens for just a hot sec and we'll spit you out with straight delusions of grandeur, son!" This reminds me of a Notoriously voluminous businessman's hit single, "Get Money." Its hook goes like this: "Fuck bitches; get money," a meditative chant repeated again and again to great effect. And hey, if business schools' taglines were just a teensy, weensy bit more transparent, that's exactly the line they'd be updated to.