An advanced degree is certainly helpful in any business climate-no one disputes that. But degrees do not guarantee success and true entrepreneurs and leaders often have other special talents and virtues that empower them to achieve great success. I work with many executives who do NOT have their advanced degree and some have no college degree at all – and they share with me in confidence that they worry about the perception of that.

To be sure we are looking at the picture of success with eyes wide open, let’s take a look at just a very small list of executives (in no particular order) who did NOT obtain their college degree:

Ted Turner, Time Warner / AOL Philanthropist

Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Corporation

Anna Wintour, English Editor-In-Chief of American Vogue

Sheldon Adelson, CEO and Chairman of Las Vegas Sands

Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft Corp

Steve Jobs, The late Co-Founder of Apple

Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress

Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle

Arash Ferdowsi, Co-Founder of Dropbox

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook 

David Neeleman, Founder of JetBlue Airways

Susan Lyne, CEO of AOL’s Content Brands

John Mackay, Founder of Whole Foods

Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell