Simple and useful life reminders translate into relationships, respect and results.
It’s May, so that means families, friends and students are gathering all over the country to celebrate the attainment of diplomas. Many good ideas will be shared with our freshly minted graduates during these ceremonies and accompanying commencement speeches, but these speeches aren’t just for the graduates.
Most of us would agree that these speeches often serve as gentle reminders for those of us who haven’t been in school for a while. Good ideas and inspiration are needed at all stages of life, education and career.
I recently sat down for lunch with local author, executive, and keynote speaker Harry Campbell. Harry has been a president for two Fortune 500 companies, co-owner of an award-winning small business, and CEO/board member of an Internet start-up.
Harry says the key to his success is being able to get the best out of people. His book on the subject, “Get-Real Leadership,” outlines his thoughts on setting yourself and your teams up for success. It’s a fast and fascinating read and I highly recommend it.
He also shared with me a recent speech he delivered to the students at CAPS (the award-winning Center for Advanced Professional Studies in the local Blue Valley School District.)
He had three main points to share with these bright and ambitious high school students and I thought they were worth passing along here:
Be an attractor. Be a person that others want to be around. The best way to attract others is to be generous with ideas, energy and connections. Get involved, put yourself out there. Show up and participate with enthusiasm and people will want to be around you.
Embrace the crookedness. This refers to the crookedness of a life or career path. Very few endeavors start, or end, exactly as planned and it’s better to understand that fact sooner rather than later. Expect roadblocks and detours and get used to figuring out a way through them or around them.
Live to learn. Though we may graduate, our education should never end. Asking questions, finding answers and pursuing more knowledge will keep the mind and body sharp. And the joy of learning will satisfy more than any amount of money or material possessions.
Harry also threw in a bonus idea about developing good “peripheral vision”: taking off the blinders, being aware of your surroundings, and absorbing as much as possible.
Good stuff, no matter if you’re graduating, your kids are graduating, or your grand-kids are graduating! Though we can’t go back, all of us can still learn a lot going forward.
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