This is the time of year when thousands of college students graduate from college and celebrate at a graduation ceremony before embarking on their careers—a special time indeed.
At the graduation event, they typically hear a commencement speech intended to give them live-long advice.
Unfortunately, many graduation speeches are not memorable. Not a single word or bit of advice will be remembered by attendees one year later. But, on occasion, something sticks and, years later, the advice is still relevant. These commencement nuggets are definitely worth sharing:
“Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate. The world doesn’t need any more gray. On the other hand, we can’t get enough color. Mediocrity is nobody’s goal and perfection shouldn’t be either. We’ll never be perfect. But remember these three Ps: Passion + Persistence = Possibility.” – Bon Jovi at Monmouth University, 2001.
“I don’t believe in luck; I believe in preparation.” – Bob Knight at Trine University, 2010.
“What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift; kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy—they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.” – Jeff Bezos at Princeton University, 2010.
Create your own signature nugget(s) of advice for new hires in your company. Share your wisdom and experience in a story they will remember and reflect on years later.
To get started, think about these questions:
What do you believe are the top three qualities a person must develop to enjoy a successful career?
What is the one mistake you made that others should avoid?
What is one bit of advice you’ve learned that will help anyone starting out?
By sharing your wisdom in a memorable way, at least two great things happen: (1) you will earn credibility and respect as a leader and (2) you will make a positive difference in someone’s life and career. That’s what leaders do.