[May 22, 2014] The most forgotten speeches ever heard are from college commencement speakers. Whether it is from the alcohol hangover from the night before, the cell phone texting, or just the fun of being with your friends and doing something important, those speeches never seem to do us any good.
Many are, however, full of very useful information on how to be a good leader, how to succeed in business, and how to have a full and rewarding life. Sadly, we all were simply too preoccupied at the time to notice, much less to take written notes. Maybe our grandmother paid attention. I know that I certainly did not. I was just happy to say … “I’m outta here.”
A recent commencement speech by Admiral William H. McRaven at the University of Texas was one of the better ones I listened to this academic year. People are surprised when I tell them that I listen to those speeches; there is plenty of truly good information on leadership and how that leader’s personal life made them a better person. Admiral McRaven passes along 10 lessons from his time in basic SEAL training1.
The best part of his message to those thousands of young UT graduates was that life was not fair, you will fail often if you take risks, but never give up – staying the course is what will make a difference and will help insure the next generation lives in a better world than us.
Hook ’em horns.
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