The Mary Schmich original starts with these words:
Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who'd rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there's no reason we can't entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.
I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt. Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:
Wear sunscreen. source
I love the models from:
- Peter Senge on the Learning Organisation in The V Discipline (Personal Mastery; Shared Vision; Mental Models; Team Learning; Systems Thinking).
- from Steve Jobs wonderful approach in his Stanford Commencement Speech (Google it).
- Jim Collins model in Good to Great (Level 5 Leadership; First Who … then What; Confront the Brutal Facts; The Hedgehog Concept; A Culture of Discipline; Technology Accelerators; The Flywheel).
- Martin Kalungu-Banda from Leading Like Madiba (Cultivate a deep sense of awe for human beings; Allow yourself to be inspired by the giftedness of other people; Grow your courage; 'Go and preach the Gospel' Where necessary, use words; Create your own brand of leadership; Practice humility; Learn to live with the Madiba paradox; Surprise your opponents by believing in them; Celebrate life; Know when and how to make yourself replaceable).
HOW should WHO lead [motivate/manage/teach/influence, etc.]
WHOM to do WHAT for WHICH people [culture/group, etc.] living WHERE?
2. Develop Leadership Presence
- being mindful, showing vulnerability, humility
- let go of the need to control; choosing to serve
- start with Why; map out and story the trajectory
- be precise about goals and declare them
- being very clear about the values that underpin and give life to what you believe in
- expressing them in short, clear sentences, that go beyond cliché to give a real sense of what matters and why?
- seeking out and endorsing the behaviours that follow from, and embody these values; rooting out the contrary taboos
- meet the people and the system in their map of the world, in their value set
- moving from working at a reactive/problem stance to a creative/outcome stance
- harness the leverage points (gas pedals); resolve structural conflicts (brake pedals)
- perceptions and organisational need
- maximise strengths and address ineffective behaviours and fatal flaws7.
- individuals who seek to advance the organisation
- those who are highly self-actualised and who possess strong dialogue skills
- seek out and embrace oppositional views
- know what you don't know and can't do - and what great looks like8.
- learn through action and experience
- hang out with paradox
- collaborate over individual performance
- to know the unknowable; to see the unseen
- when and when not to make decisions
- how you make your best decisions
- be able to deep dive to understand what is going on and make connections at the coal face
- be able to rapidly come up again to the strategic view and provide direction and leadership