Friday, May 4, 2012

Creativity Exercise: Graduation Advice

Come on, admit it. You've always wanted to write a commencement address. You know you can do better than all those boring speeches you've heard. Well, good news! Here's your chance to contribute.

It's time for Kate the Great to Graduate. If you could give her one piece of advice, one sentence or phrase for her personal commencement address, what would it be? Post it here or email it to me at

Yesterday. I swear. It was yesterday.


Laura I. said...

My advice goes for everything that Kate will ever encounter in life:

If it smells bad, don't buy it.

Patty said...

Always be kinder than necessary; everyone is dealing with something.

Bud Simpson said...

Kate, Congratulations!

You're about to leap into space. Don't try to do it in two jumps. If you fall, take notes on the way down. It'll help you find the way back up.

Never argue for your limitations. Other people will do that for you. Prove them wrong.

Remember where you come from and always return whenever you can. It grounds you. But ... travel, travel, travel. Go where you don't speak the language and allow yourself to fall in love with something about every place you go to.

Step away from the phone/TV/computer every chance you get. Enjoy the sound of your own life. Look around you. It's fantastic, the stuff of dreams. Don't miss any of it.

dcarnswald said...

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.

Mike Brown said...

I just happened to find this list, Jan. It was intended for people early in their careers with an incredible blank canvas on which to start creating. That certainly describes Kate!

1. View your entire business career as a portfolio. Manage every element of the portfolio to create your “art.”

2. As a species, humans chase after lots of things we think will be glorious that will really make us miserable.

3. It’s okay to have a list of things you’ll never do and then to let them go without a second thought.

4. Don’t correct someone who has a better perception of you than you have of yourself.

5. Some things we demand answers for are completely insignificant. Keep moving forward.

6. If you read a business case study in a magazine, it’s likely a highly fictionalized work by that point.

7. The thing that pisses you off may just be what saves you. Next time you’re mad, look for what you should be learning.

8. Never underestimate the positive value of a fresh start. They’re incredible. Seek fresh starts out.

9. No amount of helpful advice can really outshine someone making a personal sacrifice to help another person.

Jean said...

My advice to Kate is really simple: Don't just march to the beat of your own drum - sing and dance to it, too.

Maureen said...

The good times don’t last for ever but never forget, that neither do the bad! Just go with all of it and ENJOY!

Andrew said...

“Always carry a book with you. You’ll sit in lots of waiting rooms, airplanes, etc in life, and if you always have a book, you can be a lifelong learner.”

(This is the advice my college president gave at graduation.)