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12 best commencement speeches of all time. Great news, graduates!

12 best commencement speeches of all time

The job outlook is looking a lot better than it has in the past few years. The U.S. economy has added, on average, 238,000 jobs in the past few months, according to the Labor Department. And, job listings targeted at new grads are up slightly from a year ago on job-listing site Simply Hired from last year. "I think there is this skills-gap shift we're seeing. Younger people coming out of school are more prepared for the kind of jobs we need in this sort of new economy," said Simply Hired CEO James Beriker. His advice for new grads? One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received is: Don't treat your job search like dating. If you remember one thing, remember that applying for a job is NOT a date. One of the most famous pieces of advice for graduates came from Chicago Tribune writer Mary Schmich, in a column titled: "Advice, Like Youth, Probably Just Wasted on the Young.

" "Wear sunscreen. Bill Gates, founder, former CEO of Microsoft, at Harvard (2007) Ha! J.K. Brands Need to Know Their Purpose and What They Aspire to Be. Kinship is everywhere.

Brands Need to Know Their Purpose and What They Aspire to Be

It’s empathy in action: a hug, a comforting word, the backbone of a friendship. Kinship is fundamentally selfless, intrinsically rewarding, a vital and extremely human part of being, well, a human being. Kinship requires work, and while people inherently are driven by it, brands are not individuals and often do a poor job evoking similar feelings. Consumers have been skeptical of today’s brands’ intentions for some time now, and so is it any wonder they have such a hard time earning trust? Martin Weigel, planning director at Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, rightly said we have become prisoners of a metaphor, and as we’ve suspended reality for our metaphors, our brands ask consumers for what a person expects from his or her friends—loyalty, trust, attention, love, time—without putting in the reciprocally requisite work.

One problem is the mistaken notion that advertising shapes culture. Market saturation and mass media shifted us to the Era of Emotion. 42 Tips for Masterful PresentationsLeader's Beacon. Is Your Brand's Reputation Safe In Millennial Hands? Ten Presentation Techniques You Can (And Should) Copy From Apple's WWDC Keynote. 8 Timeless Business Principles. Want trendy, flavor-of-the-month management ideas?

8 Timeless Business Principles

You won't find 'em on this list. -{ thus }-/Flickr 188 in Share Please Login to Connect Your Account with Evernote Some business principles come and go. A company I worked for started so many game-changing transformational programs and then, like a disgraced member of the Politburo, quickly abandoned and airbrushed them out of our corporate history so we could start yet another "business-critical" program that would be abandoned.

Fortunately, there are some business principles you can use forever: When people speak from a position of position of power or authority or fame, it's tempting to place greater emphasis on their input, advice, and ideas. Warren Buffett? That approach works to a point--but only to a point. When Branson says , "Screw it; just do it and get on with it," it's powerful. If the guy who delivers your lunch says it, it should be just as powerful. Never discount the message because you discount the messenger. How? (Don't worry. A Convincing Argument For The Hands-Off Boss. Nothing tells you more about an organization than the way it makes decisions.

A Convincing Argument For The Hands-Off Boss

Do leaders trust team members? Do the people closest to the action get to make the call? Do team members have real responsibility and real control? All of these questions can be answered by one other one: who gets to make the decisions? And nothing affects an organization more than the decisions the people in it make. Great business minds know this. But outside of business school, few business leaders tap into the value created by putting important decisions in the hands of their people. The leader chooses someone to make a key decision The decision-maker seeks advice (including from the leader) to gather information The final decision is made not by the leader, but by the chosen decision-maker. The principles are simple. Basic Assumptions People are unique. People are creative thinkers. People can learn. People are fallible. People like a challenge.

People are responsible for their own actions. Who Decides. Turn Bad Days Into Good Ones: 6 Ways. Everyone has bad days.

Turn Bad Days Into Good Ones: 6 Ways

Some just last longer or happen with greater frequency. If it appears I am having a bad day I generally hope for all the coming terrible news to flood me now. Why screw up another perfectly good day? Then I can put the horrible one behind and move on. In 2008 I had a series of particularly bad days. 1. Many people talk about optimism being the path to happiness and I couldn't disagree more. 2. Anyone who is religious is familiar with strict ritual in the face of emotional circumstances. 3.

When times are tough, many hold it in. 4. There is humor in everything no matter how traumatic. 5. No day is ever all bad. 6. No matter how bad things got I always knew that my life was still far better than many others, particularly during the financial crisis. Like this post? Why Working From Home Is The Worst Of Both Worlds. As a working mother, the edict from Marissa Mayer regarding employees no longer being allowed to work at home made perfect sense to me.

Why Working From Home Is The Worst Of Both Worlds

And I admire that she had the chutzpah to do it just a few months into her tenure as a working mother. For working parents, working from home is the worst of everything. It isn’t really working, and it isn’t really being at home. You can defend it or rail against it as much as you like, but here’s the unspoken truth: You are fostering disappointment and frustration from all parties while fooling yourself into believing you’ve arranged for the best of both worlds. On the days or half days that you are working from home, you’ll get the sense that the office is questioning your commitment. Working at home is actually more confusing to children than seeing their parents leave for work every day.

Work, on the other hand, will likely perceive you to be slacking off no matter how diligent you are when you’re home. Frustration will abound. 7 Tenets of a Stress-free Leader. Over the past 20 years running Formula, I have developed a crystallized plan to ensure that I maintain my health, sanity, and motivation while continuing to run a rapidly growing public relations agency.

7 Tenets of a Stress-free Leader

Though the following seven tips may seem obvious, most business owners will agree it is incredibly tough to stay energized when the pressure of running a business during a down economy is so great. 1. Carve out time to do the things that you love. Make sure that you regularly find time to do the things you really love. If it’s reading, going to the movies, playing with your kids, or traveling, you need to make it a priority in your life. 2. One of the main challenges that I hear from business owners is the stress levels they face knowing that the weight of the business rests on their shoulders. 3. The best organizations have a leader that hires smart people and allows them to do their jobs. 4. Someone once said, "Don’t sweat the small stuff. " 5. 6. 7. How to Drive Consensus: 7 Secrets. There's probably no such thing as an established definition of the word leadership, but I'll tell you what it means to me: The ability to get people moving in a single direction.

How to Drive Consensus: 7 Secrets

Perhaps the most critical test of leadership ability in a business environment is in driving consensus. When you've got a management team made up of highly intelligent, highly opinionated people, let me tell you, building consensus can be remarkably challenging, to say the least. Especially when it's a critical decision on a controversial topic.

Even more so when it means things may have to change. Nobody likes to change. Having done this sort of thing I don't know how many times, here's a seven-step process that seems to work remarkably well. 1. You may think that everyone's on the same team so their goals are aligned. Since you may be a consultant and the group may not report to you, get to know them individually and try to identify their interests in the matter at hand. 2. 3. 4. 5. Keep one thing in mind. 6. Are you a Thought Leader? While it's great to have a business blog, it's easy to fall into the trap of posting whatever you can in order to stick to your blogging "schedule.

Are you a Thought Leader?

" Newsjacking is great, certainly, but if you're just writing about any news event you can in order to loosely tie it to some product or service, you risk losing readership, and worse, devaluing your influence. It's important that if you want to be a Thought Leader in your industry, you take the time to develop your thoughts and publish information that will educate, entertain and engage your readers. Think about the issues you've worked through yourself in the past with your business and talk about those. Share your challenges and how you struggled to get through them, but what you did eventually to achieve success.

Or, sometimes even more enlightening, share your failures, and how you're working never to experience that particular failure again. Not every business owner wants to be considered a Thought Leader. World Trade Center High Wire Artist Philippe Petit's Colorful Advice For A Career On The Edge. On a summer day in 1974, a 24-year-old Frenchman stepped onto the world stage with one of the most astonishing performances in modern history--walking back and forth on a wire illegally rigged across the void between New York’s World Trade Center Towers, three quarters of a mile above spellbound onlookers.

World Trade Center High Wire Artist Philippe Petit's Colorful Advice For A Career On The Edge

It all began six years earlier when the young Philippe Petit was inspired by a rendering of the not-yet-constructed towers he saw in a magazine. He spent the following years refining his wire walking skills and making countless visits to the towers to plot how to surreptitiously enter the buildings and solve the complicated logistics of rigging his wire between the swaying towers. Petit has gone on to perform many other spectacular wire walks, authored over half a dozen books, was the subject of the acclaimed documentary Man on Wire, and singlehandedly built a barn using eighteenth-century tools and design. 1. Let life be your teacher. 2. 3. 4. 5. Stan Richards's Unique Management Style. After more than four decades in business, there are certain things that Stan Richards, the 78-year-old founder of The Richards Group, believes to be true.

Employees, for one, must arrive by 8:30 a.m. (not 8:30-ish-they have to punch in). Time spent on the job must be accounted for in 15-minute increments, daily. Fail to do so, and you'll be docked $8.63. Arrive promptly to meetings or be shut out of them. Given all that, you could be forgiven for concluding that Richards runs a widgetmaker or a call center or a print shop—the kind of operation in which work needs to be highly regimented to get done efficiently. And not just any advertising agency. Highly structured and rules-bound companies, of course, are not supposed to produce work like this.

On a recent summer afternoon in Dallas, Richards can be found in his natural habitat: a creative-planning meeting. David Eastman, a creative group head, is up next. A dozen or so pitches later, Richards concludes the 90-minute session. Equity. 6 Things You Need to Know About Leading a Meeting. There's nothing worse than a bad meeting. You sit there grinding your teeth wondering why in the world you have to waste your time sitting through something that never should have happened in the first place. The fact that we've all been there, sometimes weekly or even daily, doesn't make it any less annoying. It doesn't even begin to take the edge off that nagging thought that you could be making so much better use of your time.

But here's the thing. Meetings aren't just an unfortunate fact of business life. Not only are meetings the most efficient ways to get certain things done, they're the most effective tools for managing teams--if they're done right, that is. I once calculated that I sat in more than 30,000 meetings during my 30-year career. And you know what? Learn this equation. Do you even know what you're doing? Have them in the afternoon. Beware the hive mentality. Lose the hallway meetings. Challenge the status quo. I Don’t Butt Heads with the CEO of Zappos. Image source by Hana Muchova' Many CEO’s are told what they want to hear, rather than what team members really think. That’s a foolish way to avoid butting heads with the boss. I asked Jamie Naughton, Speaker of the House for Zappos, to talk about a time when she butted heads with her famous CEO, Tony Hsieh. Jamie indicated that issues don’t escalate to head butting. “There’s no argument, ever.

How to avoid butting heads with the boss: Establish disagreement-rules. Bonus: Add positive options. Butting heads and who decides: “The best thing about Tony as a CEO, as a boss, … He will give direction. Corporate teams fear CEO’s because CEO’s make too many decisions. “He’s – Tony Hsieh – not going to interfere with my department because I know it best. What suggestions do you have for disagreeing with the boss? Bonus material: Jamie Naughton in her own words. (6 min.) Connect with Jamie: Jamie Naughton works directly with Tony Hsieh as the Speaker of the House for Zappos. LinkedIn Twitter: @Jamstar. 8 Ways to Be a Courageous Leader. Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

--Winston Churchill I was standing in front of the boardroom, my last slide up on the screen. Everyone knew what was coming. "Is that all you marketing $#*! S know how to do," my CEO lashed out, "cut prices? " "No, that's not all I know how to do," I said. It took courage to propose what I knew would unhinge our famously mercurial and intimidating CEO. As leadership attributes go, courage is the big one.

Follow your gut when everyone tells you you're crazy. Take risks with big downsides and no safety net. Deliver bad news. Face your critics and listen openly to what they have to say. Act on your beliefs, knowing it may cause you pain. Take on bigger, better-funded competitors. Look in the mirror and confront what you see. Challenge your comfort zone and face your fear. Where does courage come from? That said, every time you give in to fear, that reinforces it. 10 Presidents’ Day Leadership Lessons. The U.S. Constitution says very little about the powers of the presidency, but that did not deter George Washington upon taking office from establishing the position as one of considerable power. Most famously, he quelled the so-called Whiskey Rebellion, which tested the nascent federal government’s authority.

Entrepreneurs often err on the side of keeping things casual, but that style of leadership can be self-limiting. As Washington demonstrated, effectiveness is often tied directly to the ways large and small that a leader demonstrates seriousness. Though he shared much in common with his predecessors, including great wealth and a military background, Andrew Jackson was the first president who was not born on the Eastern seaboard. No one doubts that Abraham Lincoln was an idealist. Teddy Roosevelt built his reputation as that of a reformer, issuing more executive orders than any president who came before him or any president who has followed him. Most Effective Persuasion Technique You've Never Heard Of. Innovative Leadership: Best Leaders Think Like 5-Year Olds. The 5 Questions Every Company Should Ask Itself. 10 Ways Any Leader Can Step It Up Today. Why Tweaking Your Career Vocabulary Can Radically Improve Your Life. Quick: Define Leadership. Why Smart Leaders Don't Clone Themselves.

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