It was a really pragmatic gift, but maybe tough to appreciate at age 18.
In his welcoming comments to the Class of 2019, Duke University President Richard Brodhead dispensed some wise philosophy. He encouraged the new students to adopt a set of profound and powerful life and work ideas that are applicable to all of us.
Brodhead’s address, titled Building a Life at Duke, was themed off the massive construction and renovation underway on campus. It provided an apt metaphor for his message.
I’ve culled and organized Four Key Takeaways.
1. Expect Change & Embrace Where It Can Take You
If you want to make room for a new, improved version of yourself, you will have to tolerate some disruption— of your personal habits, of your preexisting networks, even of assumptions that once seemed certain. Disruption is not fun, but it is the opener of possibilities.
So the great Tom Brady has declared that Coca-Cola is “poison.”
With his football deflation controversy adjudicated but not forgotten, he decided to wade into the food nutrition debate and attack major American corporations. They really love him at NFL headquarters now!
Good things can happen when you listen to customers.
Consider Hostess Brands, which “has nurtured retail sales of its products nearly back to their pre-liquidation level of more than $1.3 billion in 2012” as reported by Julie Jargon in The Wall Street Journal.
This summer, the company expanded the Hostess brand product range with white and wheat bread along with hamburger and hot dog buns.
You’ve heard the saying: When one door closes, another one opens.
There’s more to it, of course. For instance, if you blew-up the door on the way out, your task will be much harder.
When it comes to life- and career-management, there’s really only one thing we can control — and that’s our own actions. Who knows what curve-ball is coming next, but how we respond is on us. What we do in those times of challenge reflects how we’re perceived, helps define who we are, and impacts our future prospects.
Take the case of NFL punter Steve Weatherford, formerly of the New York Giants.