I just read a great article. It might be be my favorite thing I’ve read in 2015.
The article presents advice from the Havard Busines School class of 1963. They were asked about career, family, life, and religion; and the things they had to say were awesome.
Sometimes irreverant, rehearsed, deeply sincere, reading what they have to say is an incredible peek into the minds from a very different (and very similar) time.
You can read the whole piece here: http://hbs1963.com/
I’ve selected a few favorite quotes to show the flavor of it.
Business & Leadership
I would have been a better leader if I had been less cocky in my early career and more confident in my middle career.
Never go to bed without having something in mind that you need to do tomorrow… for yourself or others.
Surround yourself with the smartest, most ethical people you can find. Set clear goals, communicate them clearly, and delegate.
Judy Ley Allen
- Acting too slowly
- Waiting until all is understood
- No (or low) risk
Act fast. Take risks.
Listen. Be a good role model. Do your homework. Delegate. Praise others’ efforts.
Carol Nicholson Fryeberger
The evidence is clear and persuasive: after “friends and family,” the leading source of happiness is “helping other people.”
Success is when you can spend 90 percent of your time doing the things you want to do and only 10 percent doing things you have to do. Most people’s lives are just the opposite.
When I think back over my career, I am struck that my fondest memories are of people rather than experiences, places, or accomplishments.
J. Lawrence Wilson
Be skilled in political strategy… In my mind, there is organizational politics in any group with more than three people.
Jose M. Faustino
As for marriage, give space and insist on your own.
Before the ceremony, look for brains, even temper (that I lack), a can-do attitude, and accomplishments.
Check out the prospective in-laws carefully. And at the end, seek true beauty (philosophy and appearance). Forget infatuation.
George I. Roen
For a successful marriage, don’t eat crackers in bed.
Money to me is freedom. That is all I want of it. I don’t view it as a yardstick and do not measure myself or others by it. My greatest admiration is for non-financial accomplishment.
Thomas E. Reilly Jr.
St. Augustine on sharing wealth: Do not give it all away, share some every day.
One of the best suggestions I ever got is to never go to bed without having something in mind that you need to do tomorrow — not just a chore — but something you want to do for yourself or others.
Invest in you. Read forever, with a focus on important books. Travel widely. Keep learning new things and new kinds of things. Try writing, speaking, and teaching — all three oblige you to keep learning.
Reduce the demands of your ambitions.
Reduce the demands you make of the earth.
Reduce unnecessary travel.
Eat low on the food chain.
Not much alcohol.
Happiness & Success
My definition of success is the same as my father’s was: Be publicly useful and privately happy.
Success is not about the accumulation of wealth and power. It is more about happiness, contentment, and satisfaction — for not only you but also your family.
A great first step in this direction is to avoid “work.” Engage in what you really enjoy doing. Be persistent. If you have a great idea or vision that you really believe in, do not let up — just go for it.
Success can be fleeting. Don’t let it define you.
Friends and family become increasingly important as you grow older. Make sure you cultivate them when you are young.
Happiness is the best measure of success.
Donald P Nielsen
A number of years ago, a friend of mine was retiring from a board on which we both served, and I asked, “What are you going to do now, Jim?” He responded: “Happiness is having something to do, something to look forward to, and someone to love.” He was so right, and I am blessed with an abundance of all three.
I believe that being totally honest in your business is the key to satisfaction and success. Give an honest product or service for your compensation. Avoid greed. Dishonesty will come back to haunt you every time.
Turning Points & Life’s Lessons
One needs to know when to accept sizable risks in order to capitalize on the opportunity. I decided to put all my eggs in one basket, and nurture and watch that basket each and every day.
Frederick M. O’Such
Have fun. You’ll be dead a long time.
Telling the truth makes it easy to remember what I said.
This is what life is about: borrowing enough money to buy a really nice house and then spending the rest of your life fixing it.
John P. Keller
The return on showing respect to people — even those not deserving of it — is very high.
Be ever skeptical, because BS is everywhere, but don’t pre-judge or jump to conclusions.
Thomas E. Reilly Jr.
Never complain. Never explain. When people ask you how you are, just say, “Fine.”
Joan O. Rothberg
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