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美国名校励志演讲: Don't Over-plan Your Life by 通用汽车CEO瓦格纳

jo19870724 于2011-09-30发布 l 已有人浏览
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1975年,获得经济学学士学位的瓦格纳从美国杜克大学毕业,随后,他进入哈佛商学院继续进修。1977年,刚刚结束学生时代的他顺利进入了全球最大的汽车制造商——
    小E英语欢迎您,请点击播放按钮开始播放……

瓦格纳杜克大学演讲.jpg

1975年,获得经济学学士学位的瓦格纳从美国杜克大学毕业,随后,他进入哈佛商学院继续进修。1977年,刚刚结束学生时代的他顺利进入了全球最大的汽车制造商——通用汽车,如今,他又回答母校为母校的校友做演讲,分享他的人生感悟。

16. Don’t Over-plan Your Life-- Commencement Address by Rick Wagoner at Duke University


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2007 Commencement Address by Rick Wagoner ---------Don't over plan your life 英语演讲稿:

President Brodhead, members of the faculty and administration, honored guests, friends of Duke University, parents of today’s graduates, and most especially, the Class of 2007.  Let me start by saying, simply, thank you.  As a son of Duke for my entire life, I can’t imagine a greater honor than giving the commencement address today.
 
Actually, whenever I speak publicly, I recall a conversation I had some years ago with one of our more famous fellow Duke grads, Grant Hill.  Grant and I were preparing to speak at an event… me with several pages of notes, him with nothing.  He said, “Hey, Rick you know the five B’s of a good speech?  Be brief brother, be brief.”
And, so, I will be today… especially since it squares exactly with the advice of our esteemed President Brodhead.  Dick, upon inviting me to give this speech, offered some content ideas and then said, (and I more or less quote) “And if you run over the allotted time, I’ll tackle you, myself.”
And so, I’d ask our graduating Class, if it looks like President Brodhead is coming in for a sack… someone holler “Blitz!” and I’ll head for the sidelines.
 
*   *   *   *   *   *   *
 
Before going any further, let me acknowledge all the mothers and grandmothers in the audience, as today is Mother’s Day… and I can’t imagine a greater gift on this important day than having a daughter or son graduating from Duke University.
I know it was a big day for my mom 32 years ago, when I sat where the Undergraduate Class of 2007 now sits.
My mother has been a big influence in my life, as a huge supporter, and she continues that way.  In fact, she’s been checking up on me about this speech for a while now.  When I talked to her a couple of Sundays ago, she said, “Rick, don’t you think it’s time you get that speech prepared!”… which leads me to lesson number one for today:  A mother’s advice continues for a lifetime – and you should listen and act upon that advice for a lifetime as well.
Okay, Mom… I read it just like you wrote it!
 
*   *   *   *   *   *   *
Well, as I said, I’ve been a son of Duke my entire life.  My dad graduated in 1950.  He and my mom were married at the time, so she probably qualifies as an honorary Dukie.
I was attending football games right here, in this stadium, way back in the late 1950’s… and my ties with Duke have continued to grow since then.  My wife, my sister, my brother-in-law, my sister-in-law, our oldest son (last year), our second son (next year… hopefully)… all are, or will be, Duke grads.
I even named our dog “Duke.”  In fact, I tried to name our second dog “Coach K,” but my wife (and probably Coach K) thought that was too much.
 
*   *   *   *   *   *   *
 
I thought it might be interesting for this year’s graduates for me to reflect back on what I was thinking about when I was sitting where you are 32 years ago, and especially on what I may have been missing in my thinking back then, and what that might mean for you today.
I think the most important piece of advice that I can give you from my own experience is simply this… don’t over-plan your life.
While planning for your future is great, the fact is, things change… and opportunities will arise for you that I suspect you, today, can’t even imagine.  Do your best at whatever you’re doing, but be open to opportunities as they come up.
Let me tell you what happened to me.  When I was graduating from Duke, I was thinking about my next step, which was to go to Harvard Business School in the coming fall.  Beyond that, I knew only one thing… I wanted to end up close to home.
Remember, this was 32 years ago… no internet… no cell phones… even international phone calls were a big deal back then.  If I settled far away… or, heaven forbid, overseas… how would I keep up with my family and friends… and Duke basketball?  No way I could do that.
So, when I finished business school in 1977, I joined General Motors, in our New York office… that was exotic enough for me!  There, when I was asked which area I wanted to work in… financial analysis, capital analysis, overseas analysis, etc… I said anything but overseas analysis was okay with me.
So, I got assigned to overseas analysis… and you know what?  I actually liked it… a lot.
Then about four years later, I was asked if I wanted to become Treasurer of GM do Brazil – a great job, but with one obvious catch:  I had to move to Brazil.  So, I thought for sure we’d pass – my wife had a good job, we had just bought a house, and of course there was this Duke basketball thing.  So, that night, I went home, asked my wife if she’d like to move to Brazil, and to my surprise, she said most enthusiastically, “Yes!”
Now, remember my first bit of advice about listening to your Mom?  Well, the same advice applies to your wife, too!  (I’d say it applies to fathers and husbands, as well… but I’m just not sure about that!)
Well, from that point in our lives, Kathy and I spent virtually all of the next 11 years living and working outside the United States – Brazil, Canada, Europe, Brazil again.  And it turned out to be a great chance to grow as a business executive and – more importantly – as a person and as a family.  It was undoubtedly, the best business and personal “learning experience” that I could have asked for.
Fortunately, many of you have already figured this out.  I understand that nearly 50 percent of Duke undergraduates study abroad… which is terrific, because the future is definitely, as we say now, global.
In my current job, I spend a lot of time traveling to places like India and China and Russia… and I’m confident that many of the major developments that will affect us all in the future, are going to occur in these and other emerging markets around the world.
So, my advice is to be flexible … be open to everything the world has to offer… be global.  You’ll be amazed at what you can learn, and how you can contribute.
 
*   *   *   *   *   *   *
 
Another thing I got wrong when I was sitting in your chairs 32 years ago was what a truly huge role that technology would play… in our personal lives, in our professional lives, in our society.
Think about it… 400 years ago today, Captain John Smith landed in America, met Pocahontas, and, well, you know the rest.  It took months before he could get a message back to England: “Have landed in Virginia.  Send more beer.”
Now, you all out there, today’s graduates… you send messages sometimes around the world, instantly, with a few keystrokes.  Some of you… admit it… some of you are text messaging even as I speak.  “Uh… five B’s… what is he talking about?”
The advances in technology in my business life are especially exciting.  For example, now, for the first time in my almost-30-year automotive career, I can really see a future for automotive transportation that will consume less, not more, petroleum… and emit less, not more, carbon… and yet still allow U.S. and global consumers to buy the cars and trucks they want, at affordable prices.
When I say this, I’m thinking about the exciting future that we have in the U.S. with bio-fuels, or E-85 ethanol, made from corn and, in a few years, from cellulose… and then electrically driven cars and trucks powered by advanced batteries, or hydrogen fuel cells.  All this thanks to amazing advances in technology.
And so my second piece of advice for you, in whatever field you enter… medicine, education, business, government… is to embrace the opportunities that technology will provide you… to help solve the challenges we face as a nation, and as a world.
 
*   *   *   *   *   *   *
 
Another thought I want to offer is a simple one – which is that each of you… by virtue of graduating from one of the elite universities in the U.S., indeed in the world… has great capabilities.  I urge you to use those capabilities fully.
In my experience… in life and in business, in dealing with education and working with government leaders… there are actually lots of really smart people out there.  What distinguishes those who are truly leaders… those who really contribute in government, in medicine, in education, in business, in the arts… is passion and enthusiasm.
You see, being successful in any field, is hard work.  Being successful requires not only that you learn everything you can about your chosen field… but that you apply your knowledge with a passion and enthusiasm that affects others, and engages them as well.
In today’s highly collaborative workplaces, few great things are accomplished by individuals alone.  Just like in college basketball, you need great teams… and you need people who can inspire those teams, and lead those teams, to greater heights.
Enthusiasm is contagious.  Your goal should be to start the epidemic.
But, I should tell you, that even with knowledge, passion, and contagious enthusiasm… you are going to face some tough challenges… some tough days.
A year-and-a-half ago, some of the so-called “experts” were claiming that General Motors was headed for bankruptcy, and I ought to be fired.  Those were some tough days for me.
Even great institutions like my… and now your alma mater… Duke University, encounter challenging times, like over the last year.
But the real successful people, the real contributors, the really great institutions, like Duke University and General Motors, have another important characteristic… which is persistence and resilience.  No matter how great the challenge, no matter how dark the future seems… the best people, the really successful people, simply do not give up.
I suspect most, if not all, of you, will encounter challenging moments in your careers and your lives… because, I have to tell you, life is not a series of grand slam home runs… there will be moments of great challenge for you.
So my advice is simple – go at life every day with passion and enthusiasm… and when challenges arrive, simply do not give up.
Ultimately, your success in your career, and in your life, will be significantly determined by how you handle the challenges, and what you accomplish despite the hurdles you will inevitably encounter.
And in the category of brutal truths, let me offer this – there used to be a television advertisement that asked, “Who says you can’t have it all?”… and then effectively said that you can have it all.  Well, that advertisement was wrong.
The real truth… is that you can’t have it all – at least not all at the same time.
In my experience, the really successful people are those who establish clear priorities in their lives… who understand that they can excel at only a handful of things at any one time… and then go after that chosen handful of priorities with single-minded passion and enthusiasm.
In my case – at this point in my life – my priorities are pretty simple… family and friends… General Motors… and several charitable and educational activities, including Duke University.  Unfortunately, that’s about all I can do, if I want to do things well.
Sure, there are other things I’d like to do, but they’ll have to wait.  I figure I can learn to play the piano and improve my golf game… or, if you ask anyone who’s ever golfed with me, begin my golf game… later on.
And, as you create your own priority lists as you go through life, I’d encourage you, among other things, to make sure that you keep “giving back” to your community high on your list.
You see, as tomorrow’s leaders, you have a tremendous opportunity to use your intellect, and passion, and creativity… not only to build great careers and personal lives for yourselves… but also to make a real difference in our society.
I encourage you never to underestimate the impact that you can have on others… to literally make the world a better place.  We do that by all getting involved, taking what may seem like small steps, small actions.  They all add up.
In my experience, being involved in youth math and science education, especially in Detroit schools, has been tremendously rewarding… and shows me that we can make a difference.
 
*   *   *   *   *   *   *
 
In closing, the last thing I want to mention on this special day is family and friends.  Keep them close.  I just can’t tell you how important they are… they make your life journey truly rewarding.  During the good times, you’ll have someone to celebrate with… just like today.  And during the tough times, you’ll have someone to turn to for advice, for comfort, and for love.
And when I speak of family, I’m referring, of course, to your immediate family… Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles.  Your namesakes.  But I’m also thinking about your Duke family… your friends, professors, coaches, and administrators from the past several years.
Many people can claim they went to college… but few can say they graduated from Duke University.  Be proud of your accomplishment here… not in an arrogant sense, but with the quiet self-confidence that comes from competing successfully with the very best.
Individually and collectively, you are Duke… we are Duke… and as Blue Devils, we share a unique opportunity, a unique responsibility to make our families and friends proud… to make the world a better place.
My sincere thanks for the opportunity to speak with you on this very special day… and most of all, congratulations to each and every one of you.
Good luck… and Godspeed!

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