Wendy Lea is a highly respected business leader (board leader, CEO, entrepreneur) based in Boulder, Colorado. In 2017 she was CEO of Cintrifuse in Cincinnati and the commencement speaker at Mount St. Joseph University. Lea’s career path as an entrepreneur is stellar and inspiring. She was exceptionally well qualified to share her wisdom with our graduates. Here are a few gems from my notes of her speech.
- “Business is an art.”
- “Accept responsibility for your whole self.”
- “Stay in a beginner’s mind.”
- “Define your North Star.” Know what is pulling you. This will help you focus.
- “Know what you stand for.” Emerge yourself in learning new skills, developing new points of view, and build the platform that is you.
- “Embrace relationships.”
- “Nothing is more magical than sharing.”
- “Respect impermanence.”
- “Keep your windows open and the wind in your face.”
- “Expose yourself to big, hairy problems.”
- “All jobs are temporary.”
1. Wendy Lea spoke from an outstanding career of creating and building. Each of the gems listed here could be a key theme for a speech or book chapter. I found each point right on the mark. This was very sound advice for starting a career and addressing life. Probably the best commencement address I have heard in my academic career.
2. I loved the phrase “Nothing is more magical than sharing.” Through our words and deeds we carry each other, support each other, and open doors.
3. As I reflected on Lea’s words, I was moved to verse:
Is Your Window Open?
Is your window open?
Is the wind in your face?
‘Cause no job’s permanent –
You’ll be leaving this place.
It’s magical to share.
Find big hairy problems
That seem impossible to bear.
Keep a beginner’s mind.
Find your North Star.
Know your whole self
And you’ll go far.
Adapted from Wendy Lea’s Commencement Address, Mount St. Joseph University, May 13, 2017.
Image by Dina Dee.
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© John Ballard, PhD, 2019. All rights reserved. Modified from earlier blog, May 2017.
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