Bridging Leadership Lessons from the Workplace and Those Experiences Shaping Today's Youth and Tomorrow's Leaders
The other day I received a link to a YouTube video from a friend. He explained that he listened to the video weekly for grounding and personal reflection, and he felt moved to share it with me. This wasn’t your bloopers video; this was a powerful message of how an individual has the power to change the world. My youngest son and I listened to the video when we were in the car. My teenage son was not on his phone while it played. He wasn’t distracted by the surroundings but looked straight ahead, soaking in the words.
The video he shared had 17 million views with another link to the same video having over 34 million views! It was a video of a graduation speech where a former Navy Seal said that by making your bed, you can change the world. Admiral William McRaven is YouTube famous.
Admiral McRaven, a University of Texas graduate, had a distinguished career in the Navy. Starting as a Navy Seal, he rose to the rank of Commander and his leadership qualities led him down a path of increasingly impressive administrative leadership roles. He was invited back to the University of Texas to provide the 2014 commencement speech.
From the start, Admiral McRaven was able to build a connection with the audience which is one of the reasons his speech was so powerful. He connected first with them as a former student who could relate and then he acknowledged that as young graduates they share a desire and a fear of trying to change the world.
McRaven built upon the University of Texas slogan, What Starts Here Changes the World. He eloquently, but vividly shared experiences of how actions taken to change the lives of only 10 people in your lifetime can impact the entire planet. He shared examples of life and death decisions made by people he served with in the military. Lives were saved. It wasn’t just that person’s life, but it also impacted their children and their children’s children.
He was addressing a group of college students who are in their safe environment of school with very few knowing what the real world actually holds for them. But the lessons he shared captivated the audience. He was able to show that struggles are independent of demographics and that these lessons he was to share could be applied to all.
Below is the list of the 10 lessons that Admiral McRaven identified as key to changing the world. Yes, they are cryptic, so you will need to watch the video following them to hear in his own words what it really means.
If you want to change the world…
Connecting these 10 lessons to change the world back to his Navy Seal training drove home that leaders show up in the face of constant stress, struggle, and hardships. One of the takeaways I had after watching the video is how captivated the audience was to what he had to say. He spoke from a position that hardly any of those students could relate, let alone comprehend, but he was able to connect with them and share lessons in a manner that held their attention.
The wisdom to “start each day with a task completed” establishes a foundation of success on which to build. Admiral McRaven is truly a Person of Impact and follows the 3 Pillars of Impact: Courage to Challenge, Expect Excellence and Empower Others. He finished his speech by saying “If you do these things, the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.” Admiral McRaven was able to challenge 8000 University of Texas students in 2014 with his speech and that number through the power of social media has reached tens of millions of people today. That is how you can change the world Beyond Today.
Tom Brown - a husband and a father who is simply trying to make a difference. Using my experience as a Manufacturing Executive to connect leadership from the boardroom to the hardwood to help teams grow and develop to make a difference in the lives of others.