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Thoughts From Graduation Day

Thoughts From Graduation Day

Enjoying a coffee in the sunshine on Newcastle’s quayside I am struck by the joy of a city full of monuments to success both old and new. The Millennium Bridge, the Baltic Flour Mills now a centre for Contemporary Art, just two in immediate view. This quayside is nothing like the place I knew as a student at Newcastle Polytechnic, some 30 years ago.

But this is what cities, like businesses need to do to adapt to rapid changes in the economy, what’s important though as we hurtle rapidly forward is hang on to the successes of the past and learn from them, celebrate them.

This reflection takes place the day after Daughter no 2’s graduation from Northumbria University, and what a great day that was full of celebration, pomp, ceremony and trumpeting, at times literally, of my daughter’s and her peer’s successes.

However the lasting thought from the day for me is from the words of the Chancellor of the University, Lord Stevens. Heralding the graduate’s success and urging them to take pride in their achievements he gave one other significant piece of advice, my apologies for paraphrasing but the maxim remains true.

“Go into the world with pride but make sure that every day you do something for somebody else.”

Now, on a day, which could slip into self-congratulation and possible selfishness of objective and purpose, what a wonderful reminder of our duty to our fellow humans.

Perhaps easy to apply on a personal level but are we doing this in our business lives?

In the constant drive for profit based success could we do more to help and support our peers and colleagues and would this then make the rapid changes, which need to be made to keep up with our rapidly changing environment easier to achieve?

I don’t know the answer to this but I’m sure we would all be happier and emotionally richer if we too follow this maxim.