Graduates from all grade levels – elementary, middle, high, undergrad and graduate schools – are lining up to “walk” at their respective graduation ceremonies.
For the high school-and-beyond graduate events, the restless students and their attentive families will likely be subjected to untested advice from a special celebrity guest who cleared the ever-changing vetting criterion to be named the vaunted Commencement Speaker.
Imagine gathering a panel of successful leaders as a Commencement Collaborative as a gift to the outgoing student body. Their approach: offer their input on the most foundational aspect of the graduates’ future. What should they know about saying “yes” and “no?” to coming invitations?
Shonda Rhimes, media titan and all-around impressive human being, recently gave a TED Talk on how she said yes to everything for a year.
Billionaire and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett once said, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
Grant Cardone, sales pro who has built a $750 million real estate empire says, “Too many people need to be saying yes to things more than they do. The more you say yes, the more opportunities will come your way. And the more you fear saying yes to something, the more likely it will benefit you. So, say no to things that will take you away from your purpose, but say yes to things that scare you.”
Marla Beck, cofounder and CEO of Bluemercury, adds: “I usually have three priorities at a time and only say yes to things that fall within these priorities. That becomes tricky when you owe someone a favor and they’re asking you to do something that doesn’t fall within your priorities. You must earn the right to say no to almost everything.”
Casey Weade is a retirement planning expert; host of “Retire with Purpose” on television and radio. He says, “When you start out in business, you have to say yes to virtually everything just to find out what works for you. That’s how you determine where and how you can make the highest impact and provide the most value. Once you identify those activities, you can evaluate your opportunities and only accept those that amplify the results you’re looking for.”
Daniel Lesniak is the founder of Orange Line Living. His perspective: “I have noticed that successful people have the ability to focus on what makes the biggest difference. This requires saying no to a lot of things that might be urgent but not important. To be successful, focus on what is important, even if it isn’t urgent. The more you can do that and say no to everything else, the further you will move the difference-making activities and the more success you will have.”
Bob Shank, founder of The Master’s Program, says, “You need an opportunity filter: that will allow you to screen your options to find alignment with God’s Kingdom Purpose, your God-Honoring Passion and your God-Designed Potential. Only then can you find your unique Kingdom Calling.”
The world is waiting for you to come change it.
Go get ‘em, graduates,