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Share: A boss's advice to young grads  

2013-01-18 22:16:48|  分类: Reading notes |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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   作者: Patricia Sellers
   时间: 2012年06月12日    来源: 财富中文网

 正直感、己所不欲,勿施于人、让世界变得更美好。这三条基本信条记起来容易,但做起来难。

 但是,你们有责任遵守并实践这些信条。

 毕业生们,勇敢地前进吧。

Integrity, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, help make the world a better place. Three fundamentals of life--easy to remember, difficult to do.

Yet this is your charge to keep, your calling to fulfill.

Walk with courage.


Business bigwigs across the land have been taking to podiums and advising young people how to succeed. Few graduation speakers have life stories and lessons as rich as Vernon Jordan does.

The high-powered lawyer and corporate director yesterday addressed the grads of New York City's Ethical Culture Fieldston School. My boss, Fortune Managing Editor Andy Serwer, was among the proud parents there. So was Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who got a one-day reprieve from testifying in the trial of former Goldman director Rajat Gupta so he could see his daughter graduate.

Jordan's talk, I heard, was inspiring to the grownups as well as the kids. So I called the man and asked if I could share what he said. Jordan, who grew up in segregated Atlanta during the 1950s, took advantage of every opportunity and built a career advising CEOs of such companies as American Express (AXP), Xerox (XRX), and Lazard (LAZ), where he is now, at 76, a director and also a senior managing director of Lazard Freres. Jordan told me this morning that he doesn't pass up opportunities to share what he's learned. So here's an excerpt of what the big man told the Fieldston grads:

You, the class of 2012, have been given a gift of immeasurable value, but that gift comes with enormous responsibilities, and that's what I want to talk to you about this morning.

You see, there is very little resemblance between your high school experience and mine. You have been privileged to attend one of the nation's oldest and finest schools, in one of the world's greatest cities. Now I'm not going to tell you that I had to walk barefoot five miles to school … uphill … both coming and going. But I do want to tell you a bit about my high school experience.

I graduated in 1953 from the David T. Howard high school in Atlanta, Georgia. At that time, there were only three high schools in Atlanta for black people, and one was a vocational school. Atlanta did not have any public black high school until 1926.

When I say the words "black high school," I'm speaking, of course, of segregation. At that time, black people could not attend school alongside white people in Atlanta--or anywhere in the old South.

Atlanta was a thoroughly segregated city. Not just schools, but drinking fountains, libraries, restrooms, public transportation--even parks. Black people were second-class citizens, denied rights, opportunities, and respect.

The year I graduated, the city's school system spent twice as much on white students as on black students: $158 per white student compared to $74 per black student.

My high school did not have an auditorium or a gymnasium until I was in the tenth grade. The chemistry lab had one Bunsen burner. My eleventh grade geometry textbook in 1951 was a tattered cast-off used by white students in 1935.

Despite those conditions, we had a remarkable principal who instructed and inspired us. We had dedicated teachers who educated and encouraged us. We had a vigilant PTA, of which my mother was president.

And despite the disparities, we had some significant success stories. Among our proud alumni are Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.;Herman J. Russell, who became a multimillion-dollar businessman; Walt Frazier, who played for the New York Knicks, and Maynard Jackson, twice the mayor of Atlanta.

But they were the exceptions.  As a group, we were expected to fail in life. Society's low expectations were reinforced by the Jim Crow system designed to keep us down and out. But my classmates and I overcame these burdens.

You bear a different burden: the burden of high expectations. Graduating from Fieldston in 2012, you are expected to succeed. You are expected to become leaders in our society.

The burden of responsibility...of opportunity...of leadership...of service. You might rightly wonder to yourself: How can I possibly live up to these expectations?

I would suggest you take three fundamentals to pack in your suitcase for life. They will help light your path as you proceed through life's twisted corners and broken fields, its inevitable triumphs and defeats.

The first fundamental is to keep your integrity. I am talking about the inner conviction to think right, act right and do right. Integrity is the only thing in life you own unequivocally--unfettered and unmortgaged. You can lose your money. You can be pink-slipped from your job. Your inheritance can be spent down to zero. Your business can go bankrupt. Your homes and automobiles can be repossessed. But no one can take away your integrity.

Samuel Johnson wrote: "Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."

The second fundamental, I first learned in elementary school. It was emblazoned on the rulers given to us by the Coca-Cola Company (KO). "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." A plain, simple, straightforward injunction for treating people right. Take that simple saying with you, and i promise it will see you through life's most difficult ethical choices.

Finally, the third fundamental is whatever you do, wherever you go, reach out and help those who need help. Reach down and pull somebody up. Simply put -- make the world a better place.

Integrity, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, help make the world a better place. Three fundamentals of life--easy to remember, difficult to do.

Yet this is your charge to keep, your calling to fulfill.

Walk with courage.

And as you excel, prosper and serve, take with you these words of Herman Melville:

We cannot live for ourselves alone
Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads
And along these sympathetic fibers
Our actions run as causes and return to us as results.

Graduates, this day is both the sunset of your Fieldston career...and the sunrise of the rest of your lives.


     2012届的毕业生们,你们获得了无价的礼物,但是接受这份礼物的同时,你们需要承担重大的责任,这也正是我今天上午要演讲的内容。

    大家都知道,你们的高中生活和我的高中生活几乎没有相似之处。菲尔德斯顿学院位于世界上最大的城市之一,是美国最古老和最优秀的学校之一,而你们非常幸运地就读于此。我想告诉大家的是,当年我需要步行5英里,翻越山路才能到达学校,往返路途均是如此。我想在此和大家分享一下我的高中生活。

    1953年,我毕业于佐治亚州亚特兰大市的大卫?托比亚斯?霍华德高中(the David T. Howard high school)。当时,亚特兰大只有三所高中供黑人就读,而且其中一所还是职业学校。1926年之前,亚特兰大没有黑人可以就读的公立高中。

    说到“黑人可以就读的高中”,我要指出的当然是种族隔离。当时,在亚特兰大,不允许黑人与白人就读同一所学校,美国南方所有的城市也都是如此。

    亚特兰大是一个种族隔离盛行的城市。除学校外,设于公共场所的自动饮水器、图书馆、卫生间和公共交通——甚至是公园,也不对黑人开放。黑人属于二等公民,被剥夺了应有的权利、机遇和尊重。

    我毕业那年,亚特兰大的学校系统对白人学生的支出是对黑人学生支出的两倍:每名白人学生支出为158美元,而每名黑人学生支出只有74美元。

    十年级之前,我就读的高中根本没有礼堂或体育馆。化学实验室只有一盏本生灯。1951年我上十五年级时,我使用的几何课本是1935年白人学生用过后扔掉的旧书,破烂不堪。

    尽管如此,我们有一位非常了不起的校长,不断指引和激励着我们。我们的老师尽心尽职,在向我们传授知识的同时,也给我们鼓励。学校接受家庭教师协会(PTA)的严格监管,我的母亲则担任着PTA的主席。

    虽然存在着诸多不平等现象,但我们当中还是涌现出了很多成功人士。令我们骄傲和自豪的校友包括黑人运动领袖马丁?路德?金、身价数百万美元的企业家赫尔曼?J?罗素、纽约尼克斯队(New York Knicks)队员沃尔特?弗雷泽、以及两次担任亚特兰大市长的梅那德?杰克逊。

    但是,他们都属于特例。黑人被看作是一个命运失败的群体。黑人种族蔑视制度(Jim Crow system)让我们处于贫困潦倒的境地,也使社会对我们的期望值再次降低。但是,我和我的同学们克服了这些障碍。

    而你们需要面临不同的问题:高期望值。你们2012年从菲尔德斯顿毕业时,社会期望你们走向成功,成为社会的领袖。

    另外,你们还要面临着其他的问题,包括责任、机遇、领导力和服务。你们或许会问自己:我该怎么做才能不辜负这些期望呢?

    你们整装待发之前,我想给你们提出三点基本建议。希望我的建议能照亮你们前进的道路,帮助你们顺利度过生命中将会遭遇的困境,面对人生的成败得失。

    首先,要始终保持诚信。它是指内心始终坚持正确的思想和行动。诚信是人的生命中唯一能够无可争议、完全拥有的东西,它无拘无束,永远不会被抵押。我们可以损失金钱,被解雇;遗产可以挥霍殆尽;企业可以破产;家庭和汽车可以被收回。但是,任何人都无法夺走一个人的诚信。

    塞缪尔?约翰逊曾经写道:“没有知识的诚信软弱无用,缺乏诚信的知识则危险而可怕。”

    第二点是我在小学时学到的。“己所不欲,勿施于人”——这也是印在可口可乐公司(Coca-Cola Company)送给我们的尺子上的一句标语。这句朴实、简单和明了的忠告说尽了待人接物之道。请牢记这句简单的话语,我保证,它会帮你做出生命中最艰难的伦理选择。

    最后,无论做什么事,去什么地方,都要尽力帮助需要帮助的人。弯下腰,把需要帮助的人扶起来。简而言之,用我们的行动让世界变得更美好。

    正直感、己所不欲,勿施于人、让世界变得更美好。这三条基本信条记起来容易,但做起来难。

    但是,你们有责任遵守并实践这些信条。

    毕业生们,勇敢地前进吧。


    在你们成就卓越、不断发展和服务于社会的同时,请记住赫尔曼·麦尔维尔以下这段话:

    人活着不能只为了自己

    千万条隐形的丝线让我们的生命彼此相连

    沿着这些千丝万缕的联系

    我们的行为之“因”同时也作为“果”反作用于我们自身。


    各位毕业生们,今天是你们在菲尔德斯顿文化伦理学院学习生涯的重点,但同时,今天也是各位全新人生的起点。



    译者:乔树静/汪皓


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