Dr. William S. Silver Gives Seniors Final Send-off at Commencement

SBE Dean Charges Graduates to "Lead Your Business of You"

In a few minutes, we will present all Masters and Baccalaureate candidates, and formally confer their degrees.  Before doing so, I would like to take a few minutes to share some final thoughts as you embark on the next stage of your journey. 

Recently, I just completed a journeysilver_commencement.jpg of
my own.  About the time you were deciding to pursue a degree in business, I began working on a book.  It is called, "Way of Z!ng:  A Guide to Aligning Work and Life."
My co-author Mark Nelson and I, have both spent time in the human capital business.  He as the head of a large talent management firm, and I here at SSU, working with the next generation of professionals and leaders.  As we interviewed, counseled and helped employ thousands of people over a twenty-year period, some enlightening concepts around the life of work, and the work of life, became abundantly evident.

Our observations have led me to share these hopes and dreams for all of you.

Imagine waking up every day feeling inspired, passionate and full of vitality, looking forward to the adventures the day will bring.
Imagine living a life where you are doing exactly what you are meant to do, pursuing all the things that truly matter in your work and in your life.
Would you like to lead this life? 

I know that you have the knowledge, the skills, and the capabilities to create this life for yourself.  In your time here at SSU, this is exactly what you have been preparing for

Now, you may have been under the impression that you were merely preparing to go work for a business.

It is true that you have been learning about being in business, but not just any business.  You have been preparing to work specifically for YOUR business - that is, the Business of You. 

The knowledge and skills you have learned here are not only valuable for a job you may hold.  They are especially important for the Business of You.   You have the capability to live your life with all the impact and effectiveness of a sustainable business organization.  You are your own business. 

As the leader of your business, you will serve many, but you always will work for yourself.  Not another person, company, institution or organization.  You work for you.  You may take on assignments working at a company.  You may provide your unique skills and talents in service to clients or customers. But when you are in the Business of You no specific job completely defines you.   You make your work/life; it does not make you.

You are the leader of you, the CEO of You, Inc.  With this leadership comes great authority and power, and also great responsibility.  Power and responsibility to manifest your values, ideas, feelings, and beliefs into relevance and purpose.  The things you value, the ideas you create, the feelings you have, and beliefs you hold dear, are unique and special. They are yours to lead, and to lead with.  This responsibility is neither a weight to be carried, nor a burden to bear.  It is the motivational element of vital energy; it is the power to actualize meaning.  The more responsibility you accept, the more meaning you can create.

You can make every moment matter.  When you are open-mindful and aware of all that is happening, you see what is necessary, doing what must be done.  You can touch the hearts and souls of others, aligning their passions, purposes, and relevance with your own, creating collective purpose, inspiring people to act on behalf of the greatest good.

As guides and facilitators of your educational experience here at SSU, we have had the privilege of assisting you on your learning venture.  But Sonoma State University isn't only the place you went to school.  It is a way to live your life.  Take SSU with you, as you journey through work and life, and keep your curiosity ignited. Feed your appetite for learning.  Our job as your professors may be over, but yours is just beginning. 

You have a unique purpose in this world.  A unique purpose of relevance and value, a distinctive and exceptional offering.  No other person has or will ever make your incomparable contribution to the world.

My charge to you as graduates of Sonoma State University, is to let your passion be your purpose.  Lead your Business of You, and go make a difference, in the places you work, and in the communities you live.  Make a difference in your life and the lives of others.  Go be you, because who you are is exactly what the world needs.


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