That would be Carol Bartz (it's getting hard to keep track), who was the keynote speaker at the University of Wisconsin. During her stormy tenure at Yahoo, Bartz was not afraid to speak her mind and she didn't disappoint during Sunday's graduation ceremony. Her basic message: Take risks, accept failures, ignore doom and gloom forecasts, and have a life away from the job. A few snippets (via Business Insider):
When you do go out and get that job, sit in the front row. I mean seriously. You know who sits in the front row in companies I run? The ones that get the big raises. The ones that are known by management and the ones that are doers.
Listening is the most important skill you will have. People want to be heard - people you work with, people you live with, people that work for you. They want to be heard. Learn how to really listen. Shut the mouth and listen. Sometimes I worry that this generation is always on transmit and never on receive.
My third piece is to accept failure and learn from it. Failure is so important to understand. Not everybody in life knows how to take advantage offailure. Everybody has failures of many kinds, but how do you take advantage of failure? I think the greatest strength that we have in the U.S. and especially in Silicon Valley is that we actually view failure as a sign of experience. We view failure as a way of life and those people are willing to take on risks to the road to innovation.
Discover interests outside your work. I was rarely bored because i knew I could come home after a hard day to my family, my garden, my books. Do something else. It is not just a work life. It is not just sports. Round yourself out. You have a long time to live and you want to be an interesting person. Always, with all of these plans i talked about, just be open for new things.