Just yesterday, General Motors announced that Mary Barra, executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, will succeed Dan Akerson as the Chief Executive Officer of General Motors.
Barra graduated from Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, where she gave a commencement speech this past June. As the Detroit Free Press points out, part of her speech seemed to foreshadow the role she will take on in January.
“Things will happen to you. Opportunities will arise that you simply cannot imagine today,” Barra told the graduates. “Be open to those opportunities. Embrace them. Enjoy them and at times you will have to overcome them.”
But that’s not the only piece of advice Barra had for the students, providing five solid points guidance:
- “No matter what you choose to do in life, pursue it with passion and hard work.” Barra suggests. “Remember, hard work beats talent if talent works hard.”
- “Address Challenges Head-On.” Barra said. “And address it right away. Don’t procrastinate, and don’t be content to point it out to others in hopes someone else will take care of it.”
- “Change the world” Barra said. She points out that this generation of graduates is the largest, richest and most tech-savvy generation in American history. She adds they are the most inclusive and optimistic as well. “You have the power to expose and correct injustice, re-think outdated assumptions, and to make a real difference.”
- Her fourth point, is the easiest to live by, and possibly the most important. “Give something back.” Suggested Barra “Find a Cause, join a charity, help a neighbor.”
- “Remember your friends, family and faith,” Barra concludes. “Faith doesn’t always make things easy, but it can make all things possible.”
Watch Barra’s full commencement speech in this video: