Leslie Ungar, The Inner Brilliance of Electric Impulse, Inc.

A Speech to Young People

Leslie’s Articles

How to Go Forth and Conquer in a Post Bail Out World

As students start back to school, and young people go into the workplace, they are entering a post bail out world. For some students, who set their sights on Wall Street, literally or figuratively, you may feel as though curfew came just as you were getting ready to join the party.

The following are lessons I have observed and learned along the way.  Who we are and how we do things is more important than what we do. The most important aspect in your first position and in any position is:  WHO YOU BECOME while you are on your professional journey.

A positive attitude is critical for this journey.and it is a choice we make, in every economic climate. Students, a great contributor will perform great in any environment. People with good capabilities can be seduced up or seduced down into the current economic situation. But not the great ones.

Adversity brings forth a special opportunity to display and build upon your character; it also provides the opportunity to build strength in teams and the relationships they foster.

You need to celebrate your gifts, and stop diminishing yourself because someone may be above you on the organizational chart. You can’t live social responsibility and have a major disconnect. We have learned that lesson.

For the leaders that really connect with the people, the talk and walk is consistent. In the process of getting things done for others, they do well. They don’t give to receive. Here’s the key, for those that do give, they do receive much.

You have choices. You may bemoan the fact that you may not start at the salary that you would have started at one, two or three years ago.

You may bemoan the fact that you may have one or two job options instead of five or six. You may bemoan that you may start at a job or in an industry that was not your first choice.

Regarding the economic climate-there will always be good times and not so good. That will always be the case. You happen to be ready to go out into the business world at a time that is not so good.

You may think, there may not be room for you. You are a college grad. That in itself puts you further ahead. In difficult times, as long as you continue to remember it is about building your bank of experiences. When things are not so good, things are going to improve. You will learn from difficult times even more than from good times.

It is of interest to note that applications to business schools rose this year amid the downturn, as they have in other periods of uncertainty. Bad times don’t stay forever. Through good times and bad, it’s not the hand we are dealt, it’s how you deal with the hand.

If you remember nothing else, remember this: It’s not what you do, It’s how you do it and who you become in the process.

You can make any place you work a much better place because you graced them with your presence. If you are not passionate about the vehicle, what you sell, or what industry you find yourself in, be passionate about the relationships and experience the vehicle gives you.

Forming habits really drives the beginning of your career. The beginning is just that, the beginning. How can you be different? It’s not about where you are today, It’s about what you are learning today: who you are around today, how they will help you move forward. Be a real difference maker.

It should not be, how much does a job offer? It should bewhom would I get to work with?

We are not our money, our title, our positions-instead, we are just who we are-we are each unique and special. Be careful about wanting money. If you are chasing after money rather than just performing the best you can perform: you are making a real mistake.

You have not lost a fortune, because you did not have a fortune in this recent downturn. You have nothing to fear, opportunity is everywhere you look. If it takes a little longer, so what. There is nothing wrong with making a lot of money. It can be a scorecard, but there will always be someone who has more than you have.

A poll by the Rockefeller Foundation, found Americans ages 18-29 were most likely to say that if they work hard and play by the rules, they will be able to achieve the American dream.

And you will.

And we need you to do just that. And America needs you to be responsible along the way: to talk the talk and walk the walk, to hold yourself accountable, to serve for the sake of serving, to look in the mirror and see clearly who you become in the process.

Your educational journey has taken you from innocence to awareness to knowing, and then perhaps, to wisdom. The real test will be in what you remember and implement on your road to social responsibility, because we have given you a post-bailout world.

You are makers of the future. Privileged, but heavily burdened. Do not forget, although you are burdened, you are HEAVILY privileged.