We’ve just concluded this year’s commencement season watching and celebrating our daughter
Isley’s commencement from Exeter University a week ago. Just a couple of days ago, I capped off her graduation driving down to Exeter to pick up the last of stuff for storage in our garage until she settles into her own place. Like so many of her 2009 vintage, she is struggling to make that step into the labour force and finding the whole transition of constant set-backs and dead-ends especially frustrating after three wonderful years of development, growth, support and ambition.

Back in November, I naturally posted about Obama’s electionunder the Leadership and Management side of this blog, but he has proven to be just as prescient on the subject of turning adversity to advantage. Thanks to Amber for her poston Obama’s perspectives on failure featuring the characteristically eloquent quote from Obama’s commencement address at the University of Southern New Hampshire. Very apropos words to Isley and her classmates in facing similar challenges…

“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”

Congratulations, commiserations and courage to the Class of 2009.