As we enter Memorial Day weekend, the season of celebrity commencement speeches is drawing to a close once again, and among the many loftier bits of rhetoric graduating seniors are bound to forget, our nation's elite speakers imparted some memorable personal lessons. Most people must achieve something notable before a college invites them to speak at Commencement, and so, often their speech briefly addresses their path to notoriety. But to defuse the humble brags, they inflect it with some humor and much self-deprecation. We'll call it the "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" section of the speech. Of course, it's unfair to say that any of these speakers preached about doing anything "without really trying." Most often they spoke of hard work, but the way they gloss through their life stories gives it this effect, and so we've poured through this season's crop of speakers and present to you their how-to guides on a variety of achievements.
How to Become Mayor Without Really Trying by Michael Bloomberg at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Do something you know nothing about: "I was an engineering major who then went to business school in hopes of someday running a factory, which I knew nothing about. I got the MBA – and then I took an entry level job in the financial services industry, which I knew nothing about."
- Get fired: "Fifteen years later, I got fired."
- Get wealthy: "... and I started a company in another industry I knew nothing about: information technology."
- Do something about which you know nothing: "Twenty years after that, I ran for mayor even though I knew nothing about politics."