25 years ago, John Gardner gave a speech to McKinsey in Phoenix, AZ, on personal renewal. It is quite a lengthy read – but worth all its 4,000+ words. He writes about the importance of meaning and personal growth that is valid to this day. A couple of my favorite quotes:
One of your most fundamental tasks is the renewal of the organizations you serve, and that usually includes persuading the top officers to accomplish a certain amount of self-renewal.
There’s a myth that learning is for young people. But as the proverb says, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” The middle years are great, great learning years. Even the years past the middle years. I took on a new job after my 77th birthday — and I’m still learning.
But we have to bet on people — and I place my bets more often on high motivation than on any other quality except judgment.
The vitalizing thing is to be interested. Keep a sense of curiosity. Discover new things. Care. Risk failure. Reach out.
Nothing is ever finally safe. Every important battle is fought and re-fought. We need to develop a resilient, indomitable morale that enables us to face those realities and still strive with every ounce of energy to prevail.
Link to article: John Gardner’s writings – Personal renewal