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职场 - 专栏

商界大佬给大学毕业生的话

Patricia Sellers 2012年06月12日

商业领袖们向来热衷于发表演讲,为年轻人的成功出谋划策。但是,在针对毕业生的演讲者中,很少有人像弗农•乔丹一样拥有如此丰富的故事和经历。

    拉扎德公司弗农•乔丹

    昨天,这位优秀的律师和公司董事在位于纽约市的菲尔德斯顿文化伦理学院(Ethical Culture Fieldston School)发表了演讲。作为其中一位学生家长,笔者的上司、《财富》杂志(Fortune)总编辑赛安迪有幸聆听了当天的演讲。另外,高盛投资公司(Goldman Sachs)CEO劳埃德・布兰克费恩在出庭为高盛前董事高磊杰的庭审作证期间特地请了一天假,赶去参加了自己女儿的毕业典礼。

    笔者认为,乔丹的演讲对成年人和孩子来说同样鼓舞人心。因此,笔者致电乔丹,询问是否可以与读者分享他的演讲。二十世纪五十年代在种族隔离盛行的亚特兰大长大成人的乔丹充分利用了每次机遇,曾经担任过诸如美国运通(American Express)、施乐(Xerox)和拉扎德公司(Lazard)等知名公司CEO的顾问。现年76岁的他是拉扎德公司的董事和资深董事总经理。今天上午,乔丹告诉笔者,他从不拒绝任何与他人分享经验的机会。下文是乔丹针对菲尔德斯顿毕业生发表演讲的内容节选:

    2012届的毕业生们,你们获得了无价的礼物,但是接受这份礼物的同时,你们需要承担重大的责任,这也正是我今天上午要演讲的内容。

    大家都知道,你们的高中生活和我的高中生活几乎没有相似之处。菲尔德斯顿学院位于世界上最大的城市之一,是美国最古老和最优秀的学校之一,而你们非常幸运地就读于此。我想告诉大家的是,当年我需要步行5英里,翻越山路才能到达学校,往返路途均是如此。我想在此和大家分享一下我的高中生活。

    1953年,我毕业于佐治亚州亚特兰大市的大卫・托比亚斯・霍华德高中(the David T. Howard high school)。当时,亚特兰大只有三所高中供黑人就读,而且其中一所还是职业学校。1926年之前,亚特兰大没有黑人可以就读的公立高中。

    说到“黑人可以就读的高中”,我要指出的当然是种族隔离。当时,在亚特兰大,不允许黑人与白人就读同一所学校,美国南方所有的城市也都是如此。

    The high-powered lawyer and corporate director yesterday addressed the grads of New York City's Ethical Culture Fieldston School. My boss, Fortune Managing Editor Andy Serwer, was among the proud parents there. So was Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who got a one-day reprieve from testifying in the trial of former Goldman director Rajat Gupta so he could see his daughter graduate.

    Jordan's talk, I heard, was inspiring to the grownups as well as the kids. So I called the man and asked if I could share what he said. Jordan, who grew up in segregated Atlanta during the 1950s, took advantage of every opportunity and built a career advising CEOs of such companies as American Express (AXP), Xerox (XRX), and Lazard (LAZ), where he is now, at 76, a director and also a senior managing director of Lazard Freres. Jordan told me this morning that he doesn't pass up opportunities to share what he's learned. So here's an excerpt of what the big man told the Fieldston grads:

    You, the class of 2012, have been given a gift of immeasurable value, but that gift comes with enormous responsibilities, and that's what I want to talk to you about this morning.

    You see, there is very little resemblance between your high school experience and mine. You have been privileged to attend one of the nation's oldest and finest schools, in one of the world's greatest cities. Now I'm not going to tell you that I had to walk barefoot five miles to school … uphill … both coming and going. But I do want to tell you a bit about my high school experience.

    I graduated in 1953 from the David T. Howard high school in Atlanta, Georgia. At that time, there were only three high schools in Atlanta for black people, and one was a vocational school. Atlanta did not have any public black high school until 1926.

    When I say the words "black high school," I'm speaking, of course, of segregation. At that time, black people could not attend school alongside white people in Atlanta--or anywhere in the old South.

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