The Best Advice. Nobody's Listening.

Last week I heard an interview where Seth Godin explained why he doesn't do commencement speeches.

 With very few exceptions (this is one of them), most students and parents aren't listening to the commencement speaker. Seth Godin says, "What they really want to say is what they should have been hearing three times a day in every one of their classes."

With very few exceptions (this is one of them), most students and parents aren't listening to the commencement speaker. Seth Godin says, "What they really want to say is what they should have been hearing three times a day in every one of their classes."

"A whole bunch of people who don't want to hear from you, waiting for you to be done."

The Interviewer: "So that's why you don't do them."

Godin: "Ding, ding, ding."

However (and here's the gold), Godin goes on to say, "The only [commencement speeches] you hear are the ones that are transcribed, written for people like us, not for the actual graduates. Because what we really want to tell them is what they should have heard three times a day in every one of their classes."

This is so true!

And it's so good! 

Think about this. You're a parent, teacher, coach, mentor, boss, big sister, some kind of influencer.

You're dropping your kid off at college and have one last moment to offer advice. It's the last day of class with your students. It's the moment before the big game. The day your little sister is starting middle school.

It's that moment where you have one more chance to say something someone really needs to hear. The best advice you've got to offer right before they launch. What you wish you had known when you faced the same crossroad.

And they're not listening! 

That's okay, because you are not at that moment right now.

So, right now, think about what your kid needs to hear at that future launching moment. Or your team. Or your little sister. Or your mentee. 

Know what it is? Think about it. Clarify it.  

Start saying it now. Don't wait. Say it often. Don't just say it, illustrate it with stories (stories you tell, stories others tell that you can point to and share). Point to it in everyday life. Live it. Now! 

Then, when the launch moment comes, and you're unable to resist giving last minute advice (even though you know they're not listening), it won't matter so much that they're not listening.

This weekend at Five Oaks we're looking at Moses' farewell address to the Israelites. His best advice before they launch into the Promised Land. He won't be going with them. After leading them (and their parents) for forty years, this is his last chance to tell them what they need to hear and remember. 

And here's what's really interesting. Everything he says is a repetition of what he's been saying all along. Not one new idea. They're not listening, and he knows it. But what he says has been "transcribed" for us. And it's amazing! 

Will I be listening? Will you be listening? 

Come. Bring a friend. Listen.