Former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner offered sound advice to graduates of the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond in the form of a commencement speech over the weekend. According to The Detroit News, the ousted executive told students to remember their values first and foremost, and that they should always protect their personal integrity above all else. In addition, Wagoner underscored the importance of humility as well, saying that while individuals can't control what life throws at them, they can determine how they react to situations both positive and negative.

It's difficult not to read into the executive's statements. Wagoner was asked to leave GM by the Obama Administration during the GM bailout but has gone on to chair the Duke Board of Trustees and serve on multiple corporate boards.

Wagoner also recounted how his time with GM shaped the course of his life and that of his family's life as a cautionary tale against over planning. Wagoner's career saw him travel from New York City to Brazil and back to the states during his time with GM. Finally, the executive urged VCU students to never be satisfied with the status quo, and to always push to find ways for their ideas to take root.


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  • 50 Comments
      Jim Davis
      • 3 Years Ago
      Would you buy a used car from this guy?
        lawings4
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim Davis
        I wouldn't buy a US union made car any way, i'm already paying for a US,union bail out and can't even get a discount if I try.
          ccalde1961
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lawings4
          People that think like you is the reason our economy is in the tank and China's is booming. You would cry a different tune if you ever had to work on an assembly line.
          Kimithechamp
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lawings4
          ccalde1961, that's the beauty of America, no one HAS to work on a line. You don't like your job, go get a different one. Purchasing automobiles from the big three (at least what used to be the big three) just to support a terrible business model is the reason this economy is in the tank. Choosing some people to support while allowing others to fail is the reason this economy is in the tank. Asking people to get themselves into a house they can't afford and then subsidizing the loan they have no way of repaying is the reason this economy is in the tank. Compulsory union-ship hasn't helped either. There used to be a time when the union bosses recognized the fact that forcing union membership was the same as not allowing it in the first place. We don't live in that time anymore.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Johnny
      • 3 Years Ago
      Seriously? Who invited this guy? What, was Blago already booked or something?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        XJ Yamaha
        • 3 Years Ago
        Your plan would do wonders to this vibrant economy. Go back to your corner and continue mumbling your simple-minded, media-induced ramblings. You sir, are a moron.
          XJ Yamaha
          • 3 Years Ago
          @XJ Yamaha
          And whoever downgrades this comment is just as idiotic as Captain Obvious.
        ufgrat
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm amazed you can make such a post-- Ordinarily, people with your grasp on reality have jackets with extra long sleeves, to prevent them from harming themselves, or others. Still, it needs to be considered that all three companies are now making profits, and GM and Chrysler will almost certainly repay the vast majority of their borrowed money (we expected to lose $40 billion, only lost $14 billion or less, and now we have a competitive auto industry). Oh, and bailing out the individuals who lost their jobs, and the loss in tax revenue, probably would have cost around $28 billion. In short, bailing out the auto industry saved the taxpayers money in the long run. So essentially, what you're saying is that you'd like a few million Americans to lose their jobs-- Personally, I find that offensive, hypocritical, and un-American. Yes, GM has built crap cars over the years-- as has Ford, and Chrysler, and practically every car company on the planet. They tend not to sell well to discriminating buyers, which might have had something to do with Ford, GM and Chrysler's massive debt problems.
        SPG1
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hey dumbass if the big three shuts it doors the American economy would go into a MAJOR depression. go back to your hole and troll elsewhere. thank god im in a field of work that is somewhat recession proof (computer engineer)
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SPG1
          [blocked]
          SPG1
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SPG1
          I see your point....but it Has nothin to do with that. The stock market would crash immediately if the big three went bust
        SPG1
        • 3 Years Ago
        you sir are a major jackass
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          tipdrip215
          • 3 Years Ago
          Make that 3 times. He was Brian before Fried Rice and Columbianricer.
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          Bryce
          • 3 Years Ago
          The GMAT/GRE? I'm going to assume you wouldn't have done so hot on either based on the comma after "School" instead of a period.
        Denis
        • 3 Years Ago
        You're kind of a nutcase, aren't you? Do you have any idea what you are talking about? GM, with a couple of exceptions, built the finest mass produced cars in the world.
        ShutoSteve
        • 3 Years Ago
        Oh my god I wish you would have your hands and mouth tied up with duct tape. Not to torture you, just simply so that you don't torture others with your B.S.
      Dave
      • 3 Years Ago
      Any current / emerging GM technology including Voltec, fuel cells, e-assist, 6 speed transmissions, two-mode hybrids, etc. was developed while Wagoner was at or near the top of GM.
      Tracy Herrera Lee
      • 3 Years Ago
      Obama gets rid of him and puts his puppet in there. The new CEO thinks gas prices are fine and that people should buy the $45,000 Chevy Volt that goes a hundred miles on a charge. (whooopeee) I hope Obama and the current idiot of a CEO at GM does'nt mess with their best cars like the Corvette, Camaro, Tahoe and the Silverado pickup truck. All so called gas guzzlers, you know the ones real Americans want! RIP Pontiac Motors Obama did not like you either, he never owned a Firebird, Trans Am or a GTO over in Indonesia.
      frazi89
      • 3 Years Ago
      I see that all libs want to blame Wagoner. I worked for GM! The Unions for years asked for more and more and more and more! I fault GM for always giving in to them. Those of us who were not union members lost all our benefits and part of our pensions. Unions lost nothing! Seem fair to you? GM was not able to compete with foreign cars because of union wages and benefits which placed them far more expensive than the foreign models. Contrary to the opinion of some of you, GM produced some excellent cars. You will recall, however, that when the SUV and Trk was so popular, gas became very expensive and Obama talked them down. Many of you in NY and CA may still not know that most Americans prefer the truck and SUV. We don't all have access to mass transit!
      JIMMY
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is the executive that said GM bankruptsy was not an option...I guess he learned what humility is all about.
      rkeeeballs
      • 3 Years Ago
      This guy represented a lot that was wrong with GM....his $alary blinded him !...and they dumped him !
      SPG1
      • 3 Years Ago
      why did Lutz have to retire?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SPG1
        [blocked]
      Rampant
      • 3 Years Ago
      Did you HAVE to use a pic that makes him look like a complete sourpuss?
      catsfats
      • 3 Years Ago
      ONE MORE mitt all jerks
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