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.