By Maurie Cashman
My daughter is a Bulldog. Now before she gets me in her grasp, she is also sugar and spice and everything nice. But on Saturday she received her Masterâ€™s of Communications and Leadership from Drake University. She was one of six to receive the degree.
For any of you not familiar with Drake this is no small feat. Recent rankings highlight Drake as:
- One of the top five masterâ€™s institutions in the Midwest (U.S. News & World Report)
- Among the top 10 midsized universities nationally (Chronicle of Higher Education)
- A â€œBest College in the Midwestâ€ (Princeton Review).
This is no party school. People who earn a degree at Drake have demonstrated mastery over their subject and, and more importantly, the tenacity to run the gauntlet to fulfill Drakeâ€™s educational requirement.
Simply being smart may get you into Drake but it will not get you a degree there. You must exhibit the traits to its mascot, the Bulldog. You must learn tenacity, persistence, cooperativeness, and mental toughness.
Think about the contrast in the first and last sentences above. Would you rather have someone on your team that is smart enough to get through or would you rather have someone that is a bulldog. Having managed hundreds of people, I can tell you that if you give me someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to learn and accomplish a goal, that is the person I want on my team, over someone who is simply an intelligent person. Hard work, tenacity and an unwillingness to quit trumps all.
One of the problems that we have in our society is that we do not enforce a standard of excellence. We are more concerned about everyoneâ€™s self esteem than we are about whether they have earned that self-esteem. Parents come swooping in on teachers when their student is not doing well. Employees are quick to blame leadership when companies do not perform or they do not earn their bonus at year end, and managers (not leaders) are equally quick to lay the blame at the feet of the very employees they hired.
You donâ€™t get into Drake unless you have demonstrated merit, and you donâ€™t graduate unless you confirm that merit. Period.
If it sounds like I am bragging about my daughter â€“ so be it. Itâ€™s not bragging if you can back it up. My daughter is a BULLDOG! PERIOD!
“Our bravest and best lessons are not learned through success, but through misadventure.”
Amos Bronson Alcott