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Romer: Advice to graduates

Congratulations to our high school and local college graduates. Your graduating class has been through a generational experience, and you’ll be stronger and more resilient for it. Below is my annual list of advice for our graduates. Parents, please add to my list below — your graduates covet your reflections.

One cannot thrive through times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity without consistent truth spoken into him/her.

Necessity, is indeed, the mother of invention. Overcoming toughness through creativity and grit is resiliency. Most have it, some won’t and don’t.



Surround yourself with inspiring beings.

Leadership means making decisions without knowing all the answers.



Life is so much sweeter when you are in the place to serve, rather than to be served. Coming alongside of those in crisis is a most honorable place to be.

You have the ability to be a source of stability, encouragement and hope.

All businesses are essential. Follow your passion.

Your privilege and position are needed to create more and better opportunity for those around you. Don’t take this for granted. You don’t need to march or chant in the streets to impact change, however, marching and chanting will impact your heart deeply.

Where there is a will, there is a way. Relationships are intentional. Technology will never replace face-to-face connections …. or handshakes, or hugs.

Pandemics force people into nature — this is very good. Walks, hikes, bike rides, ski days, neighbor check-ins … all very good.

Moving your body will change your mind, heart and has the potential to nourish your soul.

The simplest moments of life are the most meaningful. Time is truly your greatest, most precious asset.

Disruption is mostly good, if hard at the time. The wise will embrace it and put one foot in front of the other.

We’ve all been in the same storm, but we’re in different boats. Be empathetic and kind.

It’s OK to not always be OK.

Perseverance pays dividends. Keep at it.

Listen to understand, not respond.

Be as quick and open to receive critique as you are to give it.

Lead with empathy. Empathy is a superpower.

Live to build others up, not knock each other down with smart remarks. Be a pillar in your community and not a wrecking ball.

Take the risk you’ve been pondering.

Self-care is an essential part of leadership.

Find your voice and use it.

Lead with intention.

The best thing you can do to persevere during challenging times is to build relationship equity.

The way someone treats you is a reflection of how they feel about themselves.

Always extend “COVID” grace (even to the jerks).

Be an active listener.

Save money. Start now. Save even when you think you don’t have anything left. You’ll thank me later.

Change is inevitable; progress is optional.

Embrace your innate entrepreneurial spirit; take risks.

The “little things” matter.

Trust your leadership — your own and those whom you place around you.

Overcoming toughness through creativity and grit is resiliency. Most have it, but some don’t.

Respect other people’s opinions even when they differ from your own.

Leadership means making decisions and trudging ahead without knowing all the answers.

Don’t regret the past and don’t be anxious about the future. Appreciate what is happening right now.

Congratulations to our 2021 graduates. The next chapter of your story has yet to be written and I wish you the very best in your future endeavors.


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