I came back from a deployment to Afghanistan back in August and had a list of things to catch up on certainly in family and life and in business as I came back to my day job sat down with my assistant went through a list and kind of listening and half listening and one of the messages was and the Admiral called he would like you to and my immediate reaction was especially if you have to be back for about four days from overseas was just tell him yes and I’m so very very very pleased that it was to receive this honorary doctorate and to deliver this address because president captain calls for many reasons so in in due time sir in due time so what do we talk about here today we I’ve learned a lot from a lot of great people some I’ve worked with some I’ve met many have read about what I like to talk in the short time that I have is about the challenge of leadership these are really tough times you read the headlines today you read The Wall Street Journal in the last week or two and you see a headline like economic signals Peyton warriors of a double-dip Iran plots bombing on US soil these are tough unsettling times in this economic crisis this Great Recession whatever you call it in the second decade now of our nation’s Wars I don’t know if the war is in the economy and everything that we struggle with in our lives and our families are the cause or the effect i would argue today that a lot of the challenges we’ve been through are actually just the effect that the real cause in so many ways has been a crisis of leadership over the past decade at times it has been a failure of political leadership although we’ve seen some great leaders on both sides emerge and we hope and pray they continue to emerge I promise you this is not a political speech I will take the advice of a fella up to know in the making of extraordinary measures Harrison Ford we were talking one night late at dinner and he’s engaging and charismatic remarkable man we’re talking about politics actually which you could imagine sitting in a restaurant in Los Angeles talking to Harrison Ford and in the back of my mind your atomic government and politics and I’m thinking this is totally cool I’m having dinner with Harrison Ford but I will take his advice when he asked me were talking about Washington DC and maybe opportunities and he said well he said that’s okay John but you know what Washington really is no Harrison what is it he said well it’s really just Hollywood for ugly people true or not that’s one man’s perspective and i’ll leave my comments on politics at that but i’ll talk to you though not so much about the failures in leadership because we’d be here a really long time if we talked about political failures if we talked about business failures of leadership what i’d like to dwell on though are the successes the things and the traits that I’ve seen in some of the greatest leaders leaders who have inspired me my wife Eileen our family so i’ll leave you with some of these thoughts around some of the traits of great leaders take you back to nineteen seventy six and there are three examples i’ll give you really tough time the oil crisis another great recession the end of Vietnam I was only nine years old I don’t remember much of it but you can read and know that those were pretty tough times to three different organizations I’ll share with you the industry that I work in the one I know best is biotechnology we make medicines for people with all kinds of challenges health challenges diseases it’s a really young business it’s only about 35 years old and it came together back in nineteen seventy six when a young venture capitalists in California read a scientific article a 29 year old VC and he wanted to go visit that university professor out in California at UC San Francisco so Bob Swanson that venture capitalists walked into the office of a doctor her Boyer he talked knocked on literally knocked on his door and he said dr. I’m sorry for interrupting but I’ve read some of these papers and I’ve got this firm and we invest in startups and I just really excited and I actually think your technologies which were really the foundations of DNA research and human genetic engineering to make medicines and live proteins he said I think your research can help a lot of people and change the world and I want to find a

way to build a company around it and professor had never really thought about that and they got to talking and learning and the professor started writing on the board and they both kind of became intrigued by this idea and then like all good business plans they took it from an academic office across the street to a bar across from the University sketched out the ideas of how would you actually build a business around this human this technology of genetics and DNA and on that cocktail napkin in that bar after Swanson walked into boyers office became the idea for a company called Genentech the first biotechnology company ever four years later it went public three years later they really got their first medicine approved and in the decades that followed to today the company that now employs tens of thousands of people company that’s invented medicines like a bastion and Herceptin if you’ve had a loved one with breast cancer colon cancer their lives have probably been improved maybe even saved by the scientists at that company called Genentech so the first trade i’ll leave you with is one of vision to see things when others don’t see them to not sit down with the details of a business plan and bang out all the spreadsheets and powerpoints to think about what do you want to create what’s it going to look like 5 10 20 years from now how could it make a difference in people’s lives and work backwards from there nineteen ninety nine Bob’s once and died of brain cancer and her boy or was still on the board of Genentech and he was interviewed for a an article and he wrote these words he said when Swanson walked into my office he changed my life and I think on this convocation on this day you think about the importance of dreaming of vision you think is a faculty how many students have any people knock on your doors and how many times could that lead to something really big that you could not only change your life that person’s life but ultimately the lives of millions of other people the second thing i’ll leave you with was also in 1976 and it’s interesting George mentioned the Girl Scouts so here’s an organization back in 1976 that had been around for some time and you probably heard about a lot of great leaders my guess is few of you have heard of a woman named Frances hessel bine so back in 1976 Francis came in as the president and CEO of the Girl Scouts of America she started by looking at the mission which she wasn’t going to change the mission was to empower young women through community service an organization at the time that had six hundred thousand volunteers five million members even back then a third of a billion dollars in cookie sales so this was a big organization and she aimed to change it and she didn’t come in one day and announce with slides or ideas how things were going to change she built on the mission and shared an expanded vision and she did two things that were pretty extraordinary that one of them seems really small one of them was incredibly sensitive substantive the first small one was she was going to change the symbol now all people in Girl Scouts of America used to wear this pit this pin and it was a golden eagle beautiful but in 1976 Francis thought that well it should be different we need to expand the face and the membership of the Girl Scouts of America and she led to she introduced the new image which were the three faces of young women different ethnic backgrounds and was meant with a tirade of resistance people who didn’t want to change my god the eagle is the girls got you can’t change it and she said you know what wear whatever pin you want but you should wear this one too and I don’t know that there’s a lot of golden eagles left but the three faces and what that laid is a fun day for a future vision for the Girl Scouts was incredibly important the second thing Francis did was a actually even much much more controversial she changed the membership criteria two girls aged 5 and older and all the volunteers mostly mothers across America were outraged they didn’t want to become babysitters and she said look why don’t you decide with the proper ages you don’t have to make it five in that first year 78 of the 335 councils said ok we’ll take girls as young as five and then word got around that this is really renewing the organization it may actually lay a much better foundation and future the next year 225 Girl Scouts of America chapters began accepting young women down to the age of five change the very nature in fabric of that organization by 1980 all 335 chapters are accepting girls and the brownies and all those great groups were born and I think the lesson there is a really important lesson and leadership Francis stuck to the mission one that

have been around a long time but within through her team she made it better she built upon it and the lesson in Francis wrote this years later she said you have to give up power to get power the more power you give away the more you have and that’s how she changed the face of the Girl Scouts of America another great entrepreneur in 1976 had the idea that he could put a company together where they could change the face of computing personal computing and yes that college dropout Steve Jobs who went on to get his undergraduate degree had the idea that you can create something different and build a company called Apple in the face of what was then companies we probably don’t even remember today like digital equipment and Wang computers you don’t hear a lot about them these days thank God but in against that backdrop with no money at all a kid was adopted who not until decades later ever even met his biologic dad thought that he could change a really important part of the world and the thought that his vision was really important but he had this great sense of urgency so the guys at Genentech had vision to Frances LED change but what Steve did was do all of that do it repeatedly and do it with this remarkable sense of urgency I think that’s a great characteristic of leaders and it’s shocking to so many of us today to see whether it’s in business politics sometimes in academics the resistance to change the sense that one day at a time things will eventually get better they’re not unless some really brave people step up and you think about somebody who was the definition of the force for creative change and destruction somebody like a Steve Jobs who back in 1993 in another newspaper interview said this and I think it really reflects his sense of urgency he said being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful that’s what matters to me the other tree of great leaders that have seen and worked with over the years is that they are risk takers this is a really risk converse environment that we live in everybody spooked by 2008 and now nine ten eleven I know how tough it is for college graduates to pursue their dreams their careers the opportunities that many of us had you know I graduated got my business degree in the late 90s and went into consulting and then pharmaceuticals and start of that little biotech a lot of my classmates went into the first internet bubble some did remarkably well come not so much but they came back and they built a career and its really really hard today but what they did with so many people have done what the guys at Genentech what Francis hessel mom did Steve Jobs did and so many of the great leaders and innovators is they took risks they weren’t afraid one of the great quotes I think about just making a decision taking a risk and sticking to your principles goes back to nineteen ninety one as the leaders of the Western world were deciding what to do with Saddam Hussein and the invasion and all of that and you know George Bush the first very thoughtful pragmatic president debating weighing in Margaret Thatcher turned to him and said oh now now’s not the time to go wobbly on us George you think about a lesson in life they’re about taking risks that was a big risk with a lot of people’s lives on the line you’re going to make mistakes in fact you know a lot of convocation commencements because they’ve gotten up and say oh it’s okay to take risks and you may fail you know what you’re probably going to fail and maybe you should but that’s okay think about some of the great inventions of all time coca-cola post-it notes chocolate chip cookies in my business Rogaine penicillin and yes viagra were all mistakes penicillin came about because somebody noticed sitting on a Petry dish that this mold was growing and seemed to kill the bacteria on it when it was left out by mistake too long viagra was originally developed as a cardiovascular medicine that failed a spectacular large cardiovascular study however they noticed some what we call adverse events reported side effects you might call them very discerning ones and that was reported and somebody somewhere had the idea you know maybe we can make a medicine out of this and they did so it’s okay to take risks you have to some of the great leaders I’ve ever seen are also optimists they could be pragmatists realists yes face into challenges

acknowledge challenges but they are incredibly optimistic not going to tell you about anyone so famous well she may be famous and if you ever meet her please don’t tell her I said she wasn’t famous but my daughter Megan who’s now 14 years old who at your very thoughtful uh yeah introduction can would have been sitting had she was not in school today it would have been sitting in the front row rolling her eyes at me like any fourteen-year-old with words like miracle maker and stuff like that but megan is an incredible optimist and here’s a little kid and even with the medicine that we created it helped saved her and Patricks lives but it didn’t cure them he’d bought us a lot of time quality of life that now hopefully were coming up this year and next and other companies with next-generation therapies so she still struggles she’s still in a wheelchair still in a ventilator and we’ve developed this little routine over the years in the mornings when I’m getting ready and we’re rushing around and trying to get the kids set for school and Megan goes to public school every day now a freshman in high school and since she’s been about the third or fourth grade she’ll come rolling in and her motorized wheelchair and I’m shaven or clean it up and I’ll ask her a question probably every dad asks every one of their kids every day how are you doing today and she answers still today years later with the same one word answer awesome I’m awesome here’s a little kid and I bet you if you saw her than the debt walking rolling down the street and I gave you a sheet of paper and I asked you to write down a hundred thousand adjectives I think a few of us would choose the word awesome but that’s how she sees herself yes she has challenges which also has incredible gifts to share with the world and that sense of optimism you know it’s so easy for us as big people to feel sorry for ourselves and you know our jobs aren’t good or family life is not good or we don’t have enough money whatever it may be to think you know life ain’t fair and sometimes it’s not but that sense of optimism the sense of living for each day and that sense of grace and peace is something amazing that I’ve seen in my daughter another trade and great leaders that I’ve seen is sacrifice you have to work hard we all want to play hard and that’s healthy too but hard work is the price of success and you have to sacrifice you sacrifice in your academic studies faculty sacrifices in devoting a career to education remarkable challenge in many respects the most important job in society today your parents sacrifice to send you here as their parents and grandparents struggled and sacrificed great leaders realized the nature of that sacrifice and they don’t have to be famous people they don’t have to be successful entrepreneurs as I was leaving Afghanistan this summer we were at the Bagram Airfield big air force base were a lot of command centers and then a lot of people rotating in and out of the country and within this air terminal and you think it’s tough being stuck in a US air terminal waiting for a delayed flight try sitting in a Air Force facility where there’s no air conditioning there’s no food couple bottles of water and you’re sitting there any like you know I’ve been away for a while and I really want to get home and guide you and I’ve done this and done that and been here and been there I just want to get home and you’re waiting four or five six seven hours for delay Air Force transport and I looked up in and I saw this big poster and it just was the only decoration in this pretty stark facility and it had a silhouette of US troops and alls it said was I think very simply but very powerfully lead life worthy of their sacrifice you don’t have to serve in the military to sacrifice most don’t and that’s okay there’s so many different ways you can sacrifice for yourself for your country for your family but you think about the sacrifice that so many in the military you make some who spend so much of her time especially this last decade away from family many of whom was a horribly injured in war and thousands who have given the ultimate sacrifice it is just that it is a sacrifice and all great leaders realize it’s an important part of who they are and what they do however they sacrifice and this last trade i’ll leave you with this courage seems simple enough to say that you’ve got to lead from the front you’ve got to be courageous one of the great leaders of all time you know the faculty obviously is incredibly well read and i’m sure many of the students have spent an awful lot of time in the library reading I’d ask you to read one document if you can read martin luther king’s letters from a birmingham city jail it is a remarkable piece of writing it’s

incredibly powerful for its passion but also for its calmness and its deep sense of urgency and its perspective and I’ll just read these words that dr. King rode he said we will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation because the goal of america is freedom abused and scorned though we may be our destiny is tied up with the destiny of America incredibly powerful words that’s courage but it’s something more you could take every adjective you can think of when you think about leadership and roll it into that document roll it into those words and he knew that it however you define it was bigger than him he knew that he was literally living in writing history he knew that his time in this earth may be very very short indeed but he was determined to leave a legacy greater than himself that rising to the challenge of leadership dr. King’s wanted probably was very very small number of people who have literally changed the world I guess this is where I’m supposed to stand here and tell you now go out as educators faculty administration students and change the world you probably can’t and maybe you probably shouldn’t you think about what my wife Eileen and I and our family and so many wonderful friends and strangers who came to help people with this little rare disease called pompe disease did a lot of hard work a lot of luck and a lot of passion we didn’t set out to change the world extraordinary measures ends with my drive in Megan away in a convertible where she’s finally strong enough after the medicine to start sitting up again which was incredibly exciting and very true in life and in the movie ends with that beautiful Eric Clapton song change the world we didn’t change the world we didn’t set out to but we set out to do is to change a tiny little piece of the world that for us meant all the world and maybe that’s what your greatest contribution can be pick your little piece of the world build a great and lasting vision lead through change be urgent about it take smart risks be an optimist always sacrifice be courageous know that now is not the time to go wobbly on us and thank you thank you for this great honor and may the good Lord take a liking to you but not too soon thank you you