Words of Wisdom for New Grads
In Lessons Learned on Bishop Street, his follow-up to the best-selling Lessons Learned on the Corner in Kalihi, Wes Park offers a treasury of simple lessons—kernels of wisdom as applicable to the boardroom as to everyday life.
A product of a rough-and-tumble Kalihi neighborhood, Park battled polio as a child, and went on to helm some of the most prestigious companies in Hawai‘i. His upbringing—and the success he’s had—makes him a firm believer in the “local values” that served as his guideposts in life. The Introduction to Lessons Learned on Bishop Street excerpts from a speech he presented to the Public Schools Foundation in 2005:
Some Lessons Learned in Public School Classrooms
We learned to READ.
We learned not to believe everything we read.
We learned to compare what were were reading to other things we read, saw or heard.
We learned to let fiction take us to faraway places and faraway times and to multiply our own experience by facing make-believe situations.
We learned to read with our minds as well as with our eyes.
When writing, we were taught to “express,” not to “impress.”
He goes on to say,
In Hawai‘i, the work culture is constantly evolving to embrace new people and new ideas. The values and codes of behavior that we learned in school have a lasting effect on that culture, as these lessons are constantly applied in our professional lives. Our challenge is to bring in new ideas the improve our work environment, without overpowering our time-honored basic local values.
Wes’ words of wisdom are gems of common sense…delivered with an impish humor. His dedication sums up his style:
As a youngster I admired the tough “Bulls of Bethel Street.” As a working man I admire the brilliant “Bulls of Bishop Street”: John Bellinger, Herbert Cornuelle, Robert Pfeiffer, Masyuki Tokioka, Sam Cooke, Walter Dods, Duane Kurisu and Duncan MacNaughton. Sometimes I wish I was smart like them instead of better looking.
Here we offer 10 tidbits of advice from Lessons Learned on Bishop Street for the newest crop of graduates to keep in mind as they find their way in the world:
(Click on an individual quote image to enlarge.)