Fiorina's Commencement Address: Never sell your soul
给毕业生的人生忠告:千万不要贩卖你的灵魂
    
  5月7日,惠普公司前CEO卡莉-费奥瑞娜(Carly Fiorina)在美国北卡罗来纳州农业技术州立大学毕业典礼上发表演讲。这是卡莉被惠普董事会“驱逐”后,首次在公开场合露面。  在讲演中,卡莉说,回想起在惠普的5年,自己没有丝毫的后悔,她现在的心境非常“宁静安稳”。50岁的卡莉幽默的表示,她现在开始重新准备简历,等待面试的机会。  在这场题为“你的天分是上帝馈赠的,你的成就是对上帝的回报”的讲演中,卡莉同时也谆谆告诫即将走入社会的毕业生,“不要放弃你的内在本性,千万不要贩卖你的灵魂,因为没有人能够支付得起”。 以下为卡莉讲演全文。(Here's what she told the graduates and their guests at the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University on May 7)

Thank you, Chancellor, and good morning. I'd like to join Chancellor Renick in welcoming all of you to the 114th commencement exercises of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. 

    My fellow job seekers: I am honored to be among the first to congratulate you on completing your years at North Carolina A&T. But all of you should know: as Mother's Day gifts go, this one is going to be tough to beat in the years ahead.

    The purpose of a commencement speaker is to dispense wisdom. But the older I get, the more I realize that the most important wisdom I've learned in life has come from my mother and my father. Before we go any further, let's hear it one more time for your mothers and mother figures, fathers and father figures, family, and friends in the audience today.

    When I first received the invitation to speak here, I was the CEO of an $80 billion Fortune 11 company with 145,000 employees in 178 countries around the world. I held that job for nearly six years. It was also a company that hired its fair share of graduates from North Carolina A&T. You could always tell who they were. For some reason, they were the ones that had stickers on their desks that read, "Beat the Eagles."

    But as you may have heard, I don't have that job anymore. After the news of my departure broke, I called the school, and asked: do you still want me to come and be your commencement speaker?

    Chancellor Renick put my fears to rest. He said, "Carly, if anything, you probably have more in common with these students now than you did before." And he's right. After all, I've been working on my resume. I've been lining up my references. I bought a new interview suit. If there are any recruiters here, I'll be free around 11.

    I want to thank you for having me anyway. This is the first public appearance I've made since I left HP. I wanted very much to be here because this school has always been set apart by something that I've believed very deeply; something that takes me back to the earliest memories I have in life.

    One day at church, my mother gave me a small coaster with a saying on it. During my entire childhood, I kept this saying in front of me on a small desk in my room. In fact, I can still show you that coaster today. It says: "What you are is God's gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God."

    Those words have had a huge impact on me to this day. What this school and I believe in very deeply is that when we think about our lives, we shouldn't be limited by other people's stereotypes or bigotry. Instead, we should be motivated by our own sense of possibility. We should be motivated by our own sense of accomplishment. We should be motivated by what we believe we can become. Jesse Jackson has taught us; Ronald McNair taught us; the Greensboro Four taught us; that the people who focus on possibilities achieve much more in life than people who focus on limitations.

    The question for all of you today is: how will you define what you make of yourself?

    To me, what you make of yourself is actually two questions. There's the "you" that people see on the outside. And that's how most people will judge you, because it's all they can see ?what you become in life, whether you were made President of this, or CEO of that, the visible you.

    But then, there's the invisible you, the "you" on the inside. That's the person that only you and God can see. For 25 years, when people have asked me for career advice, what I always tell them is don't give up what you have inside. Never sell your soul? Because no one can ever pay you back.

    What I mean by not selling your soul is don't be someone you're not, don't be less than you are, don't give up what you believe, because whatever the consequences that may seem scary or bad -- whatever the consequences of staying true to yourself are -- they are much better than the consequences of selling your soul.

    You have been tested mightily in your life to get to this moment. And all of you know much better than I do: from the moment you leave this campus, you will be tested. You will be tested because you won't fit some people's pre-conceived notions or stereotypes of what you're supposed to be, of who you're supposed to be. People will have stereotypes of what you can or can't do, of what you will or won't do, of what you should or shouldn't do. But they only have power over you if you let them have power over you. They can only have control if you let them have control, if you give up what's inside.

    I speak from experience. I've been there. I've been there, in admittedly vastly different ways -- and in many ways, in the fears in my heart, exactly the same places. The truth is I've struggled to have that sense of control since the day I left college.

    I was afraid the day I graduated from college. I was afraid of what people would think. Afraid I couldn't measure up. I was afraid of making the wrong choices. I was afraid of disappointing the people who had worked so hard to send me to college.

    I had graduated with a degree in medieval history and philosophy. If you had a job that required knowledge of Copernicus or 12th Century European monks, I was your person. But that job market wasn't very strong.

    So, I was planning to go to law school, not because it was a lifelong dream ?because I thought it was expected of me. Because I realized that I could never be the artist my mother was, so I would try to be the lawyer my father was. So, I went off to law school. For the first three months, I barely slept. I had a blinding headache every day. And I can tell you exactly which shower tile I was looking at in my parent's bathroom on a trip home when it hit me like a lightning bolt. This is my life. I can do what I want. I have control. I walked downstairs and said, "I quit."

    I will give my parents credit in some ways. That was 1976. They could have said, "Oh well, you can get married." Instead, they said, "We're worried that you'll never amount to anything." It took me a while to prove them wrong. My first job was working for a brokerage firm. I had a title. It was not "VP." It was "receptionist." I answered phones, I typed, I filed. I did that for a year. And then, I went and lived in Italy, teaching English to Italian businessmen and their families. I discovered that I liked business. I liked the pragmatism of it; the pace of it. Even though it hadn't been my goal, I became a businessperson.

    I like big challenges, and the career path I chose for myself at the beginning was in one of the most male-dominated professions in America. I went to work for AT&T. It didn't take me long to realize that there were many people there who didn't have my best interests at heart.

    I began my career as a first level sales person within AT&T's long lines department. Now, "long lines" is what we used to call the long distance business, but I used to refer to the management team at AT&T as the "42 longs" ?which was their suit size, and all those suits ?and faces ?looked the same.

    I'll never forget the first time my boss at the time introduced me to a client. With a straight face, he said "this is Carly Fiorina, our token bimbo." I laughed, I did my best to dazzle the client, and then I went to the boss when the meeting was over and said, "You will never do that to me again."

    In those early days, I was put in a program at the time called the Management Development Program. It was sort of an accelerated up-or-out program, and I was thrown into the middle of a group of all male sales managers who had been there quite a long time, and they thought it was their job to show me a thing or two. A client was coming to town and we had decided that we were getting together for lunch to introduce me to this customer who was important to one of my accounts.

    Now the day before this meeting was to occur, one of my male colleagues came to me and said, "You know, Carly, I'm really sorry. I know we've had this planned for a long time, but this customer has a favorite restaurant here in Washington, D.C., and they really want to go to that restaurant, and we need to do what the customer wants, and so I don't think you'll be able to join us."

    "Why is that?" I asked. Well, the restaurant was called the Board Room. Now, the Board Room back then was a restaurant on Vermont Avenue in Washington, D.C., and it was a strip club. In fact, it was famous because the young women who worked there would wear these completely see-through baby doll negligees, and they would dance on top of the tables while the patrons ate lunch.

    The customer wanted to go there, and so my male colleagues were going there. So I thought about it for about two hours. I remember sitting in the ladies room thinking, "Oh God, what am I going to do? And finally I came back and said, "You know, I hope it won't make you too uncomfortable, but I think I'm going to come to lunch anyway."

    Now, I have to tell you I was scared to death. So the morning arrived when I had to go to the Board Room and meet my client, and I chose my outfit carefully. I dressed in my most conservative suit. I carried a briefcase like a shield of honor. I got in a cab. When I told the taxi driver where I wanted to go he whipped around in his seat and said, "You're kidding right?" I think he thought I was a new act.

    In any event, I arrived, I got out, I took a deep breath, I straightened my bow tie, and went in the door - and you have to picture this - I go into the door, there's a long bar down one side, there's a stage right in front of me, and my colleagues are sitting way on the other side of the room. And there's a live act going on the stage. The only way I could get to them was to walk along that stage. I did. I looked like a complete idiot. I sat down, we had lunch.

    Now, there are two ends to that story. One is that my male colleagues never did that to me again. But the other end to the story, which I still find inspiring, is that all throughout lunch they kept trying to get those young women to dance in their negligees on top of our table -- and every one of those young women came over, looked the situation over and said, "Not until the lady leaves."

    It even followed me to HP. As you may know, the legend of HP is that it began in a garage. When I took over, we launched a get-back-to-basics campaign we called "the rules of the garage." A fellow CEO at a competitor saw that and decided to do a skit about me. In front of the entire financial analyst and media community, he had an actress come out with blond hair and long red nails and flashy clothes, and had a garage fall on her head. It made big headlines locally. It made me feel a lot like the "token bimbo" all over again.

    I know all of you have your own stories. When you challenge other people's ideas of who or how you should be, they may try to diminish and disgrace you. It can happen in small ways in hidden places, or in big ways on a world stage. You can spend a lifetime resenting the tests, angry about the slights and the injustices. Or, you can rise above it. People's ideas and fears can make them small ?but they cannot make you small. People's prejudices can diminish them - but they cannot diminish you. Small-minded people can think they determine your worth. But only you can determine your worth.

    At every step along the way, your soul will be tested. Every test you pass will make you stronger. But let's not be naive. Sometimes, there are consequences to not selling your soul. Sometimes, there are consequences to staying true to what you believe. And sometimes, those consequences are very difficult. But as long as you understand the consequences and accept the consequences, you are not only stronger as a result, you're more at peace.

    Many people have asked me how I feel now that I've lost my job. The truth is, I'm proud of the life I've lived so far, and though I've made my share of mistakes, I have no regrets. The worst thing I could have imagined happened. I lost my job in the most public way possible, and the press had a field day with it all over the world. And guess what? I'm still here. I am at peace and my soul is intact. I could have given it away and the story would be different. But I heard the word of Scripture in my head: "What benefit will it be to you if you gain the whole world, but lose your soul?"

    When people have stereotypes of what you can't do, show them what you can do. When they have stereotypes of what you won't do, show them what you will do. Every time you pass these tests, you learn more about yourself. Every time you resist someone else's smaller notion of who you really are, you test your courage and your endurance. Each time you endure, and stay true to yourself, you become stronger and better.

    I do not know any of you personally. But as a businessperson and a former CEO, I know that people who have learned to overcome much can achieve more than people who've never been tested. And I do know that this school has prepared you well. After all, North Carolina A&T graduates more African Americans with engineering degrees than any other school in the United States. It graduates more African American technology professionals than any other school. It graduates more African American women who go into careers in science, math, and technology than any other school. Your motto is right: North Carolina A&T is truly a national resource and a local treasure. And Aggie Pride is not just a slogan ?it's a hard-earned fact!

    Never sell your education short. And the fact that this school believed in you means you should never sell yourself short. What I have learned in 25 years of managing people is that everyone possesses more potential than they realize. Living life defined by your own sense of possibility, not by others notions of limitations, is the path to success.

    Starting today, you are one of the most promising things America has to offer: you are an Aggie with a degree.

    My hope is that you live life defined by your own sense of possibility, your own sense of worth, your own sense of your soul. Define yourself for yourself, not by how others are going to define you ?and then stick to it. Find your own internal compass. I use the term compass, because what does a compass do? When the winds are howling, and the storm raging, and the sky is so cloudy you have nothing to navigate by, a compass tells you where true North is. And I think when you are in a lonely situation, you have to rely on that compass. Who am I? What do I believe? Do I believe I am doing the right thing for the right reason in the best way that I can? Sometimes, that's all you have. And always, it will be enough.

    Most people will judge you by what they see on the outside. Only you and God will know what's on the inside. But at the end of your life, if people ask you what your greatest accomplishment was, my guess is, it will be something that happened inside you, that no one else ever saw, something that had nothing to do with outside success, and everything to do with how you decide to live in the world.

    What you are today is God's gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God. He is waiting for that gift right now. Make it something extraordinary.

谢谢,校长。各位,早上好!我很高兴能够与Renick校长一起,欢迎大家参加第114届北卡农业技术州立大学毕业典礼。

    亲爱的毕业生们,我很荣幸成为首批恭贺你们顺利完成学业的人之一。大家必须明白:随着母亲节礼物的远离,在未来的岁月里,等待你们的将是艰难坎坷的日子。

    毕业典礼演讲的目的是传播智慧。随着我年龄的增长,我越来越意识到,我从生活中学到的最重要的智慧来自我的父亲和母亲。在继续讲下去之前,先让我们再次聆听今天观众席中我们的父亲、母亲、长辈、家人和朋友的心声吧。

    我初次收到来这里演讲的邀请时,还是一家在全球178个国家拥有11家分公司、145,000名员工、价值800亿美元的公司的CEO。在那个职位上我干了近6年。然而,正如你们已经知道的,我目前已不再担任那一职务。在我离任的消息传开后,我给学校打电话,问道:你们是否仍希望我前来担任毕业典礼的演讲人呢?Renick校长让我安心下来,他说:“卡莉,如果说和以前有什么不同的话,那就是你可能现在比以往与这些学生更相似。”他是对的。毕竟,我现在正在准备自己的简历,罗列自己的介绍人,我买了一套新套装以备面试。如果这里有招聘人员在场的话,我大概11号就有空了。

    无论如何,我要感谢大家听我的演讲,这是我离开惠普之后的首次公开露面。我非常希望来到这里,因为这个学校由于我所坚信的一些东西而显得与众不同,这些东西把我带回到我生命中最初的记忆中去。

    记得有一天,在教堂,母亲给了我一个小盘子,上面有一条谚语。在我整个童年时期,我将那条谚语摆放在房间的小书桌上,今天还可以把那个盘子拿给你们看。上面写着:“你是什么由上帝的天赋注定,而你成为什么则是你献给上帝的礼物。”

    这些话至尽仍然对我有着巨大的影响。这个学校与我同样深信的是,当我们思考自己的生命时,不应该受到其他人的陈词滥调或偏见好恶的限制;相反,我们应该坚持自己对未来发展的判断,坚持自己对成就大业的把握,坚持对自己能有所作为的信念。Jesse Jackson的经历告诉我们,Ronald McNair的经历告诉我们,Greensboro Four的经历也告诉我们,注重发展性的人比注重局限性的人在生活中获得的要多得多。

    大家现在面对的问题是:如何定义自己成为什么样的人?对我而言,这实际上是两个问题:一个是人们从外表上看到的“你”,这是大多数人判断你的方式,因为那是他们所能看到的全部,例如:你在生活中是什么人,是某个国家的总统,还是某个企业的CEO;但是,还有一部分的你是看不到的,这就是内在的“你”,是只有自己和上帝才明白的人性本质。25年来,当人们向我询问职业生涯的意见时,我常常告诉他们,不要放弃你的内在本性,千万不要贩卖你的灵魂,因为没有人能够支付得起。

    我所说的“不要贩卖自己的灵魂”,就是不要违背自己的本性,不要掩盖你的天赋,也不要放弃你的信念。无论结果看起来可能多么的可怕或糟糕,无论保持自己本性的结果是什么,总比出卖灵魂好很多。

    在到达今天之前,大家经历了无数的检验和测试,你们比我更清楚地知道:从你们离开校园的这一刻起,还要不断接受测试。接受这些测试的原因,是你们或许不适合某些人对你们应该做什么工作、成为什么人的预想或模式化的观念。人们对于你们能做什么不能做什么、应该做什么不应该做什么有着模式化的概念,但是,只有当你们愿意让他们影响你们时,他们才能影响你们,只有当你们愿意他们控制你们时,当你们放弃自己的内在本性时,他们才能控制你们。

    我的这些感想来自自己的经验。在毕业离校的那一天,我曾经很害怕,担心别人会怎么想,担心我不符合要求,担心做出错误的选择,担心让辛辛苦苦工作供我念大学的人失望。

    我毕业时获得了中世纪历史和哲学专业的学位,如果你们有一份需要关于哥白尼或者12世界欧洲僧侣知识的职位,那就非我莫属了。然而这一职务市场并不太大。我当时计划去读法学院,并非因为这是我一生的梦想,而是因为我相信别人期望我如此。既然我意识到永远成不了母亲那样的艺术家,那么至少我应该成为父亲那样的律师。这样,我改行去读法律学院。在最初的三个月里,我几乎夜夜不成眠,每天头痛欲裂。至今我还能确切地告诉你,在一次回家时,在父母的浴室中,我正凝视着哪一片檐瓦,一个念头像闪电一样击中了我。这是我的生活,我能做自己想做的事,一切由我掌控!我走下楼,对他们说:“我要退学。”

    从某个方面说,我应该给我的父母颁发奖章。当时是1976年,他们很有可能会说:“啊,那么,你就结婚吧。”相反,他们说道:“我们担心你永远无所作为。”我花了些时间说服他们。我的第一份工作是为一家经纪公司工作,当时的头衔不是“副总”,而是“接待员”。我接听电话、打字、整理文档,这份工作我干了一年。此后,我去了意大利,为意大利商人和他们的家人教授英文。我发现我喜欢商业贸易,喜欢它的实用,它的速度。即使这不是我的目标,我还是成了一个商人。

    我喜欢挑战,一开始为自己选择的职业生涯,恰好是在美国最受男权控制的行业,——我进入AT&T,不久就意识到,这家企业中很多人,都不是我心底感兴趣的人。我作为了一名AT&T长话部的一级销售员,开始了自己的职业生涯。现在,“长话”指的是长途电话业务,不过我当时用“42英寸”来形容AT&T的管理团队,这是他们的西服号码,所有的西服——以及他们的脸——看起来也一样。

    我永远忘不了第一次我的老板向客户介绍我时,板着脸说:“这是卡莉•费奥瑞娜,我们的这儿的小妞。”我笑着,尽力讨好客户,在会面结束后我找到老板,说道:“以后再也不许这样对我。”

    在工作初期,我参加了一个项目,当时称作“管理发展计划”。那是一种强化项目,我被中途扔进一堆已工作相当长时间的男性销售经理当中,他们认为应该给我点颜色瞧瞧。当一位客户前来拜访时,我们本来决定一起吃午餐,趁此机会向这位对我的业务非常重要的客户介绍我。会面前一天,我的一位男同事对我说:“瞧,卡莉,非常抱歉,我知道我们早已计划好了,但是这位客户在华盛顿特区有一家最中意的餐厅,他们非常希望去那家餐厅,因此我想你可能不能跟我们一起去了。”

    “为什么这样?”我问道。那家餐厅叫做“董事会议室”,当时的“董事会议室”是位于华盛顿特区的拂蒙特大街上的一家餐厅,是一家脱衣舞夜总会。实际上,它当时非常有名,因为那里工作的年轻女人都穿着完全透明的洋娃娃睡衣,当客人吃饭时还会在桌子上跳舞。客户要去那里,因此我的男同事也得去。我考虑了大约两个小时,记得我坐在女厕所中,想:“噢,天哪,我怎么办呢?”最后我走回来,说道:“好吧,我希望不会让你们太不舒服,但是我想我无论如何都要一起去。”

    现在,我必须告诉你们,当时我害怕得要死。那天早上到了,我必须得去“董事会议室”会见我的客户,我认真地挑选了自己的服装,穿上自己最保守的套装,提着一个类似荣誉保护罩的公文包。坐进出租车后,当我告诉司机我要去的地方时,他猛地转过座位,说:“你是在开玩笑吧?”我想他认为我是那家餐厅新雇员。

    不管怎样,我终于到了,下车后我长吁一口气,正了正我的领结,走进了大门。你们可以想象得出,我进门后见到,一边有一张长长的吧台,在我正前方有一个舞台,我的同事们正坐在房间另一边,舞台上正有演出,我必须沿着舞台才能走向他们。我走了过去,我看起来完全像一个傻瓜,坐下后,我们开始进餐。

    现在,这个故事有两种结尾。一个是,我们的男同事们从此再也没有这样对过我;但是另一种结局是,令我至今为止仍感到欢欣鼓舞的是,整个午餐期间,他们不断尝试让那些穿着透视睡衣的年轻女孩在我们的桌上跳舞。每一个女孩子都过来了,看着眼前的情形,说:“一直跳到这位女士离开。”
    
    我知道,你们都有自己的故事。当你们挑战别人对自己应该做什么样的人、应该如何工作的观念时,他们可能试图贬低或侮辱你。这一切可能是发生在阴暗角落里的小打小闹,也可能是在世界大舞台上的轰轰烈烈。你们可能会花上一辈子的时间来憎恨这些测试,为这些无礼和不公平的行为忿忿不平;或者,你们也能从中奋发起来。人们的观念和恐惧可令他们渺小——但无法让你渺小;人们的偏见可以贬低他们——但无法贬低你。心胸狭隘的人以为他们能够决定你的价值,但是只有你自己才能决定自己的价值。

    在前进的每一步,你的灵魂将受到测试,而你通过的每一次测试都将令你更强大。然而,我们不能太天真。有时候,不出卖自己的灵魂会得到一些结果;有时候,坚持信念保持本性会得到一些结果;而有时候,这些结果是非常痛苦的。但是,只要你理解这些结果并接受这些结果,你不仅会变得更强大,还会得到更大的心灵的平和。

    许多人问我失去工作后我感觉怎样,事实是,我对于至今为止我的生活是十分骄傲的,虽然我也犯过错,我不后悔。这是我能想象的最糟糕的事情,我以一种最为公开的形式失去了我的工作,全球媒体为此兴师动众。但是,猜猜怎样?我还在这儿,心平气和,我的灵魂未受到损伤。我也可能会气馁妥协,那样故事就会大不相同了。但是我听从了铭刻于脑海的一段格言:“如果你获得了整个世界却丢失了自己的灵魂,一切又有什么益处呢?”

    当人们对于你不能做什么妄下断语时,让他们看看你究竟能做什么;当他们对于你不应该做什么指手画脚时,让他们看看你要怎么做。每一次你通过测试,你对自己了解得就更多;每一次反击了别人对于你究竟是什么人的轻视,你的勇气和忍耐力就得到了测试;每一次你忍耐,并保持自己的本性,你就变得更强大更完美。

    我不认识你们中的任何人,然而作为一个商人和以前的CEO,我知道那些克服了众多困难的人比那些从未接受测试的人能获得更多;我也深知,这家学校为你们做好了充足的准备。毕竟,拥有北卡农业技术州立大学工程学位的美籍非裔毕业生比其他美国学校更多,从这里毕业的美籍非裔技术专家比其他学校多,从这里毕业后进入科学、数学和技术职业领域的美籍非裔妇女也比其他学校多。你们的座右铭非常好:北卡农技是真正的国家资源和地方财富。“农学院的骄傲”不仅是一个口号——也是一个十分难得的事实。

    不要贱价出卖你的教育。这家学校对你们的信任意味着你们不能轻易出卖你们自己。我从25年管理人的经验中学到,每个人所拥有潜能都比他们意识到的大。按照你自己对未来发展的设想去生活,而非按别人设置的局限,是通往成功的途径。

    从今天开始,你们是美国所拥有的最有前途的财富:你们是拥有学位的农学院毕业生。我的希望是,你们能够按照自己对未来的设想、对自己价值的把握、对自己灵魂的坚持来生活。按自己的想法而不是别人的设想确定自己的人生。然后,坚持下去。寻找你们自己内在的指南针,我使用了“指南针”这个词,指南针的作用是什么呢?当寒风咆哮、暴雨倾盆、阴云密布而你又没有导航的工具时,指南针告诉你们正北的位置。我以为,当你们处于孤独无援的境地时,必须依赖这个指南针。我是谁?我相信什么?我相信自己为着正确的目的、以尽可能最好的方式做着最好的事情吗?有时候,这就是你所有的一切。而通常,这些也就足够了。
    
    大多数人凭外在的表现来判断你,只有你自己和上帝知道你的内心本性。但是,在你生命终结的时候,如果人们问你,你最大的成就是什么,我猜想,那应该是发生在你内心的某些体验,别人无法知晓,这些体验与外在的成功没有关系,却与你决定在这个世界里如何生活密切相关。

    你们现在是什么是上帝天赋所致,你们能成为什么则是你献给上帝的礼物。此刻上帝正在等待着你们的礼物,准备一份非同寻常的礼物吧。