I loved this commencement video by Jon Lovett, former Obama speechwriter and comedian. It’s very funny and yet still very insightful advice from a 30-year-old.

As a 44-year-old — officially “old” to college grads — I love listening to smart young ones. I was usually the youngest one in the room early in my career and I wished then that some of the “over 40” people I worked with would have listened to me more often. They could have learned a thing or two from my perspective (and to be fair, they sometimes did). So I try not to make the same mistake, and try to listen closely to people in their 20s and 30s in our field about their perspectives on what they see and hear.

It’s 17 minutes, but worth it. Skip the intro by going to 1:19.


OK, if 17 minutes is too long for you, here are the highlights.

It’s time to cut the bullshit in our culture, politics, etc. Here’s Jon Lovett’s advice for grads on how to do that.

1. Don’t cover for your inexperience. Be confident in your potential but aware of your inexperience. You will be wrong, a lot.

2. Call out BS when you see it. It’s better to be wrong and cringe later when you realize it than to be right and silent.

3. Being honest pays off. It’s easy to respond to a culture full of BS with cynicism. When we all reach the BS peak as a society or community (are we there yet in national politics?), those who speak honestly will be rewarded.

How do you think this applies in our nonprofit marketing and fundraising conversations?

I have some ideas, but would love to hear yours first (especially those of you younger than me)!

(Hat tip to Upworthy)