What Is Your Elixir? A Powerful Question by an Amazing Woman

August 12, 2020

In a time when we could all use some inspiration, I wholeheartedly recommend Viola Davis’ 2019 Barnard commencement address.

Man or woman, Black or white, young or old, this timeless, wise, powerful talk is for you.

We are all our history, and we are all a product of our environment, Davis reminds us. The only choices are what we’ll do about that. Will we choose silence, apathy, and despair? Or choose the courage to face and make the present the very best it can be for ourselves and others?

Davis encourages us to choose the latter – to find our elixir, to get clarity on our life's work, and to get on with leaving the best of ourselves for and in others.

Listen for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZVDvTT82Os

Written By

Jim Detert

Jim Detert is the John L. Colley Professor of Business Administration in the Leadership and Organizational Behavior area at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and a Professor of Public Policy at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Prior to joining UVA, he taught at Cornell University's Johnson School of Management and was the faculty director for the School's leadership initiative.