How do you sum up your biggest takeaways from business school in just a few sentences?

This year, the Class of 2015 was challenged to do just that. After reflecting on their two years at HBS during the Bridges programming, each student was given a small notecard to jot down their thoughts.

If you were in attendance at the HBS commencement ceremony this year you would have seen these colorful index cards – filled with reflections both witty and profound – displayed on the big screen as families and students took their seats.

So, what did the Class of 2015 learn here at HBS? Here’s a sampling for your enjoyment.

Culture eats strategy for lunch; getting the little things right on the people front is huge.

Think about creating value for your company, not claiming it.

To be a leader, you must be a member first.notecard1.PNG

Leave a legacy in every role you take. Go beyond the defined job responsibilities to impact the broader team or organization.

Warmth first, then competence.              

You must stay vigilant and listen to others…this will keep you alert to when the problem is you.

History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

What you choose not to do is as important as choosing what to do.

Stay connected to the thoughts, feelings, and ideas of your frontline employees. They are what is driving the organization.

notecard4.PNGDon’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”.

Ask for help. Overcome your pride. Remain humble.

It’s not about who is right, it’s about what is right.

Marketing is everything. Everything is marketing.

What we choose to spend our time on reflects our priorities. We can only expect to get the results that our time allocation decisions predict.

Inquiry vs. advocacy. Never assume that you know everything there is to know.

The failures you will regret the most are the failures of kindness.

Listen to what the soft voices in the group have to say.

notecard3.PNGConstantly seek feedback. You won’t get it when you most need it.

Don’t underestimate the power of expectations.

Leadership is not about solving a community’s problems. It’s about helping a community to solve its own problems.

There’s nothing as vulnerable as entrenched success.

You have two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. 4:1 – remember that ratio.

Pioneers get the arrows in the back. Settlers get the gold.

Where you are going is more important than how fast you are moving.

Be tough minded and soft hearted.

Always have the difficult conversations.notecard5.PNG

Be a serving leader. It’s about your team, not you.

Don’t get discouraged by your setbacks. You have more ability to control your destiny than it may seem.

An office is a terrible place to view the world from – you need to get out and meet people to understand your business.