High school graduation is a major milestone for both parents and students.

High school graduation is a major milestone for both parents and students.

Anna Mary Batz graduated from high school last week. She’s our youngest child which means Melinda and I have passed a huge parenting milestone. Without question, I’m blindly-biased as all loving fathers should be. After reading adoring cards, letters and emails about Anna’s impact on the world, my heart is swollen and I’m feeling successful. And significant.

So, what does this have to do with my summer reading suggestions?

[see paragraph 4]. Watching Anna walk across the graduation stage, I was moved by the notion of “significance.” Without a doubt, raising children who are good citizens with my wife Melinda is the most meaningful endeavor of my life. It certainly wasn’t easy…or always fun!  But somehow all the bills got paid and all homework assignments were completed. In the afterglow of a joyous commencement, the worries just melted away.

This Dr. Seuss title is a popular graduation gift, and a effective reminder for good leaders.

This Dr. Seuss title is a popular graduation gift and effective inspiration for good leaders.

And it’s also ridiculous to think that our parenting job is done. Looking ahead, I’m equally excited and anxious about the choices she will make and how we will pay for the third set of private college tuition…while investing in a growing small business.

Which brings me to the summer reading recommendation: Oh the Places You’ll Go – the classic/clique graduate gift by Dr. Seuss. It’s hard not to like the whimsical advice, offered in technicolor rhyme:

“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”

“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

ebook chapter fiveIn reflection, I don’t think I’m recommending the book for Anna. I think I’m recommending it for Melinda, me and the parents of the other 360 graduates. It’s probably a good thing to add to your summer reading as well. It also reminds me of Chapter 5 of my new Good Leadership Today eBook. It’s the blog I wrote about my 50-year-old skydiving adventure. It follows right along with the insights of Dr. Seuss for graduating high school seniors:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose…

Good leaders make a habit to pause and savor the moments of significance in their lives. And they use the confidence to set higher goals and dream about the places they will go.

Thank you for the summer reading recommendations! Next week I will introduce you to the Norman Views blog. Please send me a note about what reading is inspiring you lately.