Yesterday was my daughters graduation ceremony.

It was a beautiful day and I contributed to the event by supplying the music. I set up a PA, while other volunteers rolled out the red carpet. It was a gorgeous day and with over 300 students graduating the event would be packed with people. The local nursery donated flowers, shrubs and plants. My friend Paul at Lawncutting Plus donated his crew to spruce up the area and over 14 moms showed up to help decorate. The event itself was stellar. My daughter and her friends looked stunningly gorgeous and the guys were “spit polished” and the sharpest I’ve ever seen them look.

The teens strutted down the red carpet to the sounds of K’naan’s “Waving Flag” and “Believe” the theme song from our Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The surrounding paparazzi of friends and family cheered and had them pause for photos. The graduating class of 2010 will experience a different world than we have normally been accustomed to. So much has changed in the last few years from advancing technology to the volatile economy. What wisdom can we offer these grads?

After the Grad 2010 group photo was taken, the event concluded and people scattered. The clean up crew were no where to be found. Parents and that had committed to helping, had simply chosen not to keep their commitment. The few of us left to clean up worked very hard. It was the manifestation of the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule. I paused to look at the remnant crew and began to match up their names with the faces of their children. These were the parents of star athletes, honour students, artists and musicians. My guess is, that like their parents, those kids were taught the values of honour, commitment and hard work.

There were two large shrubs in big plant pots that needed to be moved across the parking lot to an awaiting pick up truck. I watched as two dad’s were sent to move them. There was a hand truck sitting unused in the middle of the parking lot and the first dad walked right by it and proceeded to lift the large plant on his own. He struggled with it and staggered the distance while the second dad calmly spied the hand truck and used it to wheel the plant. When they both reached the pick up truck the dad with the hand truck smiled and said one word - “leverage”. The strong dad, perspiring from the brow, simply replied “smart”.

Could it be that only 20 percent of the graduating class of 2010 will go one to make a positive impact on society? Out of that 20 percent, a few may see opportunities and leverage them and by doing so could actually change the world. The world needs both the strong dad and the smart dad.