Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

The passing of a great leader

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I was saddened to learn that Randy Pausch passed away today. Randy, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, inspired millions of people:

Outside the classroom, he gained public fame for delivering what would come to be known as “The Last Lecture.” On Sept. 18, 2007, only a month after doctors told him that he had three-to-six months to live following a recurrence of pancreatic cancer, he presented a lecture called “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” to a packed auditorium at Carnegie Mellon.

The moving and often humorous talk recounted his efforts to achieve such childhood dreams as becoming a professional football player, experiencing zero gravity and developing Disney World attractions. In the process, he shared his insights on finding the good in other people, working hard to overcome obstacles and living generously.

“If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself,” Pausch said. “The dreams will come to you.”

It’s difficult to measure the impact Randy had on the world. Based on what I’ve read and what I learned from The Last Lecture, he was a great leader. The world is a much better place because of Randy Pausch.

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