David Bray’s Three Pieces of Advice to His Children

David Bray, CIO, FCC

David Bray, FCC

WashingtonExec’s Three Pieces of Advice Series:

“If you could give your kids only three pieces of advice, what would they be?”

Today’s advice is from David Bray, Chief Information Officer for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

If I could only give my kids 3 pieces of advice – I’d opt for the 3 pieces to all be contained in the poem “If—” by Rudyard Kipling. My father gave me a copy of the poem when I was 20, and it’s been with me ever since. If one updates the original 1895 poem for the 21st century, I believe it provides sound guidance for all of us committed to making a positive contribution to the world.

Below is the version I’d share for the 21st century, with the latter two paragraphs being my own additions.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can serve multiple parties, including the greater good
Though none may ever notice what you endure,
If you can innovate shared solutions so together we could
Choose to make our world prosperous, free, and secure;

If you can embody what “We the People” stands for:
Choices and compromises — both recognized as central,
Then yours is an internet society’s truly great endeavor
Promoting courage, creativity, and ideas from us all.

Related: FCC CIO Dr. David Bray’s ‘Start-up Mentality Culture’ Connects People, Pipes to Modernize Agency’s 207 Legacy IT Systems


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