Think of some of the most influential military missions of the 21st century, and chances are, Admiral William H. McRaven has commanded them. No stranger to the bearing of risk or the abundance of grit over 37 years, the retired US Navy Admiral has seen it all.
At Confluence, the veteran took everyone on a tour of courage under fire. Revealing the character that it takes to navigate the toughest of mandates, Admiral McRaven’s perspectives are hardened by his experiences on the front line and in the White House. But above all, by being a gentleman, friend and mentor to those around him. In a keynote bookended by his early days in the Navy SEALS, it was the final image that brought home the most important lesson of all. The image of a bell that one could ring if one wanted out of the gruelling training. He never rang the bell. And asked us never to either.
Make as many friends as you can, have as many colleagues as you can, be kind to strangers, because one day you will need those people to help you paddle through the surf zone.