The Last Lecture

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27 February 2016

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In this video, Randy Pausche, the Carnegie Mellon professor, is giving his last lecture. Although, he was fighting a terminal cancer, he was not talking about death, but about how to live in fullest. His last lecture is about his childhood dreams, enabling dreams of others, and about how we can try to achieve them. Randy’s speech is full of lessons which could be as valuable for students, workers, and housewives so long for managers, business owners, and executives. It is easy to relate the context of this video and the speaker himself to a number of Organizational Behavior’s concepts such as; personality, values, individual decision-making, and motivation. Personality is a set of patterns in which an individual reacts to and interacts with others. From psychologist’s perspective personality is a dynamic concept describing the growth and development of a person’s whole psychological system. For an organizational leader and organizational success, it is important to have a right personality. Randy Pausch shows himself like a great leader who possesses most of Big Five factors, which are most significant variation in human nature. He is extraverted, conscientious, emotionally stable, and open to experience. In addition, he is energetic, enthusiastic, decisive, ambitious, adaptable, risk taking, and persistent. Randy is also analytical and is able to set high standards, but those are realistic pretty realistic. In achieving his goals Randy Pausch is very proactive and risk taking. He identifies opportunities and takes action like in the case of him meeting the Captain Kirk, who was his role model. He took the risk to build his own project even he didn’t know much about it just to give something to enable others to be creative and to achieve their dreams. Randy has all the leadership qualities and as a good leader he owns a set of terminal values, like self-respect, family security, freedom, a sense of accomplishment. The other once are instrumental the means of achieving the terminal values; responsibility, honesty, capability, independence.

Decision-making is an important factor in an organization as much as in everyday life. Many projects and businesses are failed because of poor decision-making. One of the important traits in decision-making is creativity, the ability to produce novel and unusual ideas. Randy Pausche proof himself to be creative in decision making. One of his biggest decisions to make was either to accept a job offer with the Disney. On the one hand he liked his life as a professor but one of his biggest childhood dreams and goals was to become a Disney imaginer. As much as he was tempted to accept it, he didn’t act on an impulse. Randy weighted pros and cons and made a right decision, not to accept the offer. Later on, he struck a deal where he could consult one day a week. Just like Randy said ‘’ be prepared, luck is where preparation meets opportunity. If you lead your life the right way, the dreams will come to you.” In other words to say, have a checklists to improve decisions, analyze but listen to your intuition as well. Randy Pausche achieved all his dreams because he was very motivated about them. Another reason they came true was that he had very specific dreams. Like one about being an astronaut. He realized that to get that dream was a hard and time consuming task, and all he really wanted was that he wanted to float, so Randy found a way to experience zero-gravity, without having to become an astronaut. Being motivated and having his goals on his list didn’t just help Randy to achieve his goals and dreams, but to involve other people in the process. Randy was able to engage people in his creative projects. He knew that people want to know their work is adding up to something meaningful, that you are making the world a better place. Randy helped his students, friend and children to see the big picture, and fuel their dreams of career and personal success. Pausch says, “encourage students to attempt hard things and not to worry about failing…failure is essential.” The wisdom from the video, “The last Lecture”, inspires and gives motivation to many of us. The wisdom and the tips from this video can be applied to business leaders, entrepreneurs, managers, business owners in how they can become as inspiring and goal oriented, and how they can build a big and lasting empire of creating and enthusiastic employees and followers.

Bibliography: “The Last Lecture”, Randy Pausche
“Organizational Behavior” / Stephen P. Robinson,
Timothy A. Judge. – 15th ed. 2013 Pearson Education, Inc., Prentice Hall.

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StudyScroll. (2016). The Last Lecture [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 2 October, 2023]

"The Last Lecture" StudyScroll, Feb 27, 2016. Accessed Oct 2, 2023.

"The Last Lecture" StudyScroll, Feb 27, 2016.

"The Last Lecture" StudyScroll, 27-Feb-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 2-Oct-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). The Last Lecture. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 2-Oct-2023]

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