Bronnie Ware is an Australian palliative care nurse who provides specialised medical care for people who are in the last 12 weeks of their lives. Whilst working with dying people, Bonnie recorded the dying thoughts of her patient on her blog Inspiration and Chai, which got so much attention that she wrote a book “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying”. The top five regrets of people on their deathbed were:
In today’s fast paced world it’s critical for leaders distinguish between busy work and important work. I’m sure you’ve experienced days when you’ve been running around working hard, busy getting things done. Then at the end of the day it feels like you’ve worked hard, but accomplished little to achieve your goals. I’ve had this experience on too many occasions.
Successful leaders know that they must get out of their comfort zone to succeed. Great leaders from history are those who have spent a large amount of their time outside their comfort zone.
Leaders who take risks and step into their learning zone are those that succeed. It’s only when you can give up what’s safe and familiar that you create opportunities and develop new capabilities. As you do, you expand your influence and gain the skills required to take on bigger and bigger challenges.
Many people will tell you they do their best thinking and are most creative when walking. Steve Jobs was famous for his walks around the Palo Alto. Jobs would often go on long walks for problem solving and was well-known for hosting “walking meetings”. Jobs is not alone in his love of walking, other creative leaders also host walking meetings.
“My favorite thing to do to relax is walking. If I’m with a friend we have our best conversations while walking.” – Jack Dorsey, CEO of the mobile-payments startup Square, Silicon Valley’s different kind of power walk
In the fast paced, turbulent and uncertain world of today learning becomes a source of competitive advantage. The gap between where you are today and where you want to be in the future is crossed by gaining new knowledge and learning new skills.
“I’ve always thought that success on the job is based on how fast you learn and not what you know… the best CEOs I see are introspective. They learn every day. That’s what I try to do.” – Jeff Immelt, GE CEO, Q&A with GE’s Jeff Immelt, Bloomberg
The big question then becomes “how can we develop leaders who are fast learners?”
When it comes to achieving our New Years resolutions the statistics are pretty dismal. Research from the University of Scranton as published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their New Year resolutions. Similar research conducted by Psychology Professor Richard Wiseman at the University of Hertfordshire found that only 12% of people actually achieved their New Year resolutions. Given such low levels of success you may be tempted to conclude that goal setting doesn’t work!