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Talk is cheap, but lasting results are of great value. We are constantly bombarded with so much noise of people’s opinions and ideas. Then we wrestle with FOMO; what if those ideas are “good”, will we lose an opportunity we can’t recover?

Learning from others is easier than making your own mistakes. How do you find the pearls of wisdom that have stood the tests of time? It takes time for true success to be realized. Listening to the advice of those with long-term experience combined with success is worth your time and applying their wisdom worth your effort.

“Wisdom is the reward you get
for a life time of listening
when you would have preferred
to talk.”

Doug Larsen

Recently I came across a You-Tube talk featuring Jim Collins. I knew it would have significant substance. What stands out to me is how Collins passes on wisdom he grasped from others, mainly Peter Drucker. At the end he addresses younger, emerging leaders with Ten Ways to become a Level Five Leader. When the author of Good to Great, one of the greatest leadership books in the past fifteen years, offers advice, it’s wise to listen. If you’re interested in the 54-minute speech, click here.

Jim Collins’ Top Ten List For Emerging Leaders

  1. Build a Personal Board of Directors –people selected not for their accomplishments but for their character
  2. Turn Off Your Electronic Gadget – effective people take time to THINK. Begin the discipline to put white space in your calendar… no phone, no email, no social media. Engage in the glorious pocket of quietude.
  3. Work on Your Three Circles. (See diagram below)
  4. What is your questions-to-statements ratio and can you double it? Stop trying to be interesting and learn how to be interested.
  5. If you woke tomorrow morning and discovered you inherited $20 million, and discovered you also had terminal disease with 10 years to live, what would be on your stop-doing list?
  6. Start your stop-doing list.  How many have a to-do list?  How many have a stop-doing list?  Think about not what you’ve done, but what you’ve stopped doing. The real task is always clarity about what not to do.
  7. Unplug the opportunities that distract you.  Just because it is a once- in- a- lifetime opportunity doesn’t mean it is right for you. There will always be many once- in- a- lifetime opportunities.
  8. Find something with which you have so much passion, that you are willing to endure the pain.
  9. This is a great time of life to articulate the values you will not compromise.
  10. Prepare to live a life in which you accomplish 1/3 of your work at age 65 and the rest after that.

I love the wisdom expressed here. You can apply these to move from good to great in your life, work and leadership no matter your age or circumstances. You will be grateful that you did.

Your Three Circles:

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