What do you wish you knew THEN that you know NOW?

I think about this a lot.  I have discussed with a few colleagues on how to bring down knowledge 10 years.  I have drawn circles within circles, my picture of generational knowledge and have pondered how to bring the knowledge down 2 or 3 generations.  Michael Hyatt did the poll below and found some key things to know NOW.  I love it.  I will keep thinking of my idea (probably some type of mentoring), but really want to NOT make the same mistakes that others have made.  That is one of my things :).  Mistakes (or failures) are ok to make because that means we are growing, we just don’t want to make them over again (and really not 3 times).  Anyway, this is a great blog post from Michael Hyatt and I wanted to log it for myself.

From Michael Hyatt – What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

As I turned the corner from my 20s and entered into my 30s I
realized how much I thought I knew, when in reality I knew nothing. I began to
find myself as the fool repeating his folly in so many leadership decisions I
was making.

It was a humbling realization to say the least, but I would not be defeated.

Rather than accept the fact that folly was inevitable, I spent
the past twelve months polling fifteen respectable men I admire—men that have
lived lives of integrity, men who are faithful husbands, and have been deemed
successful in their chosen vocation.

The list of men I asked included President’s of Nationally known
Ministries and Corporations, Authors of best-selling books, CEOs, CFOs, a
Division 1 basketball coach, and even a man listed on the Forbes 400.

Many of these conversations were face-to-face, while a few were
correspondence via e-mail. Listing their names is not nearly as important as
listing their responses.

The question I asked these fifteen men was this, “What are three
things you know now that you wish you knew when you were thirty?”

I was hoping that these men would share the folly they had
experienced as leaders and in life, so that I might not repeat their mistakes.

The forty-five responses I received from these men were packed
with wisdom, humility, and truth that struck me to the core. I printed them
out, laminated them, and placed in my office where they serve as a daily
reminder and encouragement to lead well in all areas of my life.

Learning from the mistakes of others will help me avoid my own
mistakes and, therefore, be less likely to be “a fool who repeats his folly.” I
took the list of forty-five responses and reduced it down to the top fifteen.
Some of the men had similar answers, so I took one answer from each leader, so that
the list was not repetitive.

  1. The most important person you can lead is yourself.
  2. Nothing is more valuable than relationships.
  3. Maximize the moments with your children.
  4. Listen—you will never find the pulse of your family or
    organization if you don’t learn to listen.
  5. Worrying is temporary atheism. Rid yourself of worry.
  6. Become a better steward of your financial resources
    through investments and wise decision-making. The older you get the more
    you’ll want to give away, being able to do so begins with the financial
    decisions you make today.
  7. Balance—the words “No” and “Not now” are empowering
    when accompanied with wisdom.
  8. Spend time reading and receiving the Truth every
    morning, because the world will only lie to you the rest of the day.
  9. Saying “I’m sorry,” when spoken from a genuine heart,
    has great healing power.
  10. Character should always trump talent.
  11. Retreat and Rest—if ships don’t come back to the
    harbor, they’ll eventually sink.
  12. Don’t stop learning—you’re not as smart as you think.
  13. Learn to value patience. You’re likely to learn more
    while you wait.
  14. Time management—without it time will control you.
  15. Develop authentic and deep relationships with men who
    will sharpen you and see through you.

I hope that for any of us that aspire to be great leaders, we
can look at this list that was compiled by men in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and even
80s, and learn from their lives well-lived. May we heed their wisdom as to
prevent folly in our endeavors to become better spouses, parents, and leaders.

Craig Sroda