If I could do it all again

American humorist Dave Barry said, “You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.” Ouch!

Looking back with regret doesn’t help, looking back to learn does. If I could take my experience and go back to restart my leadership career, I’d be …

… less critical and more affirming. I didn’t realize how easy it is to criticize and how powerful affirmations are.

… less project driven and more people focused. Projects are alluring because they proclaim success. Pouring your life into people is less predictable, less measurable, and yet, more enduring and powerful. “One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them,” Virginia Woolf.

… less eager to offer answers. I knew “too much.”

… less angry. Anger is one pathetic strategy for getting what you want.

… less of a liar and more true to myself. The desire to please others motivated me to hide my true feelings, thoughts, and desires.

… less worried about succeeding and more focused on enjoying.

… a better listener!

… accountable to a coach or mentor.

… kinder and gentler. I hear people saying they don’t regret anything and I think I get that. Regardless, I’m sad I unnecessarily hurt others.

… proactive not reactive.

… a journaler.

Pablo Picasso insightfully said, “Youth has no age.” Even though you can’t take your experience back to your youth, you can bring youth to your experience.


If you could go back to your youth, what, if anything, would you do differently?