One of the best speakers at our Cranfield EMBA Capstone Conference was John McFarlane, chairman of Aviva (and other companies).
Here are some of my notes from what he said:
Set a personal mission statement – where do you want to end up? This sets the direction. Lock on to what you want – that is the real you. What do you want? What do you have? Then set goals with timelines. Do the things that are relevant to what you want – and nothing that isn’t relevant.
Risk takers set a mission beyond what they themselves know how to do. Do not allow the vision to be restricted by what you know how to do. There has to be no escape route for you – are you fully committed or only partially committed? If you have low confidence – be cautious. It may not be the right thing for you. Investigate the reasons why your confidence is low.
You learn more from failures than successes. Accept failure, learn the lesson and move on.
Strategy is managing for the worst and hoping for the best.
Take inspiration from wherever you see it – don’t hunt for it in big leaders.
Don’t make life about the business – family is MORE important.