I wish that I had done more decorating

According to one of my friends I wish that I had done more decorating are no-one’s last words. The same friends also sent me a good luck card with the text ‘Hard work never killed anyone but why take the chance of becoming the first?’ They have obviously noticed something. In this the third of my ‘Transition’ series from CEO to consultant supporter I will be looking at the why these messages are so pertinent.

In the first Transition blog I mapped out my three R’s and in the second I recorded the mixture of activities that filled week two. Now that I have completed week three of the Big Changeover, what does it feel like?

Well if you had asked Sandra Grealy, my coach, after an intense two hour coaching session you would have concluded three things:

What I am feeling is usual for individuals making major career (or personal) moves; going through a time which feels like ‘neither here nor there’

I am doing well in following the path that I had mapped out over six months ago; the changing from a long term CEO role to a consultant is not instant. It’s just that as usual I am in a screaming hurry.

I need to follow my friend’s advice and slow down; invest in the first of my three Rs – Refresh

I asked Sandra for some homework and she promptly sent me a link that I did not immediately recognise. On the first glance I thought that there must be a mistake. All became clear when I read through to

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing  and got to the second of the five epiphanies recorded by

Bonnie Ware

I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

In Sandra’s coaching context I must ‘give myself permission’ to have more fun; family, friends, nature, photography, gardens with Margaret, allotments, fly fishing, music. All of these are casualties of a long tough fought career (33 years Fighting for Nature).

So have I taken her advice?

Yes but not totally. You see – being a case-hardened, passionate, career conservationist is a 100% commitment. When you see the natural world around you being messed up through profit-driven short sighted decisions it is hard to let go. My hero David Attenborough shows no signs of slowing down.

Later today I am travelling to visit NFU headquarters to talk about the Badger cull pilots. I will be attending the EFRA bTB vaccine Select Committee tomorrow to listen to EU evidence on why a cattle vaccine will take another decade. The call to serve is still great.

But letting go at the right time is part of any leaders’ role. My future job is supporting the next generation of leaders for nature means that I must Refresh. The allotments are feeling hopeful all ready.


And we are off to Iceland on Friday Aurora hunting.

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Posted on February 25th 2013 under News & Press. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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